Essays On Interest Groups

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Interest Groups and Political Parties

The “advocacy explosion” in the United States in the 20th century has been caused by the extreme increase in the number of interest groups in the United States. The general public views the increase and the groups themselves as a cancer that has come to the body of American politics and is spreading. The explosion in the number of interest groups and interest group members and finances has had an effect on the decline of the American political party and partisanship, the effect on democracy and the public interest, and the bias that has come with interest group competition.

The advocacy explosion is strongly linked to the decline of the American political party and the role of the…show more content…

Berry points out that “The independence of American legislators from their party is aided and abetted by interest groups” (Berry, 49). The party will support a candidate in the election, in the vast majority of cases, regardless of how they vote on most issues. Interest groups have the option of not supporting the candidate or supporting them to a lesser degree. This option allows for the interest group to wield power over the candidate.

Almost the entire point of an interest group is to gain influence over governmental officials and political goods. Steven Schier in his book By Invitation Only points out that interest groups use activation strategies in order to help them accomplish three goals “(1) getting and keeping members, (2) employing grassroots pressure upon officials, and (3) convincing the public of the worthiness of group causes” (Schier, 156). These three methods of activation contribute to the decline of political parties. Getting and keeping members takes money that could be used for political parties and gives it to the interest groups. Although the interest groups give some of the money back to the parties in the form of soft money contributions the vast majority is used to press other interest group ideas. The use of grassroots pressure upon officials by interest groups allows for the cause of the interest group to take precedence over the cause of the party. Politicians want to be re-elected. If official feel that the public has a

The Influence Of Political Interest Groups

Political interest groups have had a profound influence over important governmental decisions throughout the history of the United States. James Madison believed that everyone is self-interested; therefore, interest groups are an assemblage of individuals who share the same self-interest acting together to obtain goals beyond individual reach in complex societies. These interest groups are highly organized factions that have a certain agenda that is important to them. In order to ensure their agenda is protected, these groups will often lobby various levels of government, have new laws or regulations instituted that will aid their agenda, or argue against possible laws, codes, or regulations that might harm their interests of agendas. There are citizens who firmly believe that a plethora of interest groups is good for democracy; however, some people believe that interest groups are slowly eroding democracy, are only interested in personal gain, and should be limited in number.
In the United States, there are roughly 300 million self-interested people governed by less than six-hundred representatives. With the general populace greatly outnumbering the representatives elected, not every individual self-interested person’s view on the world can be heard through the general democratic process; therefore, people with similar self-interests bond together to create interests groups to let their voices and opinions be heard. With the general population being that large, there are bound to be many interest groups “that are, and should be, free to compete for influence in the government because the outcome of this competition leads to compromise and moderation” (Ginsberg 17).
In Daniel Pinello’s, America’s Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage, interest groups were trying to influence the government to vote for or against legalizing same-sex marriage. With many different competing interest groups, the way to achieve democratic success is to find a middle ground, a compromise. Groups for the equality of gay marriage, such as the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and Basic Rights Oregon, had to compromise with the groups opposing it, such as the Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) and the Massachusetts Catholic Coalition (MCC), because otherwise the government would achieve nothing. Before the Massachusetts decision, the establishment of legal civil unions was that compromise. These unions gave all the rights and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples without blemishing the establishment of marriage, but these unions were not inherently equal. Civil unions only gives equal rights at state level and exempts someone from federal benefits, such as inheriting social security after your spouse dies. Massachusetts was the first to agree that civil unions were unacceptable because they were unequal in name, but only because multiple interest groups were bonded together. With competing interest groups,...

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Impact of Interest Groups on American Elections

2530 words - 10 pages The Impact of Interest Groups on American ElectionsI. IntroductionIndeed, it was James Madison in Federalist 10 that said that factions are groups that unite to serve selfish goals, not the national interest. It is necessary to control them through constitutional means, one of which is the creation of a large republic, which helps disperse factions and to reduce their influence on the national legislature. Madison in his paper is...

How do interest rates influence the rate of inflation

1594 words - 6 pages Inflation is a sustained increase in the general price level (and a fall in the real purchasing power of money). The rate of inflation is normally measured by a consumer price index, such as the Retail Price Index in the UK (which measures the annualised rate of change in prices over the preceding year). The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England meets...

Role of Interest Groups in the Decision Making Process of the European Union

2386 words - 10 pages At present, there are approximately 3,000 different interest groups that are formally recognized by the European Union (Kirchner 2011). These interest groups represent a variety of interests and vary in the amount of influence that they actually have on the policy making process. These groups represent the interest of multiple sectors of both social and economic life within the European Union. Interests range from AGRICULTURE to BIG BUSINESS...

The Influence of Pressure Groups on the Government

2706 words - 11 pages 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. The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade was led by William Wilberforce and Thomas ...

P.E.T.A -The Protection of the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Special Interest Groups)

540 words - 2 pages Saving our Fellow Earthlings (PETA)An interest group is just about any collection of people trying to influence government policy. Some of the groups are transient while others are permanent. Some groups influence a particular policy while others focus on broad changes. Both the judicial and legislative sectors of our government are influenced by...

Explain the Importance of groups. Elaborate on the significance and the influence of the informal groups in an Organization?

959 words - 4 pages Organization it self is defined as group of people coming together to achieve common objectives. A group is not just a collection of people. It is considered as a set of two and more interacting individuals to achieve certain goals and meet certain needs. These groups work in a systematic manner (Structure, hierarchy) and use the resources of the organization to...

Influence of Religion on Political Decisions in the Public Sphere

2277 words - 9 pages Influence of Religion on Political Decisions in the Public Sphere A religion can refer to a specific cultural system of beliefs, which establishes symbols that relate humanity to moral values and spirituality. Religions in most instances draw humanity to the worship and total reliance of a deity (Vries 46). Religions are designed under a set of traditions, symbols, narratives, and sacred histories which attempts to give life its meaning....

Economic Success and Political Influence of the Fuggers and Medicis

1230 words - 5 pages In the late fifteenth, and early sixteenth centuries the first economic Golden Age began. Two families, the Fugger's and Medici's were of immense wealth and power. Both helped to finance projects for certain people and institutions of power, like the Pope, English Monarchy and the Holy Roman Empire. Their economic success and political influence caused much turmoil then, and even more in the future. Because of the Fuggers' and Medici's wealth...

The Political Thinking and Influence of Henry David Thoreau

2166 words - 9 pages The Political Thinking and Influence of Henry David Thoreau The extent and nature of Henry David Thoreau’s commitment to social reform has long been a matter of debate among scholars. Drawing on his well-know disdain for organized politics and his focus of self-reform, some have observed that "Thoreau was no social reformer" (Goodwin 157). On the other hand, such major anti-slavery statements as "Civil Disobedience," "Slavery in...

Political Philosophy: The Übermensch’s Influence

1467 words - 6 pages The epoch of the 20th century in the world’s history is recognized as a time of crucial changes in science development, military force adjustment, well organized and disciplined army, and the supremacy of several nations. It is the time of complexity revolution in thought and ideas, an anxiety of modern thoughts. Human ideas and thoughts began to diverge from what people once believed and practiced; uncertain opinions for mankind sometimes known...

How the religious right and special interest groups are eroding American democracy.

2261 words - 9 pages Anyone who has analysed the political process of the US has noted the presence of interest groups and the influence they wield in shaping public policy. Whether they are political parties, large social movements or single-issue activists, these groups all maintain a degree of political clout in influencing their elected representatives in government. Interest groups by definition are typically made up of a collective of like-minded individuals...

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