Pressure Groups

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  • Created by: erw16
  • Created on: 08-12-17 21:13

Pressure Groups

Advantages

  • Minority groups are given a voice in law making. This was evident in the student protests against tuition fees rising and the protests against the Iraq War.
  • Experts are able to offer advice to MPs and the government. During the foot and mouth crisis, the NFU advised Parliament on how to deal with the situation and the BMA were influential in having the smoking ban passed, as they could advise on the health benefits.
  • Raise awareness of important issues to MPs and public. Greenpeace has encouraged everyone to be more aware of the environment and was influential in encouraging tax breaks for fuel efficient cars.
  • Voting in general elections. Elections only happen every five years because of the Fixed-Terms Parliament Act 2011. Pressure groups allow the public to use their democratic right to be heard in between elections.

Disadvantages

  • Wealthy, sectional groups tend to have insider links to Parliament and tend to squeeze out the voices of the smaller groups.
  • Offensive views. There is a democratic right to freedom of expression; some pressure groups still have offensive views, which could stir up community tensions. These groups whilst they are small they get a disproportionate amount of media attention due to their nature. E.g. English Defence League and Britain First.
  • Opposition. There can be direct opposition between pressure groups and this means that there can be serious civil disruptions. This means Parliament will almost always have to compromise. One example is with the LACS clashing with the CA on the hunting ban.
  • Disobedience. Pressure groups can become militant and cause civil disobedience. Some pressure groups can try and get attention through publicity stunts and protests. These can disrupt public life and cost a lot in policing. Fathers 4 Justice had trespassed onto Buckingham Palace and PETA threatened lab workers.

Evaluation

On one hand pressure groups are able to influence parliamentary law making through protests and by offering advice for laws. On the other hand pressure groups whilst they may get across their point, may not be presenting themselves in a suitable manner which means that they will not be taken seriously by the public or MPs, and will consequently won't have their view put across.Overall pressure groups do have a lot of influence in parliamentary law making, and in particular the more powerful ones, as they are able to use money to their advantage to pay for lobbyists and expensive campaigns.

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