Can politics exist without lobbying?

Former British ministers Stephen Byers, Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt were caught on tape boasting that they could secure preferential treatment for financial sponsors by undercover TV programme, Channel Four’s Dispatches.

At the same time, more than 20 politicians in the UK have been accused of breaching parliamentary protocol by accepting free overseas trips to foreign locations, notably Conservative David Amess, who admitted to not declaring two complimentary trips to the Maldives.

However, a number of blogs have appeared stating that it is unrealistic and naïve to think that politicians should not accept cash gifts from private companies, and the British MPs mistake was that they were not transparent of their actions.

What are your thoughts on the relationship between politicians and business? How does it affect the country you live in? Is it ok if declare your relationship with private companies? Is it ever acceptable to accept money from private endorsers if you are serving in public office?

15 Responses to “Can politics exist without lobbying?”

  1. 1 Billy
    March 23, 2010 at 17:20

    In a Direct Democracy lobbyists could at most push the government for a refferendum whereby the ultimate result will be the choice of the voters.
    However in the mainly (mis)representative democracies of the world today lobbying is rife as politicians ignore their pre election promises and accumulate more power while passing laws behind the backs of the electorate that are clearly not in the best interests of the people

  2. 2 audre
    March 23, 2010 at 18:04

    The only way to get rid of lobbying is to get rid of groups. As long as there are groups there will be people who think they deserve more because of their group.

    Is there an answer? Maybe not! Competition seems destined to remain firmly entrenched!

  3. 3 Roy Jensen Beach Florida
    March 23, 2010 at 18:11

    the easiest way to stop this corruption is for every elected politician to sign a register of interest if they own any stock in companies, are board members of any, or if they have had any contact with lobbyists (who should have to be registered by law)
    If the politician does have contact, then they should not be allowed to debate or vote on any bill affecting these companies or organisations.
    The final law should be that politicians can not be employed as lobbyists until they have been out of office for 10 years, as here in the US 1 term politicians leave office then go to work as hugely well paid lobbyists, it’s absolute corruption, no wonder politicians are so despised here.

  4. 4 patti in cape coral
    March 23, 2010 at 18:22

    I really like Roy Jensen’s idea, isn’t it similar to judges not being able to oversee trials where there might be bias?

  5. March 23, 2010 at 18:41

    Nothing wrong with lobbying,it happens on a regular basis.The only thing that spoils it is politicians trying to line their pockets because of their position in a parliament.A job that they should be doing for the benefit of the people,not for self enrichment

  6. March 23, 2010 at 19:14

    Politics should be guided by the needs of the citizen, and not the multi-corporates. Lobbyists are an expensive middleman that are employed by both parties and none of either of them.

  7. 7 steve
    March 23, 2010 at 19:58

    Lobbying seems to have a negative connotation, but without lobbying, there would be no or less funding for medical research/disease, as the funding comes from lobbying by groups like the american lung association, the speech and hearing association, etc…

  8. 8 Idris Dangalan
    March 23, 2010 at 21:41

    Nope, because lobbying is part of politics, i meant you were lobbyed a vote from voters during campaign so you must pay for it after you won the election.

  9. 9 T
    March 23, 2010 at 23:18

    No. Why? Because politics is one of the most profitable businesses around. And as long as it stays that way, lobbyists will never be eliminated.

    • 10 T
      March 23, 2010 at 23:21

      Example: During the “health care debate” in the States, anti-single payer lobbyists spent $1 million a day to stop it.

      When a Congressperson leaves office, what’s the best thing to do? Many become a lobbyist for the very group(s) that they said they “opposed” while in office.

      And why does continue? The standard response: because that’s the way it’s always been. So why change?

  10. 11 Ronald Almeida
    March 24, 2010 at 00:59

    Oh Yes! Politics can exist without lobbying, in about a thousand years.

  11. 12 Vijay Pillai
    March 24, 2010 at 01:17

    Lobbying exist because there are interest groups who think they are above the people who vote to elect a govt and have the cpacity to influence decisions in their favour by bribing either ex ministers or mps or whatever it takes to achieve their selfish goals.outlaw lobbying and make decisions based on fairness to the electors at large who were prmomissed certain policy decsions at election time. dont make fools fo electorates.

  12. 13 Tan Boon Tee
    March 24, 2010 at 02:41

    Money goes hand in hand with politics. And lobbying is part and parcel of politics — he rubs your shoulder, you scratch his back.

    Who does not want such a lucrative win-win scenario?

  13. 14 Subhash C Mehta
    March 24, 2010 at 05:57

    Lobbying takes the shape of a necessary evil, when there are vested interests involved ( political and/or economic), and sometimes becomes necessary when one or more of the disputing parties are too adamant and refuse to see reason and reconciliation on matters of public interest.

  14. 15 Jagjit Singh Mukandpuri India
    March 25, 2010 at 05:47

    Up to 20/30 years ago the other world was folloing UK. Now UK is following the rest of the world.

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