Lobbying is a specialised term which generally refers to any attempts made to influence decisions taken especially by the different government officials. Advocating the interests of a group of people and putting forth their point of view whenever major decisions affecting them are taken, is the main reason why people resort to lobbying.
Need for lobbying
Lobbying has many advantages and disadvantages associated with it. Many a times it is also said to be an attempt to corrupt and influence the law by a handful of influential people inorder to serve their own interests. But this is not always the case. In fact the positive side of lobbying far outweighs its negative implications when they
- Defend the interests of the common general public against corrupt practices,
- Ensure that minorities are able to voice their opinion against or for a rule or law made to affect them directly,
- Lend credible support to change the opinion of people in general especially during public voting.
Since the output decides the mindset of people, the popularity which lobbying enjoys now has helped it overcome the negative thought process previously attached to it.
Lobbying as a profession
Today there are a number of lobbying firm, who employ professional people to lobby in favour of people and organisations seeking their services. From people in the private sector to organisations, government officials and even non-profit organisations etc., today everyone needs lobbyists to put forth their interests.
The involvement of regular groups and organisations in these practices has forced the government to take them seriously. They have even defined laws to regulate these firms so that
- The scope o political corruption can be minimised and prevented and
- The process can be made more transparent.
These organisations make use of all resources available to them be it legislative, judicial etc., to promote their ideology and also to share their knowledge and proficiency.
Recruitment of lobbyists
There is a general preference for hiring retired government officials. This process of hiring is mutually beneficial and advantageous to both partied involved. These ex-government officials
- Get handsome remunerations in exchange for services rendered and
- Continue to have an influential presence within the government.
In return the professional lobbying firms get employees who
- Already having a strong presence and foothold within the government and
- Also have strong resumes which, in turn, help to attract potential clients.
Today lobbying has become a full time and extremely paying profession with many influential and rich people wanting to hire their services and benefit from them.