by Holly Walker
With all of the attention that my lobbying bill has been receiving recently, I’ve noticed some confusion and misconception out there about some of the parts of the bill.
For example, Labour leader David Shearer was asked about the issue on a radio interview yesterday and got a couple of things wrong.
He talked about not wanting to submit a list of all of the people he meets with himself. Just to be clear, the onus of registering and disclosing in this bill is on the person doing the lobbying activity, not the MP.
He also makes a distinction between those lobbying for corporate interests, versus those lobbying on behalf of workers or the poor, and that we should have different rules for different groups. But, in order to achieve real transparency in our political system, we need to have a clear picture of who is lobbying who on what issues. If those representing corporate interests were the only group included in this bill, then we wouldn’t be getting the complete story.
It’s important to remember that this bill isn’t passing judgement on lobbying. We’re not saying that lobbying is wrong – in fact, it’s an important part of a democratic society. It’s important that MPs hear from those with knowledge in different areas.
It’s also important for the public to have the right to know who is lobbying who on which issues.
The bill is at select committee and submissions are now open.