Why Might Different Pressure Groups Use Different Methods in Their Attempts to Influence the Government

1829 Words Mar 4th, 2013 8 Pages
‘Why might different pressure groups use different methods in their methods in their attempts to influence government’.

Pressure groups are groups of like minded individuals who come together on the basis of shared interests or a commonly held cause in order to put pressure on policy makers at Westminster and beyond. Pressure groups are significantly more numerous than political parties because whereas the parties tend to aggregate and accommodate a wide range of views in an effort to see their candidate elected to public off, pressure groups have a tendency to fragment opinion. Recent years have seen the emergence of looser social movements and more focused single-issue groups, replacing larger, more traditional groups as a fundamental
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As we have seen, some groups have regular contact with government over a broad range of related issues. These core insider groups have the ability to influence the formulation policy at an early stage through consultation with ministers, civil servants and government appointed bodies working on legislative proposals. Many larger groups employ lobbyists to pursue their legislative goals and some maintain permanent Westminster offices.

Litigation can be an effective, if expensive, pressure group tactics. Such actions can work on four levels: where a court finds that the government has acted in a manner beyond the authority granted it. Secondly, where thee rules in place appear to violate EU law, thirdly, where an Act of Parliament or action of a public official is deemed to be incompatible with the Human Rights At 1988. And finally, where, ‘win’ or ‘lose’ litigation raises public awareness of a particular issue – as in the case of the Pro-life Alliance’s challenges over the application of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act.

Pressure groups routinely seek to cultivate links with political parties, with a view to influencing the formation of policy once the party in question secures power. Such relationships are far harder to develop when a party is in government, as rhe government is likely to be subject to far greater demands on its time and the policy making process is necessarily more ‘top down’. The easiest time for pressure groups to gain a

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