ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Non-USA & General Politics
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 23rd January 2020, 12:55 PM   #1
3point14
Pi
 
3point14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 19,187
Lobbying

This maybe should be in US politics, but it's a universal thing.


Facebook and Apple, between them, spent over USD 30M on lobbying last year.

I don't see how democracy can work with lobbying being an allowed, accepted thing.

There's zero justification for it.


https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fa...vUL9Ca9Dze1PUo
__________________
Up the River!

Anyone that wraps themselves in the Union Flag and also lives in tax exile is a [redacted]
3point14 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd January 2020, 12:58 PM   #2
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 88,219
It's a problem that stems from gigantic companies, mainly. Not sure how to stop it.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd January 2020, 02:33 PM   #3
Dr. Keith
Not a doctor.
 
Dr. Keith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 19,728
I've actually worked on some industry lobbying that did not make me feel dirty.

It was essentially explaining to lawmakers* how their desired legislation would have very predictable unintended consequences for the industry I was working for that the lawmakers could not possibly be aware of and would certainly not like to cause. We offered up minor changes to the legislation that would mitigate those effects without changing the overall impact of the legislation. The lawmakers can't know about every niche industry and the industry needs to be able to speak up before it gets hit with something nobody really wants to happen. It was fun and it felt good.

But working with the people I had to work with to get that done let me know that I did not want to do that sort of work as a major part of my life.

The problem is how do you separate this sort of lobbying from the more insidious type where it looks like the industry owns the lawmaker. I don't know.


*Really, their staff.
__________________
Suffering is not a punishment not a fruit of sin, it is a gift of God.
He allows us to share in His suffering and to make up for the sins of the world. -Mother Teresa

If I had a pet panda I would name it Snowflake.
Dr. Keith is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd January 2020, 02:37 PM   #4
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,768
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
This maybe should be in US politics, but it's a universal thing.


Facebook and Apple, between them, spent over USD 30M on lobbying last year.

I don't see how democracy can work with lobbying being an allowed, accepted thing.

There's zero justification for it.


https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fa...vUL9Ca9Dze1PUo
$30m doesn't seem like a lot, actually.

As for lobbying.

It's reasonable for citizens to meet with their representatives and make their case for some preferred policy. It's also reasonable for citizens (or groups of citizens, e.g., corporations) to hire specialists or professionals to meet on their behalf and make their case. Given these two things are reasonable, it's difficult to argue that citizens or groups of citizens should not be allowed to do this.

Last edited by theprestige; 23rd January 2020 at 02:39 PM.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd January 2020, 06:08 PM   #5
Puppycow
Penultimate Amazing
 
Puppycow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 24,618
As far as the United States goes, lobbying is protected by the constitution. At least, that's how courts have interpreted it. The constitution uses the word 'petition' but it means more or less the same thing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_..._United_States

Quote:
In the United States the right to petition is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which specifically prohibits Congress from abridging "the right of the people...to petition the Government for a redress of grievances".

Although often overlooked in favor of other more famous freedoms, and sometimes taken for granted,[1] many other civil liberties are enforceable against the government only by exercising this basic right.[2] The right to petition is regarded as fundamental in some republics, such as the United States, as a means of protecting public participation in government.[1]
Quote:
The right to petition includes under its umbrella the legal right to sue the government,[9] and the right of individuals, groups and possibly corporations to lobby the government.
And as Mitt Romney famously noted, "Corporations are people, my friend."
__________________
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
Puppycow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd January 2020, 07:03 PM   #6
Random
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 3,111
Just get the money out of the system. Ban private campaign contributions and have all elections government funded start to finish. If Apple wants to lobby a Senator, they can meet in their office and make their case, but no cash changes hands.
__________________
"...Am I actually watching Big Bird argue with the Egyptian God of the Dead? Is PBS sending some kind of weird religious message here?"
Random is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd January 2020, 10:00 PM   #7
gypsyjackson
Muse
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 509
I used to be lobbied all the time when I worked in Brussels. Most of the time organisations on both sides of the issue would ask us to change the law in their favour; I'd listen to the arguments, feed back any new information to London, and generally tell the organisations what the Government position was and that we would look at other proposals which would not run counter to policy. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, but then they weren't giving me fistfuls of cash.

Similarly, I used to lobby other governments to change their mind in favour of something we wanted, and looked out for deals which could be done if appropriate. All part of the way it works. It all feels very different from a corporation giving someone a 'campaign donation' in exchange for sponsoring legislation or voting a certain way. That isn't lobbying, that's bribery and corruption.
gypsyjackson is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th January 2020, 10:09 AM   #8
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,768
Originally Posted by Random View Post
Just get the money out of the system. Ban private campaign contributions and have all elections government funded start to finish. If Apple wants to lobby a Senator, they can meet in their office and make their case, but no cash changes hands.
I'm pretty sure this is money being spent on professional lobbying firms, to draft legislation and pitch it to politicians. It's not cash payments from corporations to politicians to buy their votes (which would be bribery, not lobbying).

"Getting the money out of the system" would mean essentially prohibiting anyone from paying someone else to talk to politicians on their behalf. A group of citizens with a common cause wouldn't be allowed to hire a consultant to petition legislators in their name. It's questionable whether they'd even be allowed to pool their resources to send one of their own to Washington for that purpose. Could the CEO or chairman of the board lobby on behalf of their corporation? Probably not.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th January 2020, 10:21 AM   #9
The Don
Penultimate Amazing
 
The Don's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sir Fynwy
Posts: 27,817
Lobbying itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. As Dr. Keith mentioned, it's the way for stakeholders on both sides of a decision to put their views forward for consideration.

What I think is dangerous is administrations of whatever hue allowing lobbying organisations to draft legislation which subsequently ends up being passed with insufficient scrutiny.

Whether this is because politicians and civil servants simply do not have the bandwidth to do this, whether it's because they're lazy, whether there is simply too much required legislation for a depleted civil service to cope with, whether career civil servants are viewed as being "deep state" by extremist politicians or a combination of any or all of the above is anyone's guess but, for example, having processed food manufacturers setting school nutrition standards seems to work against the best interests of students.
The Don is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th January 2020, 10:53 AM   #10
Trebuchet
Penultimate Amazing
 
Trebuchet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Great Northwet
Posts: 24,999
Originally Posted by gypsyjackson View Post
I used to be lobbied all the time when I worked in Brussels. Most of the time organisations on both sides of the issue would ask us to change the law in their favour; I'd listen to the arguments, feed back any new information to London, and generally tell the organisations what the Government position was and that we would look at other proposals which would not run counter to policy. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, but then they weren't giving me fistfuls of cash.

Similarly, I used to lobby other governments to change their mind in favour of something we wanted, and looked out for deals which could be done if appropriate. All part of the way it works. It all feels very different from a corporation giving someone a 'campaign donation' in exchange for sponsoring legislation or voting a certain way. That isn't lobbying, that's bribery and corruption.
Did they buy you lunch? Mostly just curious.
__________________
Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
Trebuchet is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th January 2020, 10:56 AM   #11
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,768
I don't see how you could stop a citizen from writing up their ideal legislation and sending it to their representative.

Or rather, I don't see how you could do it without infringing on their rights and undermining the whole principle of citizens being able to talk to their representatives.

3point14, The Don, what rules would you put in place, to prevent (or at least mitigate) improper petitioning of legislators by their constituents?
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th January 2020, 01:30 PM   #12
Delphic Oracle
Illuminator
 
Delphic Oracle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 4,072
If there isn't a legal vehicle for influence (as unfair as it may be), there will be bribery and graft and it will be much harder to find.

No, the problem is that FEC reports and personal financial disclosures mean every voter can be easily informed about how much influence a politician is okay with and who from, and yet still elect them.
Delphic Oracle is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th January 2020, 05:07 PM   #13
gypsyjackson
Muse
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 509
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Did they buy you lunch? Mostly just curious.
More likely to be coffee, but sometimes, yes. Other times they would throw a reception with cocktails and canapés, if they had a document they wanted to launch. Other times they would just come in to the office, or ring me. These days I suppose it would be Whatsapp, mostly.
gypsyjackson is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th January 2020, 11:01 PM   #14
novaphile
Quester of Doglets
Moderator
 
novaphile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,317
I've been on both sides of that fence, working for a Member of Parliament, and being involved with a few lobbying organisations. (Cycling related).

Sadly, no lobbyist ever bought me anything, not even a cup of coffee...

However, a goodly number of MPs, and a couple of Senators have bought me meals (and countless cups of coffee).



Never in that time were any bribes/donations made by anyone. (Not even offers).

I'd like to join those who are suggesting, that it's the bribery that needs to stop, not the lobbying.

That seems to work OK here in Australia.
__________________
We would be better, and braver, to engage in enquiry, rather than indulge in the idle fancy, that we already know -- Plato.
novaphile is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th January 2020, 11:41 PM   #15
The Don
Penultimate Amazing
 
The Don's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sir Fynwy
Posts: 27,817
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't see how you could stop a citizen from writing up their ideal legislation and sending it to their representative.

Or rather, I don't see how you could do it without infringing on their rights and undermining the whole principle of citizens being able to talk to their representatives.

3point14, The Don, what rules would you put in place, to prevent (or at least mitigate) improper petitioning of legislators by their constituents?
I'm not sure there needs to be any new rules regarding petitioning by constituents. My problem is with pressure groups drafting legislation which itself wouldn't be so bad if legislators have it adequate scrutiny.

In part this is due to an insistence on a smaller and smaller civil service having to cover more and more ground.
The Don is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th January 2020, 12:41 AM   #16
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 89,707
The major issue I have with current lobbying is access. You want to put your case to the PM? Buy a ticket for £25000 to attend an event and be sat next to the PM for an hour.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th January 2020, 12:55 AM   #17
novaphile
Quester of Doglets
Moderator
 
novaphile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,317
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
The major issue I have with current lobbying is access. You want to put your case to the PM? Buy a ticket for £25000 to attend an event and be sat next to the PM for an hour.
I Prime Minister I can understand, one would hope that they're relatively busy.

I can tell you, that I've never been refused an appointment with any Member of Parliament. So I've conversed with a number of Ministers (in and out of work time).

I'm pretty sure that party political fundraisers (i.e. $25000 to sit with the PM) aren't much of an opportunity for lobbying.

I haven't worked at the PM level, but I have attended (and helped organise) party political fundraisers for the minor party that I worked for.

It was a very interesting part of the job, because I met many interesting people in that role.
__________________
We would be better, and braver, to engage in enquiry, rather than indulge in the idle fancy, that we already know -- Plato.
novaphile is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th January 2020, 05:48 AM   #18
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 18,534
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
The major issue I have with current lobbying is access. You want to put your case to the PM? Buy a ticket for £25000 to attend an event and be sat next to the PM for an hour.
So?

Scenario: a politician has time to meet with one person. Two voters wish to speak to them. Voter X votes for the person but that is it. Voter Y will make posters, knock on doors, go to local meetings, and show up at events.

Do you see an issue with a politician choosing person Y because of their vigorous support?
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th January 2020, 06:12 AM   #19
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,768
Originally Posted by The Don View Post
I'm not sure there needs to be any new rules regarding petitioning by constituents. My problem is with pressure groups drafting legislation which itself wouldn't be so bad if legislators have it adequate scrutiny.

In part this is due to an insistence on a smaller and smaller civil service having to cover more and more ground.
How would you stop it's?

Make it illegal for citizens to draft legislation? Make it illegal for them to send drafts to their legislators?
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2020, 01:50 AM   #20
The Don
Penultimate Amazing
 
The Don's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sir Fynwy
Posts: 27,817
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
How would you stop it's?

Make it illegal for citizens to draft legislation? Make it illegal for them to send drafts to their legislators?
IMO there is a big difference between individuals conferring with their representatives and governments outsourcing responsibility for drafting legislation to industry bodies who also happen to be significant contributors to those governments but I'm not sure a change to the law is necessary.

In fact I wouldn't even be too bothered about the latter if I felt that the draft legislation was subject to sufficient scrutiny but these days a combination of overall workload and how crowded the legislative agenda is , a deliberate move to under-resource the civil service, the complexity of the legislation and bald partisanship means that this isn't the case and important legislation makes it through on a nod and a wink.

My view is that, in the same way that many of the "ills" of corporate behaviour (short-termism, executive overpayment, lack of good corporate governance) is down to shareholders being asleep at the wheel, failure to temper the excesses of lobbyists is down to the electorate being asleep at the wheel.
The Don is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2020, 05:36 PM   #21
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,768
Originally Posted by The Don View Post
IMO there is a big difference between individuals conferring with their representatives and governments outsourcing responsibility for drafting legislation to industry bodies who also happen to be significant contributors to those governments but I'm not sure a change to the law is necessary.
First, the money spent on lobbying isn't being spent on contributions to the government. It's being spent on professional lobbyists to confer with politicians on behalf of the spender.

Second of all, what exactly is the difference between individuals conferring with their representatives, and groups of individuals pooling their resources to confer with their representatives? Representatives only have so many waking hours. They're not going to be able to meet with everybody.

Sorry. I'm probably not expressing myself very clearly. You seem to have a vague complaint, without making any attempt to look at specifics and practicalities.

You want citizens to be able to confer with their representatives, but you don't want them to try to do it efficiently or effectively?

Last edited by theprestige; 26th January 2020 at 05:37 PM.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2020, 07:28 PM   #22
Brainster
Penultimate Amazing
 
Brainster's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 17,431
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
This maybe should be in US politics, but it's a universal thing.


Facebook and Apple, between them, spent over USD 30M on lobbying last year.

I don't see how democracy can work with lobbying being an allowed, accepted thing.

There's zero justification for it.


https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fa...vUL9Ca9Dze1PUo
I would guess that if you looked, Facebook, Amazon and Apple all contributed fairly substantial amounts to both political parties. In a sense, it's "protection" money.

Many years ago my home state changed the laws regarding my profession at the time (mortgage banking). They consulted with the local mortgage banking lobbyist in crafting the legislation. The problem was that the lobbyist was focused on residential home loans, not the commercial real estate loans I made, and some of the provisions affected the commercial mortgage bankers like me disproportionately (and foolishly, because the focus of the legislation was protecting individual homeowners, not the sophisticated investors who own apartment complexes, office buildings and shopping centers). Needless to say, all the commercial guys were fuming and before you know it, we stopped paying our dues to the organization that hired the lobbyist and retained another one to represent our interests.
__________________
My new blog: Recent Reads.
1960s Comic Book Nostalgia
Visit the Screw Loose Change blog.
Brainster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2020, 07:35 PM   #23
sir drinks-a-lot
Illuminator
 
sir drinks-a-lot's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Cole Valley, CA
Posts: 3,721
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
It's a problem that stems from gigantic companies, mainly. Not sure how to stop it.
It seems it also partially stems from the amount of legislative power that has been bestowed upon the government (see Bastiat).

The less power the government has, the less there is to be gained by lobbying.
__________________
I drink to the general joy o' th' whole table. --William Shakespeare
sir drinks-a-lot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2020, 09:43 PM   #24
Delphic Oracle
Illuminator
 
Delphic Oracle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 4,072
Originally Posted by sir drinks-a-lot View Post
It seems it also partially stems from the amount of legislative power that has been bestowed upon the government (see Bastiat).

The less power the government has, the less there is to be gained by lobbying.
That's an eternal philosophical war. The thing big enough to protect you against the Bad Thing™ can become a Bigger, Badder Thing™.

It's also one of those things that works on "economies of scale."

Spending a few thousand a cycle on a few local/regional politicians to make a several-dozen acre development squeak over into viable territory is one thing.

Spending millions to get billions is a whole other story.

The last two cycles have topped $1 trillion in the Presidential race, let alone the whole nationwide field, let alone the untraceable amounts arriving via 501(c)(4)s into 501(c)(3)s pretending to be "issue advocacy" organizations. Not just "not coordinating" with a politician or party, but "totally unconnected, nope, nothing to see here" types. There's lots of "off brand" Crossroads GPSs out there, so to speak.

https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2...-in-a-lobbyist

NPR put it at 22,000 percent (220x) ROI.

Not bad.
Delphic Oracle is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th January 2020, 01:17 AM   #25
The Don
Penultimate Amazing
 
The Don's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sir Fynwy
Posts: 27,817
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
First, the money spent on lobbying isn't being spent on contributions to the government. It's being spent on professional lobbyists to confer with politicians on behalf of the spender.
Well that's one specific form of lobbying. One in which those with the deepest pockets stand the greatest chance to hire and resource the most effective lobbyists.

Of course those professional lobbyists may tell that politician that unless (s)he accepts their draft legislation and/or votes a specific way then they may find it much harder to raise campaign funds next time around and/or they'll be walking into a flurry of negative ads funded by the PACs over which lobbyist's clients have control.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Second of all, what exactly is the difference between individuals conferring with their representatives, and groups of individuals pooling their resources to confer with their representatives? Representatives only have so many waking hours. They're not going to be able to meet with everybody.
I don't have a problem with groups of individuals pooling their resources to confer with their representatives. I am wary of large organisations or wealthy individuals paying for access to legislators, especially if that access is accompanied by threats.

Even then, I'm not so bothered by that and I'm rather more bothered by government outsourcing the drafting of legislation to those large organisations or wealthy individuals. Whether it's the Society or Motor Manufacturers and Traders drafting new vehicle emissions standards or the Unite union drafting new employment legislation, I'm uncomfortable that the pressure groups are so involved in the drafting of bills.

I'd be less wary if the "old" process were followed. There would be a consultation period in which stakeholders were invited to express their views, singly or through lobbyists, and then draft legislation is produced by professional, impartial, civil servants.

Even then, if I felt that the proposed legislation was subject to sufficient scrutiny then I'd feel that the risks could be mitigated but too often hundreds of pages of legislation are approved where it's clear that those voting on the legislation haven't read, much less understood, what they're voting on.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Sorry. I'm probably not expressing myself very clearly. You seem to have a vague complaint, without making any attempt to look at specifics and practicalities.
Au contraire, I'm making a very specific complaint about pressure groups, industry bodies and unions being invited to draft legislation which then becomes law without sufficient scrutiny.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You want citizens to be able to confer with their representatives, but you don't want them to try to do it efficiently or effectively?
Not at all. I'd like actual citizens to be able to confer with their representatives as opposed to those with the deepest pockets having the ability to draft legislation.
The Don is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 03:35 AM   #26
3point14
Pi
 
3point14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 19,187
Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Lobbying itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. As Dr. Keith mentioned, it's the way for stakeholders (those who can afford it) on both sides of a decision to put their views forward for consideration.
Fixed that for you
__________________
Up the River!

Anyone that wraps themselves in the Union Flag and also lives in tax exile is a [redacted]
3point14 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 04:57 AM   #27
The Don
Penultimate Amazing
 
The Don's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sir Fynwy
Posts: 27,817
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Fixed that for you
I guess that comes down to the difference between lobbying - which I am able to do with my MP but which will have almost no chance of a positive outcome - and Lobbying which is done by well funded professional lobbyists and which has a much greater prospect of success.
The Don is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 05:03 AM   #28
3point14
Pi
 
3point14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 19,187
Originally Posted by The Don View Post
I guess that comes down to the difference between lobbying - which I am able to do with my MP but which will have almost no chance of a positive outcome - and Lobbying which is done by well funded professional lobbyists and which has a much greater prospect of success.
Exactly.

The million pound new homes and executive everything company puts a few hundred thousand into a 'consultation' (complete with week long 'presentation' at the hotel and spa, Micheline starred meals, hot and cold running room service etc) to convince the representative of the people it's a stunning idea.

The owners of the homes they're going to have to demolish (along with the public park, library and only doctor's surgery for ******* miles) can only send Bob cos everyone else has to work for a living. Bob's off on disability and is eloquent but can't actually catch the eye or speak to his representative cos he's scruffy and hasn't provided a limo or other essentials.


When money buys access to policy, democracy is ******.

If a government needs information it employs people, pays people to go out and get it. Any business doing it unprompted and for free does not have the best interests of the country or its inhabitants at heart.
__________________
Up the River!

Anyone that wraps themselves in the Union Flag and also lives in tax exile is a [redacted]

Last edited by 3point14; 30th January 2020 at 05:04 AM.
3point14 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 05:10 AM   #29
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 18,534
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Exactly.

The million pound new homes and executive everything company puts a few hundred thousand into a 'consultation' (complete with week long 'presentation' at the hotel and spa, Micheline starred meals, hot and cold running room service etc) to convince the representative of the people it's a stunning idea.

The owners of the homes they're going to have to demolish (along with the public park, library and only doctor's surgery for ******* miles) can only send Bob cos everyone else has to work for a living. Bob's off on disability and is eloquent but can't actually catch the eye or speak to his representative cos he's scruffy and hasn't provided a limo or other essentials.


When money buys access to policy, democracy is ******.

If a government needs information it employs people, pays people to go out and get it. Any business doing it unprompted and for free does not have the best interests of the country or its inhabitants at heart.
Doesn't sound like the homeowners in this scenario have the interests of the country at heart,either.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 05:52 AM   #30
3point14
Pi
 
3point14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 19,187
Never mind, ignore this post. I came to my senses.
__________________
Up the River!

Anyone that wraps themselves in the Union Flag and also lives in tax exile is a [redacted]

Last edited by 3point14; 30th January 2020 at 05:53 AM.
3point14 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 06:14 AM   #31
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 18,534
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Never mind, ignore this post. I came to my senses.
Well,let me know if you ever figure out how to articulate what constitutes being in the country's interest.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 07:30 AM   #32
Crossbow
Seeking Honesty and Sanity
 
Crossbow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 12,826
I have done a bit of lobbying as well.

Some thirty years ago I met with my Congressional Representative and a staff member from my Congressional Senator to discuss nuclear disarmament.

I was not writing distributing money, favors, or anything material like that. Instead, I just wanted to voice my concerns on this serious issue all the same.

Now then, it sure would be nice if there was some way to screen the 'bad' lobbyists from the 'good' lobbyists, but it is simply not possible to do such a thing.

Therefore, as with many things in life, we just have to take the good with the bad.
__________________
On 22 JUL 2016, Candidate Donald Trump in his acceptance speech: "There can be no prosperity without law and order."
On 05 FEB 2019, President Donald Trump said in his Sate of the Union Address: "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation."
On 15 FEB 2019 'BobTheCoward' said: "I constantly assert I am a fool."
A man's best friend is his dogma.
Crossbow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 07:31 AM   #33
Crossbow
Seeking Honesty and Sanity
 
Crossbow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 12,826
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Well,let me know if you ever figure out how to articulate what constitutes being in the country's interest.
That is odd ...

Several other posters (including myself) have periodically said almost the exact same concerning your postings.
__________________
On 22 JUL 2016, Candidate Donald Trump in his acceptance speech: "There can be no prosperity without law and order."
On 05 FEB 2019, President Donald Trump said in his Sate of the Union Address: "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation."
On 15 FEB 2019 'BobTheCoward' said: "I constantly assert I am a fool."
A man's best friend is his dogma.
Crossbow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 07:43 AM   #34
3point14
Pi
 
3point14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 19,187
Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
I have done a bit of lobbying as well.

Some thirty years ago I met with my Congressional Representative and a staff member from my Congressional Senator to discuss nuclear disarmament.

I was not writing distributing money, favors, or anything material like that. Instead, I just wanted to voice my concerns on this serious issue all the same.

Now then, it sure would be nice if there was some way to screen the 'bad' lobbyists from the 'good' lobbyists, but it is simply not possible to do such a thing.

Therefore, as with many things in life, we just have to take the good with the bad.

I disagree.

Paying for access to policy is anti-democratic.

Money should not buy policy. It does, but it shouldn't.
__________________
Up the River!

Anyone that wraps themselves in the Union Flag and also lives in tax exile is a [redacted]
3point14 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 07:53 AM   #35
Crossbow
Seeking Honesty and Sanity
 
Crossbow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 12,826
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I disagree.

Paying for access to policy is anti-democratic.

Money should not buy policy. It does, but it shouldn't.
You are quite correct.

However, I have never seen any workable way to deal with the problem of keeping money out of political access while allowing concerned citizens to have cash-free political access.
__________________
On 22 JUL 2016, Candidate Donald Trump in his acceptance speech: "There can be no prosperity without law and order."
On 05 FEB 2019, President Donald Trump said in his Sate of the Union Address: "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation."
On 15 FEB 2019 'BobTheCoward' said: "I constantly assert I am a fool."
A man's best friend is his dogma.
Crossbow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 08:04 AM   #36
3point14
Pi
 
3point14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 19,187
Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
You are quite correct.

However, I have never seen any workable way to deal with the problem of keeping money out of political access while allowing concerned citizens to have cash-free political access.

I think there's possibly a middle ground between what we have now and, to be fair, the practical impossibility of nobody trying to influence a politician.

Draconian rules on accepting gifts and jollies for a start and, and I realise this is extreme - no taking minted jobs at companies you've been 'lobbied' by after you've retired as a politician. And, if that's too onerous, then don't be a politician.
__________________
Up the River!

Anyone that wraps themselves in the Union Flag and also lives in tax exile is a [redacted]
3point14 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 08:21 AM   #37
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 18,534
Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
That is odd ...

Several other posters (including myself) have periodically said almost the exact same concerning your postings.
Which is why I said okay and to just let me know. I'm dropping the inquiry.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 10:40 AM   #38
The Don
Penultimate Amazing
 
The Don's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sir Fynwy
Posts: 27,817
Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
You are quite correct.

However, I have never seen any workable way to deal with the problem of keeping money out of political access while allowing concerned citizens to have cash-free political access.
There are a couple of ways of mitigating the effect, but only partially.

One is to have strict spending limits and government funding of electioneering. That way there's no way for lobbyists to fund campaigns directly or indirectly.

Another is to be rigorous about keeping and publishing a catalogue of members' interests so that jollies to fancy resorts are known about, and publicised.

Of course the government sometimes polls stakeholders for opinions rather than being subjected to lobbying but that is an expensive process that may not be scalable.
The Don is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 10:48 AM   #39
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 22,792
When other people give money to politicians I don't like, it's lobbying.

When I give money to politicians I like, it's support.

But beyond that the numbers just aren't that big to me.

Quick, without Googling who is the biggest lobbyiest in the US? The NRA? Big Pharma? Big oil? Big chemical?

Nope. The US Chamber of Commerce. 94 million a year.

Second? The National Association of Realtors. 72 million a year.

Evil George Soros's 31 million couldn't fund an Avengers movie.

Blue Cross / Blue Shield the single largest lobbying from a single company 23 million, not enough to buy a nice house in the Hamptons.

Compare any of these numbers of the 4+ Trillion dollars the Federal Government spends in your average annual budget and it's like saying I can buy and sell and influence the average middle income family in American with pocket change.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2020, 10:54 AM   #40
3point14
Pi
 
3point14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 19,187
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
When other people give money to politicians I don't like, it's lobbying.

When I give money to politicians I like, it's support.

But beyond that the numbers just aren't that big to me.

Quick, without Googling who is the biggest lobbyiest in the US? The NRA? Big Pharma? Big oil? Big chemical?

Nope. The US Chamber of Commerce. 94 million a year.

Second? The National Association of Realtors. 72 million a year.

Evil George Soros's 31 million couldn't fund an Avengers movie.

Blue Cross / Blue Shield the single largest lobbying from a single company 23 million, not enough to buy a nice house in the Hamptons.

Compare any of these numbers of the 4+ Trillion dollars the Federal Government spends in your average annual budget and it's like saying I can buy and sell and influence the average middle income family in American with pocket change.

I don't think that's at all valid.


There are, what? around 1000 politicians in all of the houses.

There are around three quarters of a million Americans.

How do your numbers work if you factor that in? the object of the exercise for the lobbyist is maximum effect for minimum buck. Therefore they can heavily influence policy by spending a small amount of money - in national terms - to affect the purse of one or two politicians.


I don't think your comparison of one to the other has any bearing on the argument.
__________________
Up the River!

Anyone that wraps themselves in the Union Flag and also lives in tax exile is a [redacted]
3point14 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Non-USA & General Politics

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:19 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.