How Small Interest Groups Can Win the Outcome of Elections and Polls: Lessons for Countries with Modern and Developing Democracies

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Author: Nima S. Salami

Issue: Fall Issue, 2019

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It might sound perfectly obvious that in a real democracy, the majority’s interests will always win against the interests of the minority. Unfortunately, in reality, this is not the case. Small interest groups can determine the outcome of elections and enact policies that favor their own interests, rather than those of the majority. This paper identifies how, contrary to the median-voter’s model, small interest groups can win, if information asymmetries exist. Additionally, if gains and losses asymmetries are present and opportunity costs are involved for the voter, the same phenomena can occur. This article focuses on the role of interest groups in elections in democratic countries, explaining how they can enact policies that are against the public’s will.