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Political Science
POLS 1400
Nanita Mohan

Chapter 16 "Advocacy Groups, Social Movements and Lobbying" pgs 395-420 - Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), (which represents half a million students) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers, speaking for 65,000 professors, librarians, and researchers o have both tried to persuade federal and provincial governments to restore public funding to postsecondary education and freeze tuition fees o such groups as these develop in almost every political system when individuals with common concerns band together to strengthen their case  interest groups or pressure groups: • can be defined as any group that seeks to influence government policy without contesting elections (without putting forward its own candidates) • advocacy group- more generic term • most of theses groups originally form for non-political purposes and retain non-political functions, but they almost inevitably get drawn into politically activity from time to time because of the pervasiveness of government - social movements: possesses a less formal structure and brings new values into the political system - civil society- often used to refer to institutions and organizations that exist between the individual and family on the one hand and the government or state on the other- churches, unions, charities, and especially advocacy groups - Lobbying: any organized attempt to influence the authorities, an activity that is most commonly undertaken by pressure groups but could of course be done by individuals, companies, or other political actors THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS - Advocacy groups are assigned the primary task of interest articulation - Normally have narrow focus - Organized around a single, central interest which they try to impress on those in authority - Also involved in the policy making process - Enhanced complexity of society has meant that public issues now require reliance on information that is so technical and voluminous that politicians and parties, lacking both time and expertise cannot handle it well THE ARRAY OF ADVOCACY GROUPS - number of advocacy groups operating in Canada is thousands, so not all are listed - only the largest and most influential, or more interesting will be mentioned o see table 16.1 for full list of leading national Canadian Advocacy groups pg. 398 BUSINESS GROUPS - In the case of business, nothing prevents individual companies from lobbying on their own behalf for grants, subsidies, tariff exchanges, loan guarantees, tax write-offs, government contracts, or policy changes, and many do so on a regular basis - To a large extent the system of business interest associations in Canada is highly fragmented consisting of many small, narrowly focused organizations - Super imposed on these individual groupings are such “peak” organizations such as the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) - the CCCE represents the chief executive officers of the 150 largest firms in the country o see’s itself as Canada’s “premier business association” o was particularly influential with the Mulroney Conservative gov’t o fought hard for the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement after which it was sought to broaden public understanding of the need for more responsible fiscal policies  policies included balancing the budget and reducing taxes- all of which meant reducing the role of gov’t NONBUSINESS GROUPS - Canadian Labour Congress (CLC): functions as a common voice for organized labour, but only 75% of Canadian union members actually belong to unions affiliated with the CLC - Maintains a link to the New Democratic party, as do many of its individual unions, and is unique among Canadian advocacy groups in demonstrating such an overt partisan preference - largest of several Aboriginal groups is the Assembly of First Nations - the English and French are organized only where they are minorities- the Anglophone Alliance Quebec and the Federation des communautes francophone et acadienne du Canada, which incorporates provincial units such as the Assemblee de la francophone de l’Ontario OTHER CATEGORIZATION OF ADVOCACY GROUPS - true public interest groups exists to promote causes that it sees as beneficial to society as a whole and that do not directly benefit its own members - institutionalized groups: permanent groups, well established, formal organizations - almost all maintain a head office in Ottawa will a full-time staff, a sizable budget and a reasonably stable membership - issue-oriented groups: lack the institutionalized groups permeance, office, staff budget, membership, and access to the authorities o more likely to resort to attracting public attention to their cause through media coverage of actions like demonstrations SOCIAL MOVEMENTS - political scientists often find it useful to distinguish between pressure groups and social movements - many issue oriented groups referred to are in fact part of the large, unstructured social movements of which the environment , women’s peace, human rights, and consumers’ movements have been most prominent - social movement can be defined as an informal network of an organizations and individuals who on the basis of a collective identity and shared values, engage in political or cultural struggle intended to expand the boundaries of the existing system and undertake collective action designed to affect both state and society - National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) and the Canadian Environmental Network are loose coalitions of hundreds of women’s and environmental groups, respectively TARGETS AND METHODS OF ADVOACY GROUP ACTIVITY Policy Communities and Policy Networks - policy communities and policy networks – based on the premise that each field of public policy is discrete and specialized, with its own constellation of participants - each policy community consists of a set of gov’t agencies, advocacy groups, corporations, institutions, media people, and individuals, including academics, who have an interest in that particular policy field and attempt to influence it - beyond the need for expertise the new emphasis on policy networks is based on the widespread feeling that governments should seek the contribution and cooperation of the third, non-profit, or voluntary sector of individuals, public interest groups, policy oriented organizations, think tanks, and the like – in order to produce and execute better policy The Bureaucracy - advises the prime minister, the Cabinet, and the ministers on almost all of their decisions; it drafts legislation and regulations according to the Cabinet’s general instructions - it proposes budgets and spends gov’t money, and it implements policies and programs once they have been given Cabinet or legislative approval - Clientele Relationship- sometimes develops between such groups as the Royal Canadians Legion and Veterans Affair Canada The Prime Minister, the Cabinet, and Ministers - form the second branch of gov’t that advocacy groups frequently try to influence - make major governmental decisions in a parliamentary system - Elite accommodation: most public decisions in Canada emerge from the interaction of three agents: the Cabinet, the senior public
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