Assignment First



这里提出的一个论点是,在支持亲资本家的同时,政府可能不会加强可能与他们的利益相抵触的政策。因此,对公众的责任减少(Burkett, 2013)。为了证明这一点,人们注意到,工会以外的压力团体往往是中产阶级和富裕阶层的创业联盟。因此,隔离社会群体的利益在这里得到了更多的重视,穷人和处境不利的人可能得不到充分的代表。一些少数民族可能没有积极参与压力集团的工作。

也可能有资金支持的压力集团会以名义运作,但很难影响任何政治决策(Rowbottom, 2010)。许多压力集团的存在导致了一种普遍的看法,即他们对治理有重大影响,但这可能是向公众灌输的一个扭曲的事实。事实上,他们的影响力可能微乎其微。

在20世纪40年代至70年代的这段时间里,人们认为,国家政治政策的制定受到商业和工会等少数压力团体的很大影响。这是一个团体主义或三党主义的框架。这些压力集团有更多的以自我为中心的利益,而且似乎没有意识到他们的权力应该带来的更大的国家问题。他们也有巨大的否决权,这意味着民主的多元主义主张大大减少。在20世纪70年代,一些以福利为导向的压力团体在处理住房问题和儿童贫困行动问题时造成了一种高期望的局面。由于政府不能满足期望时产生的高期望,导致了政府的问题(Grant, 2003)。对民主的信念又一次产生了。虽然没有压力集团的政治制度是无法替代的,但有必要了解压力集团的临界点。只有到那时,才有可能找出压力集团扭曲英国民主的方式。


Empirical studies on pressure groups, lobbying and the MPs in the Parliament suggest that more than 21 out of 31 lobbyists and 17 out of 25 journalists that were queried believed that lobbyists working in the corporate sector need to improve more. Although they are communicating with the MPs, they are not as good in communicating with the MPs as they think so. In fact, 20 percent of MPs that were queried seemed to indicate that charities and pressure groups were much more efficient when it came to terms with influencing policies than the lobbyists. This shows that pressure groups are in fact much more powerful when it comes to reshaping democracy. How far the powers of pressure groups are checked and are there reasons to believe that pressure groups might distort British democracy. This essay attempts to analyze the role played by pressure group with emphasis on how the pressure groups might end up distorting more than enhancing the British democracy.
An argument made here is that in favoring the pro-capitalists, the Government might not enhance policies which might be averse to their interests. Accountability to the public hence reduces (Burkett, 2013). As of proving this point, it has been noticed that pressure groups other than trade unions are often the venture coalition of middle class and the affluent sector. The interest of segregated social groups is hence given more importance here and the poor and the disadvantaged might be under represented. Some ethnic minority groups might not have active participation in the pressure group’s work.
There might also be under funded pressure groups that would operate as a name sake but would hardly be able to influence any political decision making (Rowbottom, 2010). The existence of many pressure groups leads to the popular belief that they have a major influence on the governance, but this could be a distorted truth fed to the public. In fact, they might have very little influence.
In the time period from 1940s to the 1970s, the national political policy making was seen to be very much influenced by few pressure groups such as the business and trade unions alone. This was a framework of corporatism or tripartism. These pressure groups had more self-centered interests and did not seem to appreciate much larger issues for the country as should have come with their power. They had enormous veto rights as well and this meant that the pluralist claim of the democracy was very much reduced. In the 1970’s, some welfare oriented pressure groups created a situation of high expectations when they were working with Shelter issues and also issues of Child Poverty Action. Because of the high expectations that were created when the Government was not able to meet the expectations, it leads to problems for the government (Grant, 2003). A belief in the democracy was once again created. Although a political system with no pressure group cannot be an alternative, it is necessary for the critical points on pressure group to be understood. Only then it will be possible to identify the ways pressure groups end up distorting British Democracy.