The West German Legislative Process: A Case Study of Two Transportation Bills

By Gerard Braunthal | Go to book overview

[CHAPTER IV]
Pressures on the Executive:
Parliament and Lobbies at Work

During the gestation period of bills in the executive branch of democratic political systems, the officials responsible for nurturing their growth will be exposed constantly to pressures and counterpressures from an array of external forces. In this chapter we will examine the pressures exerted on the Government by parties and interest groups, and will test the hypothesis that the more opposition which develops to a bill, the more concessions the executive is bound to make to others in order to assure its passage.

Since the executive in most nations spawns an increasing number of bills, it is crucial for interest groups especially to articulate their demands and to make their claims on the primary policy maker. It is in their interest to exert pressure at this initial stage where unpublicized revisions in the bills can still be made by the executive without the loss of face expected at the later, more public legislative stage.1 Un-

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1
For a general survey, see Henry W. Ehrmann, "Les Groupes d'Intérêt et la Bureaucratie dans les Démocraties Occidentales," Revue Française de Science Politique, XI ( Sept. 1961), 541-568. For Great Britain, see Allen M. Potter, Organized Groups in British National Politics ( London: Faber & Faber, 1961), pp. 171-188; and Samuel H. Beer , "Pressure Groups and Parties in Britain," American Political Science Review, L ( March 1956), 1-23. For France, see Bernard E. Brown , "Pressure Politics in the Fifth Republic," Journal of Politics,

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