Processes of Democracy
Lobbying by interest groups is a democratic process that contributes to the democratic governance of a nation. Interest groups identify genuine concerns and then seek to influence government policies that have an impact on the concern. For example, and interest group concerned with the environment may influence government policy so that plastic bags are banned. Getting the government to listen to the concerns of an interest group requires strategic lobbying. According to Victor (2007), lobbying can be classified into two forms based on the process used to influence government policies. They include direct lobbying and indirect lobbying. Direct lobbying includes activities such as direct communication with government officials and writing reports to specific legislators concerning a specific policy issue. Indirect lobbying involves grassroots activities such as conducting public awareness campaigns on an issue so that the legislators are pressurized by their constituents to influence government policy, participation, and public hearings and raising policy issue concerns over the media.
Interest groups provide valuable knowledge and incisive data on specific concerns through the lobbying processes. They are often constituted by professionals who have deep knowledge of the concerns being raised. Thus, their lobbying procedures create a political influence on the government to act on the issues that have been raised. The lobbyists are involved in the process of drafting policy as well as legislative initiatives that are taken up by government officials (Victor, 2007). Through the lobbying processes, the interest groups contribute to the creation of legislation and policies that address issues of concern to a nation. The interest groups have a voice due to their legitimate concerns; consequently, the government of the day has to listen to them and put their proposals into consideration as part of governance. For this reason, issues raised by lobbyists contribute immensely to political campaigns.
Reference Victor, J. N. (2007). Strategic lobbying: Demonstrating how legislative context affects interest groups’ lobbying tactics. American Politics Research, 35(6), 826–845.