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The functions of Pressure Groups

Meaning of Pressure Group
A pressure group can be defined as a group of people, who come together with the sole aim of influencing government policies and laws in their favour.

The Ghana Bar Association and Ghana National Association of Teachers are a few examples of pressure groups.

Links government to the people
One of the functions of pressure groups is that it serves as a link between the government of the day and the people it governs. There are times when the government of the day wants to introduce a policy but does not know whether the people will accept the policies or not. Pressure groups take the issue to the people through their activities and are able to communicate back to government what the views of the people are.

Promotes participate in government
Another function of pressure groups is to engender public participation in the activities of government of the day. Some pressure groups engage in demonstrations and other measures to put their views across to the government. The activities of pressure groups therefore, promote political participation and carry the citizenry along.

Source of information to government
Another function of pressure groups is as a source of information to the government. As the pressure groups lobby the government on various fronts, the interaction offers the government valuable information on aspects of issues they may not even be aware of.

Checks dictatorship
Also, the activities of pressure groups ensure that governments do not perpetuate themselves in power thereby drifting into a dictatorship.

Promote the interest of the minority
Again, pressure groups champion the rights of the under-privileged, especially promotional pressure groups. As they go about their activities, they ensure that the interests of minority groups are not trampled upon by the government. Thus, pressure groups act as watchdogs on the government.

Influencing legislation
Another function of pressure groups is to put pressure on government so that it can implement policies that inure to the benefit of its members. If not putting pressure on government to influence its policy, it is putting pressure on the government to change a policy direction or to withdraw entirely a particular policy that does not favour its members.

1. Highlight six functions that performed by pressure groups. [12 marks]

2. a. What are pressure groups? [2 marks]
    b. Highlight five functions that pressure groups perform. [10 marks]

3. In which six ways are pressure groups useful in your country. [12 marks]

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