Undermining of democratic processes by institutionalized lobbying
Unconstrained lobbying of politicians
One of the most obvious features of national political life is the steady stream of lobbyists - individuals and organizations - who turn up in the corridors of Parliament seeking to influence the policies and decisions of their representatives. Some are motivated by their own or their shareholders' interests; others by a desire to achieve particular outcomes which they believe will be of benefit to the society or some more narrowly defined sectional interest. Most people would regard such contact as a legitimate and basic right in any democracy. But there are some who are more equal than others. This is, in part, due to the fact that some - mainly business - groups are able to devote substantial resources to the task. They wine and dine MPs and provide them with "corporate hospitality" as part of carefully crafted lobbying built on personal contact and expensive "information" campaigns. And usually no public record is kept of these proceedings. This gives rise to the not unreasonable suspicion that this hospitality and the large campaign donations made by the same players may help to open doors.