Pressure group activity gives people hope that they can make a difference. The ruling class would rather that people put their energies into pressure group activities, which do not question the fundamentals of the system than into political activity, which seriously challenges the right of the elite to govern.
The in-egalitarian way that some groups operate increases social discontent and political instability by intensifying the sense of social frustration and injustice felt by disadvantaged and excluded sections of the population.
The Influence of Pressure Groups on the Government This essay will outline the significance to which pressure groups have an influence on government and explain how they have fared under New Labour governments.
Whilst the term ‘pressure groups’ may be relatively new, the concept itself dates back as far as 1787.
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.
Pressure groups assist the surveillance of the government by exposing information it would rather keep secret, thereby reinforcing and complementing work of opposition through political parties.
Pressure groups thereby improve the accountability of decision makers to electorates.
Pluralists believe that pressure groups overcome the democratic deficit that builds up as most people’s political participation is to cast a vote every five years, this leading to people having little or no influence over decisions made between elections, and minority views not being represented.
Pressure groups increase participation and access to the political system, thereby enhancing the quality of democracy.