What are some positive and negative aspects of the role of interest groups in democratic politics?
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The major positive aspect of interest groups is that they give the people better ways to influence their representatives on a day to day basis. One fundamental aspect of democracy is that the people should control the government. However, it is difficult to do so when all we do is vote every 2 years, 4 years, or 6 years depending on the office. Interest groups fill this gap. Interest groups lobby members of government every day. This makes government officials aware of the people’s opinions and desires every day instead of just at election time. This makes our system more democratic.
The major negative is that interest groups can give money too much of a role in politics. Interest groups work best when they have a lot of money. They use it to hire good lobbyists and to give campaign contributions, among other things. If money becomes very important, then only the people and groups that have a lot of money will have their voices heard. This can reduce the quality of democracy by favoring the voices of the rich over those who have less money.
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