How are pressure groups bad for democracy?

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  • The quality of participation offered by pressure groups is often low, even where group memebership is high. Many members do little more than pay their annual membership fee. This is referred to as 'passive' or 'cheque book membership.'
  • Many pressure groups lack legitimacy because they exhibit low levels of internal democracy.
  • Many non-membership groups are simply fronts for wealthy and influential business interests who may have little interest in the greater public good. (This is true of many core insider groups).
  • Pressure groups do not compete on an equal finance footing. Poorer groups find it far harder to access the policy-making process.
  • Human resources are also an issue. 


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