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Examining The Ways A Pressure Group Contributes To Representative Democracy

826 words - 3 pages

Examining the Ways a Pressure Group Contributes to Representative Democracy

In a representative democracy, citizens elect representatives to make
decisions for them. In doing this, citizens hand over the
responsibility for making decisions to someone else. In Britian
voters elect members of parliament’s (MPs) to represent them every
four to five years and this makes the representatives in some way
accountable to the electorate. However many are unsatisfied with their
representation and join pressure groups to make their views heard. The
question is, is this good or bad for our democracy?

Pluralism is the way in which the electorate joins groups to have an
effect on government. Many pro-pluralists believe pluralism exists to
stop the perceived failures of a representative democracy. They think
pluralism contributes to representative democracy because people are
denied influence between elections. Furthermore they add that
manifesto promises are usually broken, with no repercussions on the
government. Pressure groups like Greenpeace, put pressure on the
government to not do this.

Another good reason for pressure groups is people are denied influence
between elections and even in elections a single vote doesn’t have
much of an affect on the outcome. In addition to this the one vote
doesn’t’t represent the variation in intensity with which views are
held for whether or not this is a pro-pluralist or anti-pluralist
factor is subject to opinion. However one thing is for sure, four to
five years is a long time for the electorate to not have a say in
their government. New issues come up and popular opinion changes,
having pressure groups allow the population to be heard more regularly
- something which is surely good for a democracy which is meant to
represent the people.

Many people thing the system of having pressure groups complements a
representative democracy because surely the right to join groups is a
mark of a free society. Many people think minority voices are
generally unheeded; pressure groups mean that these minorities can be
heard more effectively an example of this is the pressure group Gay
lib.

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