This is a group of people brought together by a common interest, jobs or a common concern. There are different types of interest groups; some of them include Citizen Action groups which can be divided into two. Single issue groups such as Right to life, multi issue groups like Consumers Union, People for the American Way, and American Taxpayers Association. Trade associations, such as electronics producers, steel producers and wine producers. Professional Associations, such as, Doctors, lawyers, dentists and nurses. Interest groups play a major role in politics as they have convincing power on their members especially when it comes to National elections (Felchner, 2008).
Relationship of Interest Groups and Political Parties
In the United States of America there are two types of political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. Political parties’ main aim is to win as many seats as possible in the Congress, but most of all they also need finance. Political parties need the interest groups very much as the groups provide financial support for the political parties. The groups also provide the crucial votes needed by the political parties to win various electoral seats. Political parties also need the interest groups to sell their policies to the people since most interest groups are in touch with the electorate. In the United States the Democrats are preferred by the labor groups while the corporate groups prefer the Republicans (Prechel, 2005).
Interest Groups, the President, and Congress
Interest groups most of the time will call on the voters and even members of the congress. In the process of appealing to the voters, the various particular groups gain supports of a particular group of voters or base as known in politics. In order to get the votes the president and even the congressional members might agree with the particular groups’ interest in order to get the votes. Some interest groups might not attract a large base, but it might have the financial strength. In such case the group can appeal president and or the congressional candidate by the use of money. Some interest groups have national support that they can even appeal to the voters on the candidates to vote for in the Senate and even the congress. Some of the interest groups might have local support in the various districts, in order to get votes in the various districts the presidential candidate will have to appeal for their support.
In the United States both the Democrats and the Republicans are not entirely bound to support the position taken by their parties or the parties’ presidential candidates. The candidates mostly support policies that have been supported by the groups that financed them, in such a case for the policies by the president to be in place the groups have to support it. In such a scenario where the loyalty to the interest groups is greater than the loyalty to the different political parties the interest groups have a lot of influence in policy making (English, 2003).
Interest groups and political parties need one another in order to achieve their various interests; interest group such as doctors might need to have better working conditions. In order to achieve that they need a candidate who will have their interest at heart, the candidates also need votes to win their seats in order to achieve that they will need the votes and support of the doctors.
English, R. M. (2003). The United States Congress. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press ;. Felchner, M. E. (2008). Voting in America. New York: Praeger.
Prechel, H. N. (2005). Politics and the corporation. New York: Elsevier JAI.
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