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Pressure groups enable new concerns and issues to reach the political agenda, thereby facilitating social progress and preventing social stagnation.For example, the women’s and environmentalist movements.
This is a good thing as everyone as a whole is being accepted and a broad range of people’s rights are being considered including minorities.
This is very democratic as everyone is accounted for and everyone’s interest are represented in decision making whether you are involved or inactive. This is defined as pluralism, as they spread power more evenly and widely.
Pressure groups enable particular interests and causes to be heard and to exert influence in public decision and decision-making.
Yet it is precisely the representation of specialist interests and of single issues which may give cause for concern, both in terms of the methods used to achieve objectives and of the undue power and influence which particular lobbies can exert.
For some, pressure groups are a fundamental part of democracy.
To others, pressure groups undermine the whole principle of democracy.
They complement and supplement electoral democracy in two main ways: first, by providing an important mechanism by which citizens can influence government between elections; and second by enabling opinions to be weighed as well as counted. Consultation with affected groups is the rational way to make decisions in a free society.
It makes government more efficient by enhancing the quality of the decision making process – the information and advice provided by groups helps to improve the quality of government policy and legislation.
Large-scale demonstrations mounted by any group may lead to unpleasant clashes without the police, sometimes involving militants with their own agenda.
This level of civil disobedience cannot be justified in today’s democratic system.