Pros of Lobbying
Lobbying Raises Awareness
Politicians are sometimes too busy or misinformed about the current state of a problem. The comfortable lifestyle afforded to lawmakers often means they are not in touch with the average citizen. This makes them less likely to provide representative policy as their contact with the outside world is limited. This ignorance often magnifies the problems for people who live in poor conditions and urgently need reform. This method helps bring it to the public and politicians’ attention.
Advocate for the Marginalized Groups in Society
Lobbyists can provide a voice for the overlooked minorities in society. These groups often do not have enough influence or membership to confer their wishes to the lawmakers in the community. This feature means they can sometimes see some of their constitutional rights overlooked. These groups often face discrimination, and lobbying can help raise awareness and force politicians to take action. These actions also help to promote the overall tolerance of diverse groups in society. Highlighting their existence and the issues they face helps to remove prejudices from the community.
Improve the economic competitiveness of a country
Lobbyists can provide lawmakers with relevant data that can lead to better national prospects. The lobby groups with experts often know what political framework is needed in the future. These groups can make recommendations to lawmakers that will help benefit local industries. Global competition is affecting the economy and boosting the business climate can help ensure plenty of jobs and income opportunities.
Can help improve research and development of technology?
Raising awareness of the problems facing society often encourages entrepreneurs to solve them. These problems can often turn into opportunities for firms. When the issues are highlighted there is an incentive to invest sufficient money in research and development to find a solution. This investment can lead to significant results in a country’s technological progress. These technical solutions can then be exported to improve global environmental problems. The government can, in turn, support the firms in finding a solution by providing tax breaks for this specific type of research and development. A good example is lawmakers giving tax breaks to companies developing renewable energy.
Better relations between industry leaders and lawmakers
The private and public sectors can achieve more when they have a positive relationship. If big corporations have a direct line to lawmakers, they can help ensure the interests of the general public are served quickly. An example of this is industry leaders requesting a better free business climate that will, in turn, help the corporation to remunerate their employees better. Without this relationship, the business owners may abandon the country and move to another country. This migration will harm employment.
Pros of Lobbying
Political outcomes significantly in favour of certain groups
When a slight majority of society benefits significantly from lobbying, this can be undemocratic. Some groups may use their power to influence the government to help themselves excessively. These groups are meant to provide checks and balances for lawmakers, but they can undermine democracy when there is a vast difference in the power of different lobbies. This problem can mean that the wishes and preferences of powerful lobbyists and their clients are often put above the general public.
Big Companies can become more powerful
Big corporations often have a significant amount of resources for lobbying the government. This feature makes them quite powerful and organized in their attempts to influence the government. Their ability to negotiate better business legislation for themselves means they can continue growing exponentially. The challenge here is that other businesses in society may not experience the same political benefits. This outcome means the few industry leaders who benefit will form a monopoly over services. This outcome is often regardless of the harm it does to most citizens.
Lobbying needs resources
To effect change at the highest levels of government is often quite costly. It is common for the most prominent companies globally to spend significant resources annually to influence political decisions in favour of their organization. The laws they lobby for often assist them with profitability, meaning they have a return on investment. This outcome is not the same for groups that are advocating in a non-profit structure. These groups spend money to lobby, a disadvantage because these financial resources are not invested in creating actual wealth. They put money in the hands of those in power, yet the funds are often raised from the vulnerable members. This type of wealth redistribution makes it difficult for minorities to influence policy.
Lobbying can take time
Lobbying can sometimes be inefficient, especially in urgent situations. The lobbyists trying to change policy must spend time persuading officials to take action. Their views will face immense scrutiny from public officials meaning the process can take months or years sometimes. The time allocated to flawed arguments, politicians, and lobbyists mean those affected often have to wait indefinitely for any meaningful change to occur. It is difficult and time-consuming to lobby lawmakers without significant resources or public support.
Lobbying can be considered undemocratic
It can be argued that interest groups undermine the will of the citizens. Democracy requires public officials to be elected by the majority, and having the ability to sway those officials in your favour can be unethical. This problem can be seen as unbalancing the political landscape, often leading to poor outcomes. When the arm of government is twisted to hurt the general public and benefit a few prominent characters, democracy is undermined. Elected officials are expected to make decisions that benefit the majority of the general public.