To what extent do Pressure Groups promote Democracy

  • Created by: mld_00
  • Created on: 17-04-18 19:52
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  • To what extent do Pressure Groups promote democracy and pluralism?
    • Arguments in favour - that they DO promote democracy
      • Education
        • PGs are often independent from the federal government, and whilst some of it may come from a certain agenda, this means that the public are educated which can lead to an increase in political participation
          • For example, the US Chamber of Commerce criticised heavily Obama's $787bn Stimulus Bill
      • Representation
        • PGs can represent the views of people without them being a member of that specific party
          • For example, Planned Parenthood can campaign for better sex education and health care for women without being affiliated to a certain party
            • BUT, it must be noted that many Unions do not often represent 'passive' members (chequebook members) much like the American Bar Association
              • PGs can represent the views of people without them being a member of that specific party
                • For example, Planned Parenthood can campaign for better sex education and health care for women without being affiliated to a certain party
                  • BUT, it must be noted that many Unions do not often represent 'passive' members (chequebook members) much like the American Bar Association
        • Participation
          • Democracy needs PGs to increase participation as otherwise it runs the risk of power going into hands of fewer and fewer people. PGs can hold the Government to account which is needed in democracies!
            • For example - the Christian Coalition brought many religious voters in sine 1980 and with that brought up many 'issues' such as abortion and gay rights.
        • Protecting Minority Rights
          • Representation
            • PGs need to represent all views in society otherwise it runs the risk of the 'tyranny of the majority'
              • For example, the NAACP has campaigned for better civil rights for African Americans
        • Arguments AGAINST - that the DON'T promote democracy
          • Disproportionate Influence
            • Not all PGs have the same amount of influence. Some insider groups have a more significant influence by being able to sit inside Congress.
              • For example, the US Chamber of Commerce has a lot of influence over legislation for example less regulations and less taxes.
                • BUT it should be noted that this depends on who sits in power.
          • Finance $$$
            • Some PGs are more financially able and can therefore create larger and more influential TV ads etc.
              • For example, the Brady Campaign has to rely on smaller and more dedicated activists and cannot compete with, say, the NRA.
          • Size
            • Size can be an extremely influential factor as those who are larger can, aruably, be more likely to be listened to in Congress.
              • For example, the US Chamber of Commerce represents a large section of society - both big and small businesses. Equally the American Labour Union could make the country come to a stand still if it were to go on strike.
                • BUT, it should also be noted as a counter point that size is not necessarily enough. The Stop the War Coalition raised large protest marches but that did not stop the Bush administration from going into Iraq
          • Digitalised Democracy
            • The increase in social media can be a good thing, bc it means that news and information can beome widespread very quickly.

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