single issue politics

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Broadly based political parties have declined in their ability to aggregate issues into coherent ideological packages linked to the aspirations of major social groupings. The vacuum created has been filled by fragmented forms of single issue politics. This is often characterized by a preoccupation with the particular issue to the exclusion of all others, an intensity of feeling about the issue, and a willingness to devote considerable resources of time and money to its pursuit. Because the attachment to the issue is often based on moral grounds, there is a reluctance to compromise. Typical examples of single issue politics are abortion, the debate about hunting with dogs and animal protection issues more generally, and the care of sufferers from specific diseases. Issues of this kind are often associated with single issue pressure groups. The development of this type of politics poses problems for the polity as a whole. Advocates of single issues are often able to win media attention for an apparently well‐argued case for more resources or new regulations. Decision‐makers have to balance these demands against other equally well‐founded ones within the constraints of limited budgets and legislative time.


Subjects: Politics.

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