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Subtopic: Etymology
– The term “lobbying” is believed to originate from the medieval Latin “lobia” or “lobium,” referring to a gallery, hall, or portico.
– It was later adopted to describe the practice of advocating or debating in such spaces.
– The roots of lobbying can be traced back to the gathering of Members of Parliament and peers in the hallways of the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament.
– One story links the term to the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., where President Ulysses S. Grant interacted with political advocates.
– The term “lobbying” appeared in print as early as 1820.

Subtopic: Overview
– Governments define and regulate organized group lobbying to prevent political corruption and ensure transparency.
– Lobby groups influence legislatures and also use the judicial branch to advance causes.
– Lobbyists utilize legal devices like “amicus curiae” briefs to influence court cases.
– The revolving door concept involves movement of personnel between roles as legislators and regulators.
– The lobbying industry offers attractive prospects for ex-government officials and significant financial rewards.

Subtopic: Role in Politics
– Lobbying involves lawfully attempting to influence government officials, legislators, and regulatory agencies.
– Various individuals, associations, corporations, non-profits, and legislators engage in lobbying to serve different interests.
– Professional lobbyists are hired to influence legislation, regulation, or government decisions.
– Nonprofit organizations also engage in lobbying as part of their activities.
– Lobbying is controversial due to ethical concerns and potential conflicts of interest.

Subtopic: Impact on Legislation
– Lobbying plays a role in shaping laws and policies to serve the interests of groups or individuals.
– Lobbyists work to influence government decisions on behalf of those who hire them.
– Lobbying efforts can lead to conflicts of interest and a perceived democratic deficit.
– Lobbying can be viewed negatively when it is seen as corrupting the law to serve specific interests.
– The influence of special interests through lobbying can lead to misdirection by government officials.

Subtopic: Regulation and Transparency
– Governments establish laws to regulate organized group lobbying and prevent political corruption.
– Transparency measures like public lobby registers are introduced to track possible influences.
– Lobbyists may use legal tools like “amicus curiae” briefs to influence court cases.
– The lobbying industry is influenced by the revolving door concept between government roles and industry.
– Ex-government officials find the lobbying industry attractive due to contacts with government officials and potential financial rewards.

Lobbying (Wikipedia)

In politics, lobbying, or advocacy, is the act of lawfully attempting to influence the actions, policies, or decisions of government officials, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies, but also judges of the judiciary. Lobbying, which usually involves direct, face-to-face contact in cooperation with support staff that may not meet directly face-to-face, is done by many types of people, associations and organized groups, including individuals on a personal level in their capacity as voters, constituents, or private citizens; it is also practiced by corporations in the private sector serving their own business interests; by non-profits and non-governmental organizations in the voluntary sector through advocacy groups (interest groups) to fulfil their mission such as requesting humanitarian aid or grantmaking; and by fellow legislators or government officials influencing each other through legislative affairs (legislative assistance) in the public sector. Lobbying or certain practices that share commonalities with lobbying are sometimes referred to as government relations, or government affairs and sometimes legislative relations, or legislative affairs. It is also an industry known by many of the aforementioned names, and has a near complete overlap with the public affairs industry. Lobbyists may be among a legislator's constituencies, for example amateur lobbyists such as a voter or a bloc of voters within their electoral district acting as private citizens; others like professional lobbyists may engage in lobbying as a business or profession; while others are government relations support staff who work on behalf of professional lobbyists but do not actively participate in influencing or meeting face-to-face with targeted personnel enough to be considered registered lobbyists while working in the same professional circles as professional lobbyists who are legally designated as registered lobbyists.

Professional lobbyists are people whose business is trying to influence legislation, regulation, or other government decisions, actions, or policies on behalf of a group or individual who hires them. Nonprofit organizations whether as professional or amateur lobbyists can also lobby as an act of volunteering or as a small part of their normal job. Governments often define "lobbying" for legal purposes, and regulate organized group lobbying that has become influential.

The ethics and morals involved with legally lobbying or influence peddling are controversial. Lobbying can, at times, be spoken of with contempt, when the implication is that people with inordinate socioeconomic power are corrupting the law in order to serve their own interests. When people who have a duty to act on behalf of others, such as elected officials with a duty to serve their constituents' interests or more broadly the public good, can benefit by shaping the law to serve the interests of some private parties, a conflict of interest exists. Many critiques of lobbying point to the potential for conflicts of interest to lead to agent misdirection or the intentional failure of an agent with a duty to serve an employer, client, or constituent to perform those duties. The failure of government officials to serve the public interest as a consequence of lobbying by special interests who provide benefits to the official is an example of agent misdirection. That is why lobbying is seen as one of the causes of a democratic deficit.

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