Pressure Groups Activity in the Uk Presents a Major Threat to Democracy. Evaluate the Arguments in Favour of This View

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Pressure groups activity in the UK presents a major threat to democracy. Evaluate the arguments in favour of this view (25 marks) Pressure groups aim to influence government policy without seeking election itself. The actions of pressure groups challenge and influence democracy as well as being beneficial to democracy in the UK as pressure groups challenge policies and put pressure on the government to change them. On the other hand pressure groups only represent a minority of people’s views and aren’t considered a major threat to democracy. Robert Dahl and Charles Lindbolm suggest a pluralist view of democracy suggesting that pressure groups are beneficial to democracy. They enable political participation in national and local politics providing a role for individuals in the system. The work of pressure groups monitors the government and holds it to account and as a result can leak and expose information. As pressure groups aim to influence public policies either by direct action or lobbying and raising awareness of an issue as groups compete to influence policies and the government may take advice from them. Furthermore pressures groups are essential to democracy as they give the opportunity for minorities such as ethnic groups and genders to express distinctive points of view, encouraging people to become involved with decision making and public life forming a link between the government and the people. Also as you are only allowed to vote every 4 years and people may not agree with some decisions made by the government by joining a pressure group they can speak out against the government’s decisions ensuring their democratic powers are used. Pressure groups sometimes gain huge support and can force government to make changes to legislation. An example being the Countryside March in March 1998 where around 300,000 people went to London to protest about
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