How Do Pressure Groups Aim To Influence The Political Process?


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Richard Marsden answered
Most decisions are the outcome of processes rather than the work of an individual. Decision makers do not have time to meet all interested parties before deciding on issues. Pressure groups have to adopt tactics which may determine the status of the group.

Many pressure groups aim to gain access to ministers and civil servants at the earliest possible stage in the process of decision-making. Ministers and civil servants invite pressure groups for consultation. Insider groups have secret and close relations with the government. Therefore consultation is often and in private. Outsider groups may be invited for consultation but their effectiveness is determined by when they join the democratic process. If this is shortly after the publication of a green paper, in which a government merely outlines ideas for proposals to "test the water" of public opinion, pressure groups can often have some influence. But once a white paper is published, outlining the government's intentions, it becomes increasingly difficult for interest groups to influence policy.

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