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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

So true « Previous | |Next »
March 4, 2004

Still on the road.

This article by Carmen Lawrence on political lobbyists is good. So many spend the day knocking on the doors of our federal parliamentarians seeking to persuade our legislators.

It's what I noticed when I recently visited Canberra:---Parliament House was crawling with lobbyist bearing the tag 'unaccompanied visitors'. I saw a number of politicians walking the corridors whose faces I recognized from the television. But they were far out numbered by the lobbyists.

They were everywhere in the corridors.

I chatted with a couple of lobbyists in the corridors----well as stood waiting in the queue for a coffee at Aussies. They said they were basically in Canberra for the day doing the rounds of the pollies. It was a whole day devoted to persuasion.

As Carmen says, they are the hidden persuadors.

Many have deep pockets. Just look at what they were able to achieve around renewable energy and ethanol: large sums of taxpayer money were given to prop up domestic producers, such as Manildra. The alternative fuels regime puts the interests of Manildra - Australia's near-monopoly ethanol producer and major Liberal Party donor - ahead of other ethanol producers and the interests of a sustainable biofuels sector.

What we have is crony capitalism, Australian style.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:11 PM | | Comments (3)
Comments

Comments

Then advocate the removal of the incentive to engage in lobbying - eliminate the ability of politicians to interfere with the economy! Problem solved.

JJM

Doesn't the government 'manage' the market economy?

Carmen may have a point about sectional interest lobbies but what's her answer? Employ a whole lot of public servants to take down their names in parliament. Is she going to employ a whole lot more(24hr rotating shifts) to check up on pollies outside parliament? The worry is, this is a president of a major political party, coming up with this bright spark.