Evaluate the extent to which Pressure Groups are a vital part of a representative democracy [30 marks]
Targets: Writing and Expression needs to be clearer
Interim conclusion, clearly addressing the set question needed at the end of every
The extent to which pressure groups - a group that tries to influence policy - are a vital part of a representative democracy can be assessed when taking into account the impact they hold on government, being absolutely necessary (vital). The system of representative democracy is one in which people elect representatives who take decisions on their behalf, these representatives can be removed in the next election if they have disregarded the wishes of their constituents. To uphold the beliefs of constituents between elections, pressure groups are - in theory - vital to upholding a representative democracy as they have the ability to cater for everyone at all times as well as compensating for the tyranny of the majority. However, in practice this has faults as the internal democracy of pressure groups as well as the increasing volumes of party membership allows the interpretation that pressure groups are not vital to representative democracy.
It can be argued that pressure groups are a vital part of a representative democracy due to their membership being open to all those that support their aim throughout the period of elections and thereby increasing political education. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 was introduced on September 15th creating a mandatory five year period between general elections unless the Prime Minister calls a snap election with the support of 2/3rd of MPs or in event of a hung parliament. Therefore, in the term of Parliament pressure groups can bridge the gap between elections influencing government attitudes and policy in order to provide a voice to the entire population (not just the electorate) and so are vital to representative democracy. This is proven by pressure groups campaigning to have an impact after the June 2016 result on leaving the European Union and the triggering of Article 50 on 29th March 2017. The European Movement UK argues that UK citizens should retain their right for EU citizenship and likewise for existing EU citizens of the UK. A cause to which they believe the 16 million people who voted against Brexit have the democratic to retain, this aim is supported by the popularity of the group whom have 47 branches and by their lobbying for continued membership on 25th October 2017 which crowdfunded £52,000. The campaigning after the period of the European Union Referendum 2016 by pro-European Union pressure groups allows the voices of the 48.1% who voted remain to agree for the best compromise in Brexit through influencing secondary legislation. Likewise, as the electorate does not encompass sections of society such as under 18 year olds, prisoners and the mentally ill pressure groups allow the voicing of sections of society. The pressure...