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Author Topic: Should lobbying be treated as bribing?  (Read 5544 times)
iggy
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« on: November 18, 2011, 05:14:28 pm »

I'm guessing the pizza industry has something to do with (or congress is just a collection of fat clueless retards), but this is pretty sad. I'm sure there's better examples (like for example the SOPA thing to ban the internet etc). Discuss! And if you agree with my point of view than what would you do to solve these problems?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45306416/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/pizza-vegetable-congress-says-yes/
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GPH
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2011, 06:17:46 pm »

Lobbying is a (potentially highly biased and unfair, admittedly) part of the democratic process.

You can't tell an organisation they can't lobby for the status quo in school meals if you're going to allow the Institute of Medicine, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Mission: Readiness to lobby for improving school meals.

Obviously the issue is that there need to be strict regulations to ensure transparency so that when the line and been crossed and actual bribery is now taking place action can be taken.

Sort of off topic but... We had quite a scandal in the UK recently as our politicians can claim expenses for things like second homes to allow them to live in their constituency and travel to London for parliment. Personally I don't know why the goverment doesn't just buy a block of flats in London for them to use but whatever. Anyway it turned out that a lot of the politicians had been *gasp* massively cheating the system. Click for the wiki article if you care Tongue. Obviously the system was broken and the reason this was allowed to happen was because there wasn't anywhere near the level of transparency that would allow the public to scrutinise the process.

I think I'll fall back on my favourite Winston Churchill quote:

Quote
Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
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Trerro
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 10:03:31 pm »

I think it really has to depend on exactly what the lobbyists are doing. Obviously people on both sides of any issue are going to campaign for their side, get people to bug senators about it, run TV ads, collect signatures to try to show their side has more public support, etc... and for the most part, that's fine. So long as the ads and such aren't outright lying (and we have false advertising laws for that), it may not be a completely fair system, but the damage should be very limited.

There is, however, a clear line between trying to exert influence and flat out buying legislation, and the latter should absolutely be prosecuted as bribery... especially when it's THIS blatant:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120120/14472117492/mpaa-directly-publicly-threatens-politicians-who-arent-corrupt-enough-to-stay-bought.shtml
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