Difference between Political party and Pressure group

Difference between Political party and Pressure group

Political party

Political parties are groups of people organized with similar ideas or ideology about the function and scope of government. They share common policy goals and work together to elect individuals to political office to create and implement policies. In short, a political party will aim to gain control of the government and the policy-making process

In India, the Election Commission of India recognises the political parties and provides certain benefits to them based on their voting share. Further, India also has the largest number of political parties in the world. For example, Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP), Indian National Congress(INC), etc.

Pressure group

The pressure group is defined as a group of people who are organized for actively promoting and defending a common interest. This common interest urges pressure groups to bring changes in public policy by exerting pressure on the government. They neither contest elections nor try to capture political power.

They generally use techniques such as electioneering(try to place government officers sharing similar thoughts), lobbying(Persuading public officers), petitioning, and propaganda to bring the desired change.

In India trade unions such as All India Trade Union Congress(AITUC), agrarian groups such as All India Kisan Sabha(AIKS) (oldest and largest pressure group in India) and others are an example of pressure groups.

Certain similarities between political party and pressure group

  • They both try to influence public opinion on a certain issue.
  • They both act as a communication medium between the public and the government.
  • Furthermore, they both attempt to influence the public policy of the government.

Difference between a Political party and a Pressure group

Now let us understand the difference between a Political party and a Pressure group

Political partyPressure group
Political parties constitute government and entitled to frame policies and take decisions.The pressure groups will not constitute government and operate outside the government.
Political parties are formed with the motive to get political power and improve the nation with their policies and practices.The pressure groups are formed with the motive to fulfill a certain specific need. Accordingly, they emerge and dissolve based on the need only.
The membership of the political party will be open and have a transparent organisational structure.The membership of the pressure groups has exclusive or selective membership. Further, they might have an opaque organisational structure.
Even not in power, the Political parties directly and consecutively influence the government and its policies.The pressure groups act indirectly and intermittently to influence the government and its policies.
Political parties, in general, bring coordination between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.The pressure groups put excess pressure on the Executive, Legislature and to some extent Judiciary to change their opinion
Political parties generally use Constitutional methods to get their desired change.Pressure groups main use conventional and non-conventional methods (corruption, strike, etc) to get the desired change
In general, political parties cooperate themselves for the National interestThe pressure groups generally work and cooperate for their self-interests.
Political parties are registered and regulated by the election commission of India.They might be registered as a society, but they will be regulated based on their own interest
The political parties receive donations from the general public.The pressure groups receive donations from the local community or from persons having vested interests.
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