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Explain Three Ways in Which Pressure Groups Exert Influence

Autor:   •  April 20, 2017  •  Essay  •  977 Words (4 Pages)  •  79 Views

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1.        Explain three ways in which pressure groups exert influence.        (May 2013)

One way in which pressure groups exert influence is through parliamentary lobbying. Pressure groups are likely to be at their most effective when policies are being drafted, are at their discussion stage or are in a detailed implementation stage. Therefore, insider groups which have contacts with senior civil servants and ministers will be able to have a major input into new legislation. The contacts may be formal - involving official discussions with ministers and detailed negotiation with civil servants - or more informal, involving an exchange of views and opinions. These contacts may be enhanced by 'social' connections, such as public school or university friendships, trade union relationships. It is not only the groups which gain from this process: the government gains also, by finding out useful information which would not otherwise be available to it and by gaining cooperation from organizations which may be required to put new measures into operation. The implementation stage of legislation offers a further opportunity for pressure groups to exert influence. This is mainly concerned with the details, but much legislation does not become operative until secondary legislation (in the form of statutory instruments) is issued by the appropriate minister, and it is possible for groups to enter into detailed negotiations on points of concern to their members or even to delay for a considerable period. For example, many deafblind people took part in a lobby of Parliament organised by Sense and Deafblind UK that led to the introduction of the Deafblind Guidance.                                                                                                                                     Another method pressure exert influence is through direct action. Direct action occurs when a group takes an action which is intended to reveal an existing problem, highlight an alternative, or demonstrate a possible solution to a social issue. This can include nonviolent and less often violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the direct action participants. The aim of direct action is to either obstruct another political agent or political organization from performing some practice to which the activists object; or to solve perceived problems which traditional societal institutions have failed to address to the satisfaction of the direct action participants. For example, On 19 May 2004, an alert was caused when two members of the group threw purple flour bombs at Tony Blair during Prime Minister's Questions at the House of Commons. Charged with public order offences, activist Guy Harrison was fined £600, and Ron Davis given a conditional discharge.
A third way of exerting influence is through the courts. Increasingly, pressure groups have sought to use the courts as a means of challenging the decisions of the executive. The European Court of Human Rights has also proved to be very useful to pressure groups, both in reversing decisions of the executive, in embarrassing the government and in enforcing changes in policy or practice. This was shown in the example in which, the McLibel Two won a case against the government on the grounds that they had not had a fair trial because of the operation of the libel laws
the Countryside Alliance is taking a case to the ECHR arguing that their human rights have been infringed because hunting is banned.

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