Lobbyists are basically people hired by special interests to go to Ottawa and wrangle with the MPs to get favourable decisions and legislation for those groups. The term originated in the US, when people would hang out in hotel lobbys waiting to grab the ear of the representative they were looking to influence.
They're usually paid very well, and until recently were people connect with one political party or another in some fashion. The usual career path was to work as a staffer or backbencher MP long enough to build some connections, then go to the private sector and try to turn that insider knowledge to the employer's benefit.
Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:24 am Post subject: Re: What is a lobbyist and should I care?
John Louis wrote:
What is a lobbyist?
During the Chretien dynasty the word came up a lot, in fact some legislation concerning lobbyists was passed.
I know there is a LOT of money involved.
I'm a lobbyist and perhaps you should care. I represent business interests to talk to and persuade people in Ottawa to do things (and NOT do things) that would be beyond the scope of most Canadians.
And given the way this government operates (all decisions, large and small, are made in the centre) lobbyists who can influence the PMO are worth huge mega-bucks. Ian Brodie, Harper's former chief of staff, has hired on as "senior counsellor" at Hill and Knowlton. I guarantee you that an hour of his time will cost several hundred dollars.
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