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Are pressure groups the truest form of democracy? Watch

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    Ideas towards this question, please?
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    (Original post by Mr Inquisitive)
    Ideas towards this question, please?
    democracy is not people deciding how their country is run. its people deciding who to decide how their country is run

    populism is people choosing exactly how their country is run.


    in the years between two general elections a ruling party has autocratic control
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    Methinks I had this question back when I was doing my A-levels.

    But the answer is no, they're not. If your going to go for 'true' democracy then the truest form is direct democracy. Pressure groups are just another aspect of representative democracy.
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    No. There are plenty of professional pressure groups around who are paid by businesses to get what is in their best interests.

    Example: Food industry spent over 1billion EUR to prevent food labelling, because they had the money and resources available to them to block it.
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    (Original post by FireDeuce)
    No. There are plenty of professional pressure groups around who are paid by businesses to get what is in their best interests.

    Example: Food industry spent over 1billion EUR to prevent food labelling, because they had the money and resources available to them to block it.
    Excellent point, thank you very much.

    Also, what points could I make for them being the truest form of democracy? (As it's a discussion question, I'll probably have to argue both arguments and come to a stated conclusion).

    - Thank you for all your help.
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    No. Pressure groups don't often represent popular interests, and literally serve the aims of the governing bodies of the organisation.

    That's not to say they are useless or without value. But their purpose really is to force the hand of government policy in a particular way. think of Greenpeace or the RSPCA. Both groups identify concern areas in society, and push government to act in a certain way. It's not democratic, since the many may not necessarily care about the environment or animal welfare.
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    Also consider the assumption that pressure groups are "expert" at what they're pressuring the government about. E.g. we assume the RSPCA are the experts on animal welfare. That might be the case with the RSPCA but it's not the case with all pressure groups, so the idea they will pressure the government to make things better is questionable. It might be pressure for the thinly veiled personal gain of those connected with the pressure group.

    Some pressure groups, like Greenpeace, have received funding from the government, so that's something else you might consider as being anti-democratic... government funding a pressure group to pressure itself.
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    Not sure if this is a test or ur just revising 4 ur exams. Ive just done an essay on the same topic for 25 marks and have attached it along with my tutors comments. Hope it helps. Good luck with ur studying, u doing Edexcel G&P AS exams in January?
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    (Original post by twl)
    Also consider the assumption that pressure groups are "expert" at what they're pressuring the government about. E.g. we assume the RSPCA are the experts on animal welfare. That might be the case with the RSPCA but it's not the case with all pressure groups, so the idea they will pressure the government to make things better is questionable. It might be pressure for the thinly veiled personal gain of those connected with the pressure group.

    Some pressure groups, like Greenpeace, have received funding from the government, so that's something else you might consider as being anti-democratic... government funding a pressure group to pressure itself.
    Do you have any evidence that Greenpeace receives or has received government funding?
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    (Original post by jamesman13)
    democracy is not people deciding how their country is run. its people deciding who to decide how their country is run

    populism is people choosing exactly how their country is run.
    I once watched a dog rape a cat on the Osbornes, so believe me when I say that I have seen some very wrong things in my lifetime. That post is the most wrong.
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    I would argue not.

    Well, "Democracy", is where the supreme power is vested in either "the people" or a group of people chosen by "the people".

    I personally don't really believe in "direct democracy" because to an extent its impossible to work without some sort of top-down administrative infrastructure at least. But, to an extent, active prssure groups could be a form of direct democracy, but...

    In a direct democracy one would question their use:
    The principle behind direct democracies is that they place value in every voter as equal. But if you have a small group of people exercising propoganda and advertisement tools, you effectively develop an active political class that hold a larger sway over other voters than other regular voter. Other that not standing for office, they become "politicians".

    Not In a direct democracy one would more so question their use:
    In representative democracies, you hand the power over to representatives. But with pressure groups (some well financed, and this will be in many cases because of a small number of wealthy backers) you will get representatives concentrating on small organised groups of people rather than the people they represent.

    In fact, there is a fantastic Yes, Minister thing about pressure groups: why did the Dept of Education bring in Comprehensive Schools... did the parents want them, no? did the kids (in the grammars at least) want them, no? did the people want them, no? But, the teachers union wanted them, so the Dept of Education gave into pressure and listened to them.

    So yeah, pressure groups I am not a fan of.
 
 
 
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