Pressure groups can be defined as ” organized social groups which claim to influence the behaviour of governments and administrations without seeking formal control of the government. In britain, the number of political groups are very small, whereas the number of pressure groups runs into htousands.
A pressure group can be a huge oragnization like the CBI which is the confederation of British indusrty, which represents 150, 000 business es. The are a protcetive group which seek to protect the interest of its members. In the case of CBI they represent the interest of business leaders and entreprenuers, other similar groups are the RICS which is the Royal institution of chartered surveyer. Groups can also be single issue., which focus on particular issues, such as the central are leamington residents assosaition. They represent less than 3000 household campaigning to preserve and improve the town of leamington Spa.
The aim of all pressure groups is to influence the people who actually have the power to make decisions. They seek to influence the decisions made by htose who hold the this power. Often pressure groups with the aim of gaining an advantage over them, but cometimes groups work together to achieve a common aim. They provide a means of popular participation in national politics between elections. They are sometimes able to gather sufficient support to force government to amend or even scrap legisaltion.
For exapmle in march 1998 around 3000,000 people went to london to protest about labour governments rural policies the countryside March- the government reacted by announcing plans fro a min=istry of rural affairs and by publishing a white paper inverstigating all aspects of rural life. Pressure groups also provide a means of participating on local politics between elections. In 1994 the A452 coordination group campaigned to block plans by warwickshire country council to make the A452 a dual carriageway. After the group’s intense lobbying , the council dropped the plans.
Pressure also act as a sense os specialist knowledge, and often have access to information that is highly valued by decision makers. A pressure group can use a variety of different mathods to influence law. Firstly it can inform legislators of its members preferences. Secondly it may well give money or lime to help with an election campaigne. Thirdly, its members may theaten, as a group, to vote as a bloc. By doing this they promise to help a cooperative legislator. Forthly a pressure group may speed legislation by writing bills and helping legisaltors make progressive agreements