European Democracies

European Democracies - Political Action Committees (PACs)...

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European Democracies European democracies are characterized by many parties. Since European parliaments seat parties according to their percentage of the vote, it's practical for minority parties to exist. Even a party receiving only 15% of the vote will have a voice in government (See Robertson, 1989:338). Note that Italy has more than 250 parties and the government falls every nine months. Interest Groups Interest groups are organizations which attempt to influence political decisions that might have impact on party members or their goals . These groups may be large or small, temporary or permanent, secretive or open, but they all try to gain access to, and sway, those who have power (Robertson, 1989:33). Methods of Gaining influence a. Lobbying Interests groups may employ a variety of tactics to gain influence with governmental officials. Lobbying refers to the tactic of directly persuading decision makers. b. PACs
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Unformatted text preview: Political Action Committees (PACs) are organizations established by interest groups for the purpose of collecting and distributing campaign funds. 2. The Impact of Interest Groups Robertson (1989:340) contends that political sociologists are divided as to the effect that interests groups have on democracies. Positive A potential benefit of PACs would be that they represent so many different interests that they are all powerful, and can there fore ensure (by their numbers alone) that no interests group is able to gain a monopoly on power. Interests groups may provide a voice for citizens who are other wise powerless and voiceless. Negative On the negative side, those PACs that operate in secrecy might be able to win influence where the general public is left ignorant of the issues being discussed. Candidates are at the mercy of PACs. To refuse PAC money is to give your opponent a monetary advantage....
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