Kushay's Matter Bank Politics

[AK] Lobbying

This note will discuss the practice of lobbying, an attempt made by individuals or groups to influence policymaking in government.

What exactly is lobbying? Some people equate lobbying to bribery because most of the time their exposure to the word “lobby” is massive powerful corporations with huge amount of money. Factually though, this is not true because of two reasons:

1. Lobbying is transparent and exist under clear regulations (as in you have to be open on how much money they spent and what they’re doing with the money, like paying lobbyist, commitment of future sponsorship, etc.) But note that the money CAN’T be used to enrich the politicians directly.

2. Lobbying works under a system while bribing circumvent a system. Bribing for example results with a favoritism, tax evasion, and other illegal actions. Lobbying is different. It is aimed to influence political legislation, which actually is something everyone can do to a certain extent.

The question then becomes, why is lobbying important? Also, two key reasons.

1. Lobbying allows the legislators to know what the society desires. There are so many issues debated and discussed in Congress (up to 10000 bills per year). Lobby groups are basically a guarantee that no legislators misses out on a certain issue simply because they forgot about it.

2. Lobbying give the citizens voice weight. Lobby groups are basically people’s channel to do things like organize for strikes and becoming our representative to bring our voice to the parliament. They do this by corresponding with the parliamentary members.

But of course, power imbalance in lobbying still exists with corporations who have much more money to spend can hire more experts, and more skilled negotiations to talk with legislators. But the point still stands that lobbying is a necessary tool for democracy.

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