To what extent do
1.1 Overall statement E.G. there are many
arguments on both sides of the scale.
1.1.1 State what my opinion is.
184.108.40.206 Yes, they do enhance democracy, as
they provide an additional avenue for
participation, at a time when some
other more traditional forms are
2 Paragraph 1: Yes they do
2.1 Point 1
2.1.1 Pressure groups acts as crucial channels of communication
between people and government. They express public opinion,
transmit public demands and express public attitudes to
220.127.116.11 EXAMPLE: Shelter (promotional) - campaign to end homelessness and bad
housing in England and Scotland and are fighting for laws and policies to
2.2 Point 2
2.2.1 The decline in the importance and status of parties in recent times has made the
representative role of pressure groups especially significant. Parties are less ideological
and politics in general is more centred on issues. Pressure groups are better equipped
to represent and make demands associated with single issues.
18.104.22.168 EXAMPLE: National Union of teachers (outsider +
sectional) - fighting for fairer pay for teachers,
326,930 members in Wales and England and
achieved a 1% pay rise for teachers.
3 Paragraph 2: Yes they do
3.1 Point 1
3.1.1 Groups play an essential role in moderating the views of their more extreme
members. Without such groups, individuals with extreme views might never have
their views challenged and changed.
3.2 Point 2
3.2.1 Pressure groups allow the strength (i.e. intensity) of opinions to be
expressed, as opposed to simply counting the number of people supporting a
view - as happens at elections.
22.214.171.124 EXAMPLE: Students Against Uni Fees (insider + sectional) - The 2010 UK
student protest were a series of demonstrations in November and December,
held in opposition to planned spending cuts to further education and increase
of the cap on tuition fees by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition
4 Paragraph 3: No they don't
4.1 Point 1
4.1.1 The quality of participation offered by pressure groups
is often very low, even where membership is high. Many
members do little more than pay their annual
membership fee. This is referred to as 'passive
membership' or 'cheque-book membership'.
126.96.36.199 EXAMPLE: Greenpeace (outsider + promotional) - 2.9 million members,
some of which do not participate with anything the party do.
4.2 Point 2
4.2.1 pressure groups do not compete on
an equal financial footing. Less
wealthy groups find it far harder to
access the policy-making process.
188.8.131.52 EXAMPLE: Fathers for Justice (outsider + sectional) - rely on size and
equality of membership and the availability of technical skills (human
resource) such as, in November 2004 member Jason Hatch climbed the
walls of Buckingham Palace dressed as batman.
5 Paragraph 4: No they don't
5.1 Point 1
5.1.1 Groups tend to be more successful
where they have articulate, educated
leading members. This tends to favour
groups run by the middle classes, thus
favouring elitism over pluralism.
184.108.40.206 EXAMPLE: Confederation of British Industry - the UK's premier business
lobbying organisation providing a voice for empolyers at a national and
5.2 Point 2
5.2.1 Pressure group activity gets in the way of joined-up
220.127.116.11 EXAMPLE: Animal Liberation Front - method of direct
action (violence), the raid on Oxford Laboratory
Animal Colonies in Bicester
6.1 UNDERMINE DEMOCRACY: as they give unnecessary influence to wealthy,
well-educated groups (elitism over pluralism), they hinder the government's
efforts to deliver joined-up government and many groups lack legitimacy.
provide people the
chance to get their
voices heard and
get involved with