‘Pressure groups undermine democracy and distort the political process’

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Danimillie
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#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#1
To what extent do you agree?
I'm writing an essay and have basic points on pressure groups widening/concentrating power, giving a voice etc but what are some other good points that could be used? Thanks
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scrotgrot
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#2
Report 6 years ago
#2
Democracy is majoritarian. Some groups are too small ever to command a majority and yet are in dire need of political support. The disabled, for example.

Representation is lossy. One MP represents tens of thousands of constituents. The party system further restricts the MP's ability to campaign and vote according to his convictions. The five-year election cycle means there is a huge gap between the issues on which a candidate is elected and those on which he is required to vote. Pressure groups fill the gaps left by our democratic deficit.

Therefore, pressure groups do undermine democracy. But, in my view, largely because democracy is imperfect and ought to be undermined.
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Danimillie
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#3
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#3
(Original post by scrotgrot)
Democracy is majoritarian. Some groups are too small ever to command a majority and yet are in dire need of political support. The disabled, for example.

Representation is lossy. One MP represents tens of thousands of constituents. The party system further restricts the MP's ability to campaign and vote according to his convictions. The five-year election cycle means there is a huge gap between the issues on which a candidate is elected and those on which he is required to vote. Pressure groups fill the gaps left by our democratic deficit.

Therefore, pressure groups do undermine democracy. But, in my view, largely because democracy is imperfect and ought to be undermined.
thanks!
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sleepysnooze
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#4
Report 6 years ago
#4
1) can be plutocratic and not meritocratic in certain respects, such as very rich groups representing business, or trade unions
2) limits democratic accountability if people can't be sure who's responsible for which decisions (e.g. trade union groups, e.g. the NUT and the associations of teachers might make policies independently from the ministry yet the minister is the only person who can be held to account by parliament, and if a pressure group gets their facts wrong and conveys it to parliament, who's in the wrong? parliament or the non-transparent pressure group?)
3) sometimes, expertise and expert opinion can be contrary to the popular will - the current scientific consensus, for example, is that the war on drugs is failing/has failed - if the government listened and legislated this opinion, would they have democratic support from the voters?
4) sometimes, powerful trade union(/esque) groups can limit the power of the democratically elected institution (parliament) if they choose to veto/strike against new decisions which are theoretically supported by the voters - think of the recent juniour doctors strikes; our elected parliament, for better or worse, passed new NHS laws democratically, yet they are negating its progress by not implementing the decision as public servants
etc

but:
1) a parliament that is given expert knowledge is a more technically efficient parliament; without pressure groups having influence over certain state industries (e.g. health, agriculture, transport, etc), then governments might be completely clueless because they do not have the time and resources that other groups (outside government) have to gather information and facts involved in important matters
2) everybody is free to lobby their government - there is nothing stopping people - you simply need to give government a reason to listen; trade unions of public sectors have strike power, charities and other cause groups have collective representative legitimacy of public opinion in some matters, and some groups have information that can be extremely important for the government to know - it punctuates the limitedness of party platforms.
3) sometimes, pressure groups are the only people who will even mention issues that many people might still support while not raising on the door step with their local MPs/prospective MPs

I am a saint. I just did your homework.
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Danimillie
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#5
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#5
(Original post by sleepysnooze)
1) can be plutocratic and not meritocratic in certain respects, such as very rich groups representing business, or trade unions
2) limits democratic accountability if people can't be sure who's responsible for which decisions (e.g. trade union groups, e.g. the NUT and the associations of teachers might make policies independently from the ministry yet the minister is the only person who can be held to account by parliament, and if a pressure group gets their facts wrong and conveys it to parliament, who's in the wrong? parliament or the non-transparent pressure group?)
3) sometimes, expertise and expert opinion can be contrary to the popular will - the current scientific consensus, for example, is that the war on drugs is failing/has failed - if the government listened and legislated this opinion, would they have democratic support from the voters?
4) sometimes, powerful trade union(/esque) groups can limit the power of the democratically elected institution (parliament) if they choose to veto/strike against new decisions which are theoretically supported by the voters - think of the recent juniour doctors strikes; our elected parliament, for better or worse, passed new NHS laws democratically, yet they are negating its progress by not implementing the decision as public servants
etc

but:
1) a parliament that is given expert knowledge is a more technically efficient parliament; without pressure groups having influence over certain state industries (e.g. health, agriculture, transport, etc), then governments might be completely clueless because they do not have the time and resources that other groups (outside government) have to gather information and facts involved in important matters
2) everybody is free to lobby their government - there is nothing stopping people - you simply need to give government a reason to listen; trade unions of public sectors have strike power, charities and other cause groups have collective representative legitimacy of public opinion in some matters, and some groups have information that can be extremely important for the government to know - it punctuates the limitedness of party platforms.
3) sometimes, pressure groups are the only people who will even mention issues that many people might still support while not raising on the door step with their local MPs/prospective MPs

I am a saint. I just did your homework.
Thank you! Don't worry I wont copy haha, just needed some of these really good points to add in!
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davidcameron69
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#6
Report 6 years ago
#6
hope you fail your alevels hehe
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aishah2001
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#7
Report 3 years ago
#7
(Original post by davidcameron69)
hope you fail your alevels hehe
Your just sick in the head
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Danimillie
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#8
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#8
Its okay, they didn't get their wish I got A*AAB! Good karma for me, hey!
(Original post by aishah2001)
Your just sick in the head
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