Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lobbying

Last night, at the annual board meeting of our HOA (home owners association), I was reminded of the topic I wanted to get into today. Lobbying for getting someone's vote, one of our homeowners who is running for a seat on City Council in a month was handing out flyers about his candidacy and 'pressin' the flesh' as they say.

Lobbying is done automatically in all forms when you try to get someone's attention and there are generally unspoken rules about how far you can or should go to influence someone for your benefit.

I would think that's called ethics. Some might call it boldness. How far are you willing to go for whatever cause? Does the end justify the means? Or does the context of the political, or just plain work environment excuse you and justify you to do as everyone else does?

As a political scientist (can I claim to be eventhough I don't have a graduate degree) it totally irks me to read about lobby groups meeting with this or other politician and I cannot for a minute imagine that America's founding fathers would have approved of this. It seems to be the anti-thesis of democracy yet it openly happens. Mind you, my mom from the Netherlands said that she figured that there would be wheeling and dealing going on in the background even if is supposed to be illegal.Such cynicism. Now you know why I turned out the way I did, ha!

So, lobbying. It is so openly spoken and written about here in the US. But apparently, not so in Europe. See here. And here.
In Canada, where I thought it was illegal, there still seems to be a concern that it is happening.

And in one shape or form, it does.

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