Political Party and Pressure Group Distinguished

Pressure groups stand for the interest or well-being of a special group or class, while the panics stand for the general welfare or common good of the whole nation. Secondly, the pressure group concentrates on one or on a small group of issues, while the party advocates in general terms a large number of policies. Thirdly, the pressure group is interested in policies, the party in candidates. Fourthly, the party organises public opinion; it is a conglomerate of opinion, while the pressure group endeavours to make or manufacture a ‘public opinion’. In this respect the pressure groups are serious rivals of political parties.

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Fifthly, the basic distinction between the two is that the political parties aim at the control of the government in order to achieve their programme and ideals, but the pressure groups do not seek to obtain control of the government. Unlike the parties, they are not willing to assume the responsibility for solving the problems of government. Pressure groups often operate within the framework of political parties.

Sometimes a party may become so small and limited that it may be no more important than a faction or a pressure group. Finally, political parties are public organisations, operating among and before the people, but pressure groups often work behind the scenes and try to avoid public scrutiny. Secrecy is essential to pressure groups but not to the political parties. This fact makes the parties responsible to public opinion, but the pressure groups can operate-irresponsibly.

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