‘to What Extent Do Pressure Groups Promote Political Participation in the Uk?’

737 Words3 Pages
The political participation of people are now less inclined towards political parties than they once were, and instead care about pressure groups. The membership change has been entirely and devastatingly negative: since thatcher, the membership of the party had halved, and since 1945, the membership has quartered. The majority of the people have become disillusioned with their political party. Now, people have been joining pressure groups instead: Greenpeace has doubled its members since 1950. This growth has meant that political activity has shifted towards pressure groups. This is incredibly important, as we need to question whether this change will increase or decrease political participation. Pressure group members are usually more active than those who simply are members of a political party. For example, Fathers 4 Justice is incredibly active, painting people purple outside Parliament, for example. The nature of political groups means they can actively do this and commit acts that MPs would not be seen to do because of the nature of their role. Pressure group activists have a lot more leeway in what they can do. However, this can be seen as detrimental, as it means pressure groups are unaccountable for the actions they do, and may cause severe damage or disruption. For example, the Occupy movement in London caused a lot of distress for those who were using the roads, and especially the church, due to the location of the protests. This level of disruption imposed onto many people may make people apathetic towards politics, and wish to distance them, making political participation drop. Moreover, the idea that political pressure groups lead to larger political activity by its members is questioned by many: pressure groups create ‘chequebook participation’. This means, although membership and funds of a pressure group may be high political participation moves
Open Document