Shakeel Dilbar – Commentary on Reading about Advocacy Groups.
The reading about advocacy groups delves into the process of government decisionmaking
processes and the “self interested” versus the “publicinterested” desires that motivate
individuals and organizations from public and private spheres of society to advocate/lobby
openly for favorable decisions. These governmental proceedings have far reaching influences
over all members of the citizenry living within Canadian society and therefore determine the
quality of life that is to be expected by the general population of Canada on a daytoday basis.
Advocacy Groups are any organization that seeks to influence government policy, but not to
The Importance of Groups and Recruiting Membership
The author stated that the assessment of advocacy groups within Canadian society is necessary
due to the extremely important role ‘special interest’ groups perform, by acting as a ‘buffer’
between the citizens dwelling within the society and the incumbent government. Established
Environmental NonGovernmental Organizations (ENGOs) groups tend to have a relatively
larger number of recruits and members within their ranks and therefore tend to represent the
views of a significantly larger sample proportion of the total Canadian population that can benefit
the most from policy change where it has the ability to positively affect one’s standard of living
A major concern surrounding government decision making procedures is the allocation of funds
to various projects that fall within the scope of the government. In most if not all countries of the
world, it is impossible to have sufficient funds to allocate towards all outlined government
projects, therefore a priority listing must be set to ensure that more important issues are dealt
with before other issues that are relatively not that urgent. Groups from both the private and
public spheres of society are better able to implement organizational procedures that are best
suited to monitoring the discretionary process of funds allocation toward government projects by
government committees and subcommittees. The power of a particular special interest group’s
power is therefore correlated to the size of its membership as well as the group’s ability to
channel the desires of its fraternity toward a single goal. Some of the drivers of these group’s
desires are discussed below.
Drivers of these Desires
• Engaging in political activity to make the government provide a service
o Most developed countries have an intricate government taxation system that
serves as a major source of income for incumbent governments worldwide.
Taxation allows for the provision of financial resources necessary for provincial and municipal government operations.
o The incumbent government’s main functions are to ensure that all of their
constituents benefit from the amenities and privileges that their tax revenue
(collected from the population by the C) can facilitate through provision of the
financial means to construc