POL201 LEC. MARCH 21
tend to be narrower, the goal is to influence policy, so now im asking a question and giving you the
answer of who participaties.
Institionalized pariticipation---who are our actors??? ONE OF THE GROUPS ARE INTERST
are good at writing, reseraching etc. and there are technological innovations, there are many reasons for
the proliferation of interest groups.
The bottom line being that we have this proliferation of interest groups
some are gformed around pariticular issues, the isues might be darfur, breast cancer, environment, etc.
other kinds of interst groups are organizized around a group of people eg. Canadian medical
association, or associaitoin of retired persons, and these work continuesly on behalf of these groups of
The function of the interst group is to articulate the iterests of its members, the goal being chaniging
laws and influencing policy.
Since the 1950s, you have a proliferation of interest groups.
The reason for this in the last 60 years has to do with traininng and technologuy. There are more people
around with the skills to do the kinds of things that intrerest groups need, people who can write and
The bottom line being that we have this proliferation of interest groups.
These interst groups ar ewatchdogs on democracy, so ther is no tyrranny of the majoirity.
You might see interest groups as a healthy democratic system.
-on the other hand ther eis a perception that interest group politics undermines another kind of politics
that would be better at achiving the common good.
The politics becoms balkanized through nterest groups, it become a compeittiion among factions of
citizens that are each trying to capture a piece of the pie.
This undermines the law because it attirubtes special privialages to pariticlular groups.
So instead it becomes somethigna bout distributing resources among the most vocal and pwoerful of
interest groups, in turn the itnerst groups can occupy a disportionate part of the resrouces.
So on one side interst groups have a postiive check in that it can monitor the works of govnerment. But
on the bad side is that interest gorups can capture a larger percent of govnerment resources than the rest
of the population.
Another vehicle of mass pariticpation, are POLITICAL PARTIES
The link between the govnemrent and th epeople, its a party that is a ormal orgnaiziation whose
primary purpose is to maintain in public office persons that will control the machinery of govnmfent.
www.notesolution.com The main goal of the political party is to gain power.
The political party is the mechanisms for which candidates run for office. Some candiaities run
independenly, but most run through potliilcal parties.
Poiltical parties persuade people to vote for their candiddates. They not only express the opiions of
their supporters, but they also play a role of forming and shaping the opiions of their supporters, they
dont just respond to public opinion, they also make the public opinion itself.
TYPES OF PARTIES
---agenda is not primaryiily rooted in some philosphy or doctrine, but they are response to some
problems. But most parties that win elections are pragmatic parties. They are parties that respond to
problems and offer solutions that work.
---it is one that pmphasises ideological purity over electoral victory. It would not cahnge its ideolgiical
position in order to change to electoral concerns. Such parties do not change their values in order to
win an election.
And so pragmatic parties cloak their pragmatism in ideology, they try to make their programs coherent
in order to distinguish themselves from other parties. eg. In cananda the liberals and conservative are
both pragmatic, but they try to distinguish themselves susing ideolgoy. They are inherently pragmatic
in the idea that they will mold their ideology in order to t win an election, they ideology canhence
change from election to election in order to win.
---centres around a single influenctial leader, one famous example is the benorsistas in argentina, which
are formed around quan perlon.
The natzi party is an excellent example because it was centrered around a single person—adolph hitler,
and so if the person dies, the party dies. Its not so much an isntitno, or bearcracy or an idea as much as
it is a person.
PARTIES PRODUCE VERICLE ACCOUNTABIILTY – accountabililty between citizens and their
hwere civil socieitiiy orgnaiziaitnos exhert pressures on govnemrent issues in order to put new issues on
the agenda. This is not something that happens through elections. Elections, poltical parties, interst
groups, produce VERTICILE ACCOUNTABILTY
-SOCIETAL ACCOUNTABIILTY is achieved through non-institionalized pariticpation, pariticpation
which is not institionlized through democratic mechanisms.
Basically we are talking about particpiation outside the system. These things are things like social
movements, political protests, marches, its often peaceful, but it is aimed at being disruptive, its not
www.notesolution.com suppose to work through the system, its suppost to disrupt it, its uppose to undermine the smooth
running of things.
The point of noninstitionalized particpaition is disruption, thats they way to achive change, it interrupts
normal processes and schedules.
Like itnerst gorups, social movements are centred around issues eg. Globl warming, indegenious rights,
whats the different between social movmeents and interest groups???
---they have different strategies, social movements are broad based, its not just achieving the end goal,
its about how to achieve the end goal, they care about democratic particpaition