Pressure Groups and Democracy

506 Words3 Pages
How useful have Pressure groups been in supporting Democracy? (25) Pressure groups are informal, organised groups which seek to promote a cause or a section of society, often by influencing the Govt, Parliament or the public. They are a feature of democracy as their presence leads to corporatism, i.e. the process by which government and pressure groups hold consultative talks which is a further feature of Pluralism (diverse economic, social and political centres). The presence and power of pressure groups in a state depends on a number of factors. Pressure groups can be reached out by the govt or can keep themselves from it. However, there are numerous factors which make pressure groups a backbone of democracy while other factors undermine it. Pressure groups enhance pluralism, which is a characteristic of democracy, as it encourages competing centres of power, representation and choice. Especially true where pro and anti- groups coexist, depicting all shades of opinion. Moreove, they fill gaps in the party system, by promoting causes which cut across party lines, esp by promoting moral and local issues, such as abortion, capital punishment, etc. Furthermore, they provide channels of collective influence and power for the public where individual action may be inaffectual and weak. Also, they provide channels of direct participation for the public through Parliament, by going beyond mere indirect participation. They provide channels of communication between the government and the governed, making it convenient for both to represent their views and reach conclusions. They seek to represent inarticulate and deprived sections of the society, such as, Help the aged. Moreover, Protective droups, which seek to protect their members as a section of the society, are usually internally democratic, in that memebers elect leaders. Trade Unions especially are representative of
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