Interest Groups
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Interest Groups. How do legislatures, and politicians decide what laws or policies to make?. Public Opinion. Lobbyists. Special Interest Groups. Major Events. Public Opinion. “I can only go as fast as the people will let me.” -FDR.

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Interest Groups

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Interest groups

Interest Groups


Interest groups

How do legislatures, and politicians decide what laws or policies to make?

Public Opinion

Lobbyists

Special Interest Groups

Major Events


Interest groups

Public Opinion

“I can only go as fast as the people will let me.”

-FDR

Before public policy can be made we have to first lets look at public opinion….


Interest groups

Public Opinion

  • -Public Opinion

  • Generic term for what the majority of the public may believe about an issue—can be very misleading as a majority may represent only 51%

  • Opinions about government officials, candidates, and issues

  • -Often misleading

  • Can manipulate questions to get the answers they want

Public opinion is the generic term for what people think about the government, the leaders of our country, and the issues facing our government and leaders. Why should the government care about public opinion? Why should the government also be wary of public opinion?


Interest groups

  • What influences people’s opinions??

  • Family & Friends

  • Media (Print and T.V.)

  • Importance


Interest groups

Forming Opinions

  • -Many Factors Influence Opinions

  • -Mass Media

  • TV, radio, newspapers, Internet

  • Provides powerful images to the public

  • -Public Officials

  • Voters elect those they trust to public office – voice of the people

  • -Special Interest Groups

  • Persuade people to their point-of-view

In what ways does the media shape public opinion? How can this be both positive and negative?


Interest groups

Measuring Opinion

  • -Public Opinion Polls

  • Individuals answer questions to see how the “general public” feels

  • -Random Samples

  • -poll methods where attempts are made to include a wide segment of the population in the poll

  • Reflect the entire population

  • -Effects of Polls

  • Make public officials respond to what the people want

  • Set the public agenda


Interest groups

The goal of interest groups and lobbyists is to persuade legislatures and office holders to enact public policies that will achieve their needs and goals.

Public Policy -


Public policy

Public Policy

How individuals, interest groups and the media influence the actions of the government.


What is an interest group

What is an interest group?


Interest groups

An interest group is……

"An organization of people with shared ideas and attitudes who attempt to influence public policy."


Interest groups

Interest Groups

  • -Interest Groups

  • -a group of people who have similar interests or concerns about an issue

  • Believe that by putting together time, money, and resources, they can influence decision-makers

  • -Bias

  • -term that refers to a one-sided opinion on an issue

  • Interest groups usually biased

  • -Impartial

  • -having no opinion on an issue

Why is it important in researching public opinion and the ideas of interest groups to recognize bias?


Interest groups

Types of Groups

  • -Economic Groups

  • Business Organizations

  • Professional Associations

  • Labor Unions

  • -Particular Groups of People

  • Ethnic – NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)

  • Age – AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)

  • Sex – NOW (National Organization of Women)

  • -Particular Causes

  • ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)

The American Association of Retired Persons is one of the most influential special interest groups in America? Why do you think this is?


What is the goal of a lobbyist

What is the goal of a lobbyist?


Interest groups

The goal of a lobbyist is as an activist usually paid by an interest group to promote their positions to legislatures.


Interest groups

Lobbying

  • -Lobbying

  • -the act of trying to influence people on behalf of an interest group

  • Hired by interest groups to go to Congress and influence laws

  • -Functions of Interest Groups

  • Information

  • Represent their members

  • support certain candidates

  • -Lobbyists work at all levels of government

Interest groups hire people called lobbyists to influence Congressmen to pass laws on their behalf. Lobbyists’ most important job is to provide information about their interest group and support their members.


Interest groups

Regulation of Lobbying

  • -Past activities of lobbyists have been questionable

  • Congressmen taking bribes, people not getting their rights

  • -government regulation

  • -stop bribery

  • -special interest groups

  • -reporting lobbying activities

  • -effects of Lobbying

  • Have been successful historically of influencing legislation

Because lobbying has not always been ethical, the government has passed laws to limit lobbyist’s power (especially through bribery of Congressmen).


Interest groups

Review Question

Public opinion is influenced by which of the following factors:

By many sources

Mostly through advertising

Almost completely by lobbyists

Primarily by interest groups


Interest groups

  • Interest groups have been criticized for which of the following reasons listed below?

    • For having too much influence

    • Mostly by lobbyists

    • For being disorganized

    • For their refusal to hire lobbyists


Interest groups

Review Question

Political action committees (PACs) were formed to do which of the following?

allow interest groups to pay lobbyists

allow interest groups to contribute money to candidates and campaigns

assign volunteers to groups that need them

fund mass media


Interest groups

Review Question

Lobbyists work for which of the following groups?

the public

interest groups

public officials

the government


Interest groups

Review Question

How are interest groups different from political parties?

interest groups do not concentrate on influencing government policy and political parties do

interest groups concentrate on influencing government policy and political parties concentrate on electing candidates

interest groups use propaganda and political parties avoid using propaganda

There is no difference between both interest groups and political parties


Interest groups

Review Question

Which of the following would be considered a public interest group?

a. a plumber’s union

b. a lawyers’ association

c. a committee for clean water

d. a group dedicated to promoting motorcycle ownership


Interest groups

Review Question

How are interest groups different from political parties?

interest groups do not concentrate on influencing government policy and political parties do

interest groups concentrate on influencing government policy and political parties concentrate on electing candidates

interest groups use propaganda and political parties avoid using propaganda

There is no difference between both interest groups and political parties


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