Pressure group is defined as a non-profit and usually voluntary organization whose member have a common cause for which they seek to influence political or corporate decision makers to achieve a declared objective but not to elected candidates to office. They can also be described as ‘interest groups’, ‘lobby groups’ or ‘protest groups’. The aim of all pressure groups is to influence the people who actually have the power to make decisions. Pressure groups do not look for the power of political office but seek influence the decisions made by those who hold the political power such as cabinet. They are sometimes able to gather sufficient support to force government to amend or even scrap legislation. Pressure group direct their efforts toward influencing legislative, executive branches of government, political parties and sometimes general public opinion. Pressure groups also state that, together with the right to vote and the right to petition, one of main forms is people can make their voices heard in democratic system. The term ‘pressure group’ is relatively recent and fresh, but people in the early stage already tried to organised a groups or activities that can influence government decision before the modern age of representative democracy. For example, a pressure group that tried to fight for the resist of slavery arise since 1787 onwards. In 1839, Anti-Corn Law Leagues was a successful political movement in Great Britain which influenced government. Antislavery and temperance organizations start to pioneer pressure group politics while the other inspiration for the early pressure group were religious mass organizations. Modern pressure groups always being critized that the presence of this group has corrupted the political system however the pressure group had become accepted and viewed as an integral and necessary part of the political process since 1860s. In this research, we want to investigate pressure groups from definition, history and background of pressure group, type and function of pressure group. We are also identify the research question for our topic that is the advantages and disadvantages of the pressure group, how does the pressure groups help the public, and lastly we want to investigate whether pressure groups can enhance democracy or otherwise. Before we start our research, we have make a hypothesis that pressure group is benefit to public and the presence of them can enhance democracy system. To complete the research, we collect data and information by surfing through internet, survey among the UTAR colleague, interview with Professor Dr. Mansor Mohd Noor and referring to journals. Pressure groups are basically classified into 4 broad categories that is anomic, associational, non-associational and institutional. Pressure groups not only act as a pressure site who protect the welfare of public but they also provide a means for popular participation, provide specialist knowledge to government, raises issues that political parties won’t touch due to sensitivity, educating people in political issues and represent minorities who cannot represent themselves. Beside this, they have the right to criticise government, to hold meetings, to protest and to make their views known by using the media. However, they only can make their criticism base on facts. When a meeting is holding, they should ensure the meeting peaceful and legal. Before holding a protest, they should inform local authorities and the police. Lastly, they have the responsibility not to intimidate.
Acts of policy are now decide by the interplay of thousands of conflicting interesrt groups, and cabinet ministers are little more than chairmen of arbitration committees. Their opinion play virtually no part in shaping decisions which they subsequently defend with passion. When everyone’s wishes count, nobody’s opinions matter. There are no doubt many explanations of this despairing (and, I would...
References: Bone A. H., 1958. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Vol. 319, pp. 83-319.
Global Advanced Research Journal of Social Science (GARJSS) Vol. 3(2) pp. 015-024, Available online http://garj.org/garjmms/index.htm access on 1 November 2014.
McKenzie R.T., 1958. Parties, Pressure Groups and the British Political Process. Vol. 29 ( 1 ), pp. xx.
Okeke,2014. Pressure groups and policy process in Nigeria: a case of fourth republic. Nigeria: Vincent Onyekwelu Sunday Phd.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document