The two primary ways that pressure groups such as corporations and lobbyists influence the government are through money and votes. Both are extremely important to elected officials, who are challenged to find a balance between the promises they make to citizens when they are elected, the gifts they accept in getting elected and the promises they make to special interest groups.
In the United States, running for political office is very expensive. According to CNN, during the 2012 elections, it cost $1.6 million to win a seat in the House of Representatives and $10.4 million to win a seat in the Senate. Although many members of Congress are affluent, few have the necessary resources to fund a multimillion dollar campaign. Corporations and lobbyist groups are aware of this, so they court candidates and give monetary gifts to their campaigns in exchange for support from candidates in their special interests. Corporations and lobbyists also have the power to influence the voters by creating campaigns either for or against candidates and generating support from members.
The frequency of this practice in the United States in recent years has become very controversial. Critics believe that it grants too much influence to corporations and special interest groups. However, those who support the system claim that it provides a voice to those who cannot otherwise financially afford to influence government decisions through the demonstration of their support for special interest groups.Learn More
Political ideology influences social policy due to the beliefs that individual policy makers hold. These ideologies vary along a scale of liberal to conservative. According to Justin Quinn of About.com, conservative social policy goals are influenced by traditional religious beliefs. According to Suffolk Community College’s Professor Norman West, liberal ideology focuses on equal opportunities.Full Answer >
The main difference between hard money and soft money is that hard money refers to highly regulated contributions to candidates or political parties. Soft money refers to unregulated contributions to political parties or candidates, and there is no limit whatsoever to the amount of money one can give.Full Answer >
Interest groups influence public policy by gathering American citizens together with similar concerns and presenting those concerns to officials. There are many different interest groups for all sorts of causes.Full Answer >
There are several different types of pressure groups, and most of them share a singular purpose to influence the political process. To name a few, the different types of pressure groups that exist include sectional, cause, peak associations, fire brigade and episodic. No matter the type of group in play, they all have a clearly visible organized structure. Pressure groups advocate for their own good or for the sake of others.Full Answer >