Interest groups and political parties - Essay Example

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Interest groups and political parties were generally referred to as factions by our founding fathers. The founding fathers' concerns over the problems that might be pose by the interest groups and political parties to the American politics stemmed from the fact that Man is a selfish by nature and put his interest above others most of the time as what James Madison, one of the founding fathers, mentioned in the federalists paper no…
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Interest groups and political parties
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HAVE THE CONCERNS OF THE FOUNDERS ABOUT THE PROBLEMS THAT INTEREST GROUPS AND POLITICAL PARTIES MIGHT POSE TO NATIONAL POLITICS BEEN BORNE OUT Interest groups and political parties were generally referred to as factions by our founding fathers. The founding fathers' concerns over the problems that might be pose by the interest groups and political parties to the American politics stemmed from the fact that Man is a selfish by nature and put his interest above others most of the time as what James Madison, one of the founding fathers, mentioned in the federalists paper no. 10.
The founding fathers were primarily concern that interest groups and political parties would intentionally impose their political will on others. Concerns about the rich people taking control of the interest groups and consequently spread their ideas leaving the poor unable to support the interest and concerns adequately and effectively. This holds true in today's politics, some interest group would try to impose their political will on others indirectly by means of electioneering. Electing and Re-electing politicians, who support their cause into government office is one of the important part of the interest group's mission. Many groups help candidates financially and get their members out to vote for them. Recently, such practice is done by PACs (Public Action Committees), which help the interest groups channel their funds into the campaigns of choice of politicians. Interest groups also try to influence government policy by lobbying and filing court cases to influence Congressmen to agree or disagree with a particular bill. Interest groups may also try to lobby the president by suggesting information, submitting proposals, and by trying to influence the minds of the various department secretaries.
Another concern by the founding fathers was that interest groups might not have great influence on the community because of their inability to spread the ideas to people and consequently gain more membership. James Madison felt that due to the size of the nation and the lack of available long-distance communication, people will have difficulties to organize and make efforts to get heard. This could hold true for quite some time since then, but with advent of mass transit, new technology in communications, people are able to spread their ideas quickly. More interest groups were able to organize than what the founding fathers might have thought. Consequently, these interest groups were able to form and organized with huge number of memberships and therefore increase their financial backings.
The founding fathers were also concerned about the possibility of chaos, inefficiency, and slow down of the government processes. Whether interest groups and political parities had cause inefficiency, chaos, and process slowdown remains a political issue. The process could somehow be slowed due to partisan bickering, but on the other hand, interest group could help speed up the process by providing lawmakers with well researched information, suggestions in writing the laws, and a working relation with state and national bureaucrats. Moreover, James Madison also assumed that when the groups kept each other's interest in check, political leaders would be free to pursue common goal for the good of everybody.
Despite of the known problems caused by factions, the founders however, recognize the important role of factions in linking the people with the government. Interest groups do not seem to lose its influence in governance. Citizens will gain more interest on interest groups as their trust in the political parties decline due to too much political bickering. Both the political parties and interest groups are inter-related but they serve different and important services within the democratic system.
Kehoe, Michelle. "Political Parties and Interest Groups." Michelle Kehoe. 2005. Michelle
Kehoe. 05 Oct. 2005. .
Madison, James. "The Federal Papers No.10." Daily Advertiser. 23 Nov. 1787. Read More
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