Characteristics and Mode of Operation of Pressure Groups
Characteristics of Pressure Groups:
(i) Pressure Groups need to be well organized and coordinated to achieve their set goals and objectives.
(ii) Disciplined and dedicated leadership is another important characteristic. It’s only dedicated, disciplined, and dogged leadership that can lead pressure groups to achieve their goals.
(iii) Pressure Groups have restrictive membership. It is only people that qualify that can join. e.g. NBA, NUT, etc.
(iv) Pressure Groups each have a common interest it seeks to promote.
(v) All Pressure Groups try to influence the decisions of the government.
(vi) Pressure Groups use similar techniques, persuasion, lobbying, strikes, boycotts, petitions and demonstrations to achieve their goals.
Modes of Operation of Pressure Groups:
To achieve the aims and objectives of Pressure Groups, the following methods or modes are used;
(i) Sending a Delegation: Pressure Groups select some of their members as delegates to discuss their problems with the government and let them know their stand and how to seek a way forward.
(ii) Sending protest letters or petitions to the government stating their problem and opinion is a method of operation.
(iii) Work-To-Rule: Where no extra work is done apart from the basic work period.
(iv) Lobbying: This is done through lobbying the legislators to persuade them in their favour during legislation.
(v) Debates and Symposia/Workshop: These are organized to educate the people on their work or stand of the pressure group on some issues.
(vi) Boycott: Pressure Groups may refuse to co-operate with the government, or authorities until their demands are met.
(vii) Propaganda or letters to the press to educate the public and to make their stand known on important issues.
(viii) Demonstration/Protest: Pressure Groups can register their displeasure to the government and the public through rioting and holding people as hostages.
(ix) Special publications in handbills, the press or booklets to publicise their actions or opinions.
(x) Alliance with political parties and candidates they know that will be sympathetic to their cause.
(xi) Ultimatum: Pressure Groups issue a final statement of conditions to the government or authority. The conditions the government deem necessary will be taken.