A system in which political power is distributed among a number of groups representing different interests is described as:
A system in which political power rests with a small group of wealthy, well connected individuals is described as:
What is a sectional (or interest) PG?
One which represents its own section or interest within society.
Give three sectional PGs.
American Business Conference; the AFL-CIO (like our TUC); the Teamsters.
What is a causal (or interest) PG?
One which campaigns for a particular cause or issue.
Give three causal PGs.
NRA; American Civil Liberties Union; Sierra Club.
What are the five functions of PGs (though not all PGs may perform all of them)?
Representation (of their supporters); participation (providing ways for people to get involved in politics outside elections); education (on particular issues); agenda building (trying to influence the agendas of political parties); programme monitoring (check that organisations or government are meeting their promises).
What free gifts are available if you join the NRA, and why does this matter?
A duffel bag and a magazine subscription to, for example, American Rifleman or Shooting Illustrated. It’s important because some people join PGs for material benefits - what’s in it for me?
Who did NRL and NARAL endorse in 2016?
NRL (National Right to Life) endorsed Trump, NARAL (National Aboration and Reproductive Rights Action League) endorsed Clinton.
What is the Dirty Dozen?
The League of Conservation Voters’ list, published every two years, of the congressional candidates with the least environmentally friendly records. Of the 2016 list, three were defeated.
What is America’s biggest PG?
The American Association of Retired Persons - 40m members.
Which group is America’s biggest spender on political lobbyists?
The US Chamber of Commerce - over $80m in 2017.
What is the phrase given to faking grassroots support?
Why is the US political system particularly fertile for PGs?
So many access points at which they can influence the decision making process: federal level, state level, district level, the federal bureaucracy, Congressional committees and sub-committees etc.
What is the revolving door?
The idea that ex-members of Congress join PGs, and then perhaps go back again - in each case taking their contacts book and expertise with them.
What is an iron triangle?
A close relationship between a PG, the relevant congressional committee and the relevant government department or agency - e.g the Vietnam Veterans, the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees, and the Dept of Veterans’ Affairs.
What did Senator Edward Kennedy once say which showed the influence of money on the decision making process?
“America has the finest Congress that money can buy.”