Interest groups become heavily involved in public debates that eventually evolve into established policy. Should policy commitments be derived solely from these groups? What other parties should be involved?
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Interest groups, by their very nature, focus on very specific issues with a consistent point of view about those issues. This narrow point of view is both a strength and a weakness when developing policy. This is a strength because the interest groups presumably bring a certain level of knowledge and expertise into the discussion. When shared with policy makers, this knowledge will help to craft policy while avoiding some pitfalls or unintended consequences that may not be apparent to non-specialists. This helps create better policy. The drawback of the narrow focus is that the interest group may not be considering what is best for the populace, but rather what may be best for a particular subset of the populace. In some cases, that is a large subset, while in others it can be very small.
Policy should be derived from input from interest groups as well as input from citizens that may be impacted by the policy. Good policy will be developed through an iterative process of crafting policy and gathering more information to refine the policy. The input should be weighed and discussed by policy makers in a manner that allows for information sharing, negotiations, and compromise to find the best fitting policy to implement.