Politics in Minutes (2016)

Influencing politics

Societies that have some form of elected government implicitly acknowledge the need for governance, and more often than not specify in law how it should be constituted and the limits of its power. Opinions among the people will differ, however, and this is reflected in the ideology of the governments they elect. Naturally, political parties and their activists will try to influence public opinion especially at election time.

At the same time, there are groups with particular interests, who campaign to influence government policy. These advocacy groups can exert some influence through lobbying, but more controversially also through donations to political parties, or sponsoring candidates to elections. Although special interest groups can highlight matters of public concern – moral, religious or environmental issues, for example – political and commercial special interest groups can influence the political process, with the risk of unfair manipulation and even corruption.

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