US Interest Groups

US Interest Groups

Advantages

  • Allow for representation of minority views
  • Allows for pluralist democracy
  • Increases participation in between elections
  • Scrutinises government
  • Voters more concerned with single issue politics as shown by low turnout (in 2014 turnout was 36.7%)

Disadvantages

  • Can lead to tyranny of the minority
  • Can lead to hyper pluralism
  • Frequent elections (2 years for House of Reps) mean participation is already high. Membership of an interest group does not necessarily mean active - sofa membership
  • Pressure groups are not accountable
  • Influencing an elected body may be seen as undermining representative democracy
  • Elitist argument that pressure groups with money have more influence
  • Lobbying of pressure groups can lead to the Iron Triangle e.g. John Boehner hired by Squire Patton Boggs

Evaluation

IGs are more harmful to democracy than beneficial

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