Learn about Lobbying with iMinds insightful audio knowledge series. In a perfect world, elected officials in democratic countries would make decisions in the public interest after considering issues objectively and impartially. This is how parliaments and other representative bodies are supposed to work. In reality, however, politicians around the world are subject to a range of influences and pressures that can distort the political process. One of the most persistent pressures is lobbying: the practice of seeking to influence legislation and other government decisions by those with an interest in the outcome.
Lobbying is an ancient art, because powerful people and groups have always had an incentive to manipulate official decisions in ways that are favorable to them. But the word itself dates back to the 19th century, although there is disagreement about its exact origin. By one account, the term derives from the hallways (or lobbies) of the British Parliament, where legislators would gather before entering the voting chamber.
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