What are Interest Groups?<br />An interest group is a group of people that organizes to be heard and influence government programs and policies.<br />
TYPES OF INTERST GROUPS - Public vs. Private<br />Classification based on the “GOALS” that the group pursues…Do they pursue ends for EVERYONE or MEMBERS ONLY?<br />
What Makes an Interest Group Powerful? <br />1. Resources, Resources, Resources<br /> 2. Size<br /> 3. Leadership<br /> 4. Cohesiveness<br />The most effective groups like the NRA and AARP have all of these.<br />
Interest Group Strategies<br />Interest Groups have very different strategies from Political Parties:<br />ACCESS – Ability to have face to face contact with a decision maker.<br />What does it take to gain ACCESS?<br />Lobbying, Lawsuits, Amicus CuraeBriefs, Grassroots (Astro Turf)<br />
Political Parties<br />Parties are quite different from Interest Groups!<br />GOALS are the SAME!<br /> Strategies and Scope DIFFERENT<br />Parties are:<br /> Inclusive<br /> Broad<br />
Parties and Democracy<br />Many political scientists believe that parties are essential to democracy, serving as the main instrument of popular sovereignty and majority rule. What parties DO makes our democracy work.<br /><ul><li>Keeping officials responsive – Compete in Elections
Including a broad range of groups – Winning Majorities
Stimulating political interest – Mobilizing Voters
Ensuring accountability – Knowing who is Responsible
Make Sense of Complexity in Politics – Party Labels
Making government work – Encourage Cooperation</li></li></ul><li>The Case for Strong Parties<br /> Partisanship is not America’s political problem; instead, our parties are not strong enough to function effectively. <br />STRONG parties promote CHOICE!<br />Parties are the principle organizations that…<br /> 1. Recruit Candidates for public office (Choice)<br /> 2. Organize and Run Competitive Elections (Choice)<br /> 3. Present Alternative Policies to the Electorate (Choice)<br /> 4. Accept Responsibility for Operating the Gov.<br /> 5. Act as the Organized Opposition to the Party in Power (Choice)<br />
Political Parties<br />Simplifying Choices for Voters<br />Voters are pretty Dumb! (Rationally Ignorant)<br />Clear and Consistent policy positions taken by parties offer valuable information about candidates and cues on policy issues.<br />Once voters know which party usually represents their interests, the party label can be a very useful shortcut.<br />
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