To What Extent Do Pressure Groups Strengthen Pluralist Democracy?

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In general pressure groups are seen as an important element in modern democracy however they can also be seen as undemocratic. Pluralist democracy is the idea that democracy represents multiple different sections and groups and that political power is distributed in society. Pressure groups help to enhance this as they represent causes which may be ignored by the majority due to political parties and allow political power to be spread to the public as it’s a form of political participation, this allows the avoidance of dangerous concentrations of power. Evidently pressure groups are effective and enhance pluralist democracy as governments pay attention to pressure groups and consider the demands and decide to consent to them influencing any decisions, this shows they are accepting and know the effect pressure groups have as the government has not restricted creation and action of pressure groups. In addition a function of pressure groups is to inform and educate the public, this allow improvement of democracy as the electorate can make a more informed decision in political participation, such as the general election and referendums. This may also encourage more political participation as there are more options and pressure group activity is focused and accessible as action varies from donating to protesting. The fact that there are many pressure groups and of a variety supports pluralism, also competition is created in open forum for public and governmental attention. However pressure groups can also be seen to weaken pluralist democracy. Pressure groups should be increasing the effect of pluralism when some pressure groups may distribute their resources unevenly, as some pressure groups may hold a disproportionate amount of power. For example some sections of society are poorly represented if at all such as housewives and pedestrians. Also, pressure groups can be
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