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Who Controls the Policy Process and How Is That Control Exercised

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Be it a family or nation or even an international organization, the policies are formulated and controlled by power circles only. The factors that vest such power may vary depending upon the area. However, wealth, status and knowledge are the three main criteria that underlay the power lobby. Something like water and anger power also flows downwards. But the quantum of power when gauged at the end-user level is zero. This formula is maintained at the making of policies itself because the end-users are left with the ‘ fruits’ alone.

The end-users namely the masses are not concerned with the policies but with the fruits only. The overall set up is termed polity. In modern society the pivotal principle of polity specifies that power is legitimated by the reference to the consent of the governed, that is, each person must have a more or less equal voice in providing this consent. The arrangements in a society like political parties, lobby groups, and social movements are the tools invented to express the consent. (Ritzer, 2000, pp579)  Hence the policymakers retain the power of controlling the process in their own hands.

This exhorts them to opt for elite theory and makes them politically elite. But generally elitists do not opt to get involved in politics; they get everything done through political stalwarts. They even possess complete control over the entire government. Its size, wealth, status, organizational strength, leadership, access to decision-makers and internal cohesion, determine the proportionate strength of an elite group. While elitism cannot be challenged anywhere in this globe, pluralism is a supporting modality for elitists to reach their goal. Socially elite groups of Australia were trying hard for the upbringing of the aborigines, the 40000 years old primitives of the land.

The Constitution of Australia prevented the federal government from directly aiding the aborigines. However, with the help of the socially elite groups, Australians got the clause removed in 1967. (World Book Encyclopedia, 1995, pp778). The elite theory does not compromise in its core, that is, the powerful minority rules the masses. However, the perseverance of the elite group in accomplishing their goal imparts them a type of immortality. ‘ White Australia Policy’ was in vogue for about 70 years since, 1901. 

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