You must have already heard of the terms ‘lobbying’ or ‘lobbyists’ from the media and press. Lobbying is a practice that a number of us may have engaged in at one point in time. It is generally trying to influence someone or something towards a particular course. For instance, by lobbying the interests of the general public and minorities are represented. However, from a general standpoint, it mainly involves politics. All said and done, this practice has come under heavy criticism lately.
1. There is consistency. There may be some unethical practices linked to lobbyists. On the other hand, in most cases, it’s performed in a defined and consistent manner for all parties. You have the option to voice out your opinions and still offer some notable suggestions.
2. It helps control the power of the majority. The majority who are in charge may pass certain legislations that can affect others. Through lobbying, specific groups of people have the ability to advocate for their rights. This creates fairness.
3. Builds relationships with elected officials. Lobbying establishes relationships between local groups and politicians. For this reason, the elected officials can vote legislation that benefits all people including the local groups.
4. The minority and the average person has a say on government matters. The practice of lobbying means that anyone can offer their opinion on certain matters. This is because they are representing not just themselves but very many other people.
5. It’s a way to offer great solutions to problems. Politicians may not know all the problems that the locals are facing. It is the lobbyists who bring to light problematic situations within the community and offer immediate solutions.
6. People become politically active. There are many organizations that rely on lobbying as a way of reaching out to the elected officials. The same organizations allow all people who are interested in lobbying to be politically active.
7. Generates revenue. Lobbying activities such as protests and petitions when done the right way get public attention. Aside from that, they can help raise money to be used to spread awareness.
8. Everyone can get involved. Anyone can be a lobbyist and you don’t need any kind of special training. All you need is the will to fight for what you believe to be right.
9. There are usually no costs involved. The only thing you need in order to start lobbying is to invest time. Finances are not necessary as long as you have a telephone or computer.
10. It represents all institutions. There are very many groups and institutions that can legally be represented through lobbying. These can be churches, corporations, environmental groups, colleges & universities, and labor unions.
1. Mainly focused on the needs of the minority. Lobbyists mostly advocate for the needs of the minority groups. What they forget is that certain legislation may be useful to one minority group but not to another.
2. Usually aimed at a specific goal. Lobbying involved people wanting to be heard and the solutions they have in mind should be implemented. This is regardless of other elements that may be within the society.
3. Effective for certain groups. There are groups that have money and all the resources they need so as to conduct successful lobbying. This means that the majority of the lobbying efforts tend to lean more on the wealthy classes.
4. At times it involves corruption and fraud. In some instances, lobbyists can bribe legislators in order to obtain favors from them or gain their desired results. Furthermore, some people may be threatened and forced to conform to the suggestions being proposed.
5. Changes the way in which the government operates. Billions of money is spent each year just on lobbying efforts. This might prompt the government to focus more on what the lobbyists are advocating for rather than the will of the people.
6. Requires experience. It is true that anyone can be lobbyists but it’s never that easy to get heard. You must have credentials to prove your experience in the matter or topic you are involved in. This way, people can actually believe you have the ability to present a knowledgeable solution.
7. Sometimes it does not work. Even the most experienced lobbyists get rejected several times. Also, not everyone will listen to the opinion you voice out.
8. Stalls legislative processes. This is because each group wants to represent their own interests. There are so many bills that have stalled simply because there are no agreements and people don’t want to compromise.
9. Some lobbyists are more focused on money. There are lobbyists who are paid to bring forward some ideas that are supposed to help the society at large. However, others don’t seem to care about anything else other than what they will get out of it.
10. It seems to favor the incumbent. Many of the lobbying efforts for new regulations are based on limiting competition within specific industries. For instance, established firms may afford new requirements that regulate them while start-ups don’t have that advantage.