- Slides: 14
Interest Groups How Interest Groups Affect Politics
What is an Interest Group? • An interest group is a private organization that tries to persuade public officials to respond/pass laws that benefit their members. • Interest groups are what help to influence politicians • There are thousands of interest groups in America
Role of Interest Groups • 1. Interest groups seek to influence/change public policy (the goals of government Ex. Healthcare, taxation, education, etc. ). Also, known as pressure groups • Interest groups are usually only concerned with one particular issue or group of people.
Positive aspects of Interest Groups • Help to raise awareness of public affairs (issues and events). • Helps to bring together people with similar ideas and promotes these ideas • Provide detailed information to Congress • Act as another Check and Balance
Negative Aspects of Interest Groups • Highly organized groups with lots of money usually have more influence • Hard to tell how many people are actually in the group • Do not always speak for all their members • Sometimes use illegal tactics (ex. Bribery, use of money, etc. ) to get their ideas passed.
Types of Interest Groups • 1. Business Groups • 2. Labor Groups (Labor union: organization of workers who share the same type of job or industry) • 3. Agricultural Groups • 4. Professional Groups
Types of Interest Groups • 5. Groups that promote Causes • 6. Groups that promote the general welfare of a certain group of people • 7. Religious Organizations • 8. Public Interest Groups: an interest group that seeks to institute certain public policies for the benefit of most/all people in this country
Interest Groups At Work How Interest Groups get Public Policy Passed
Major Goals of Interest Groups • 1. Supply the public with information about their cause • 2. Build a positive image for their interest group • 3. To promote a particular public policy
Techniques Interest Groups Use • 1. Propaganda: a technique of persuasion aimed at influencing individual or group behaviors. Propagandists are usually advertisers that sell ideas. They use name calling, positive labels, famous people, and bandwagon effect (everyone is doing it) in order to advance their ideas.
Techniques Interest Groups Use • 2. Influencing Parties and Elections: Interest Groups are a major source of the money for campaign funds (PACs). They understand that money talks.
Techniques Interest Groups Use • 3. Lobbying: defined as the pressure that interest groups put on legislators and the legislative process. – Lobbyists are stationed in Washington DC, and it is their job to influence Congress on behalf of their clients.
Techniques Interest Groups Use • Lobbyists’ Techniques: – Make sure that the Congressmen/women receive lots of positive information about their cause. – Testify before Legislative committees – Use “grass root” pressure: this is what the average people want (Get people to write to Congress) – Use lots of advertising
Lobby Regulations • Even though it is very rare, there are some interest groups/lobbyists who bribe public officials or give false information. Due to this, lobbyists are forced to register with Congress.