Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on what arguments can be given for and against the desirability of the existence of interest groups or (as madison called them) factions in a democracy which position do you think is correct. Interest Groups Introduction Jeffrey Berry refers to interest groups as sets of individuals whoshare similar and common aims and objectives and who make efforts to change or direct government policy-makers and policies (Navarro 203). According to Madison, in the US, there are factions or certain groups that might be there to safeguard the interest of the citizens of the US or to harm their interest (Sagan 143). If such factions represent the majority, they can have a major influence on the policy making process, but if they are in minority, they might not be able to influence policy at all. The desirability of the existence of interest groups is quite high in the United States of America, because due to their existence, the civilians or the public are able to communicate their issues and concerns to those who are in various positions in the government.
There are various interest groups in the US, and the civilians can find one according to their concerns at any point in time. One of the main purposes of any interest group is to influence policy-makers and the way American public system is shaped. interest groups have enough say in the policy-making process. Interest groups have been really effective mainly due to the power imbalance of the parties that are in the government. this imbalance has been created due to difference in power structure of the two branches of the US government. The desirability of interest groups has increased because of several reasons. The same government decisions may be hurtful for one group or community and fruitful for others. thus, those hurt by government policies use interest groups to lobby to make these policies more favourable for them. Sometimes, when a political party representing one side of population is elected, it may be prone to work for the interest of that particular side, so other sides feel neglected. therefore, such people create interest groups to make sure that their interests are not harmed. As an individual, one might not have the power, resources and voice to influence public policies. therefore, interest groups are seen as a means to achieve power and resources for certain individuals who want to safeguard their interests. Several interest groups are in existence in the US, and they are there for different purposes. Another important function of interest groups is to ensure that the members of the government do not devise policies for their own interests and attach equal importance to different individuals within the US. this ability of interest groups is regarded as oversight power. For example, National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People is there to safeguard the rights of African Americans and other minorities of the US population. The Chamber of Commerce of the US is there to support and conduct lobbyist activities for the business community of the US. and the National association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials is there to lobby the housing policy (Schmidt, Shelley and Bardes 143).
Interest groups are highly desired by the citizens of the US and different countries around the globe. their existence helps individuals safeguard their interests and rights, as these groups have the ability to influence policy.
Navarro, Armando. .Mexicano Political Experience in Occupied Aztlan: Struggles and
Change. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press, 2005. Print.
Schmidt, Steffen W., Mack C. Shelley, and Barbara A. Bardes. .American Government and
Politics Today: Brief Edition, 2010-2011. United States: Wadsworth Cengage
Learning, 2011. Print.
Sagan, Eli. .Citizens & Cannibals: The French Revolution, the Struggle for Modernity, and the Origins of Ideological Terror. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2001. Print.