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Erik Moberg ã:
A Theory of Democratic Politics
 
 

25 - PRESIDENTIAL CONSTITUTIONS WITH MAJORITARIAN ELECTIONS: THE MAIN ACTORS AND THE LOBBYISTS

In contrast to the situation in parliamentary systems there is a very large number of targets for lobbying in this setting. The president is obviously a main target. There may also be key persons in the legislature with a lot of procedural power, for example chairmen of committees, which are likely to be approached. In addition to this all individual members of the legislature are also interesting targets. The lobbying activities are thus likely to be spread out, rather than concentrated, and therefore they are also likely to be very costly, or inefficient. If a lobbying organization, for instance, strives for getting a decisive constellation behind a proposal it favors, it will have to approach a great number of different individuals, one by one, rather than one or a few consolidated parties as in a parliamentary system.

This, in turn, may mean that it is considerably easier to lobby for blocking, than to lobby for changes of the status quo. The reason is not only that the constellations needed for blocking usually are smaller than the ones needed for a positive decision. In addition, as we saw in the preceding section, the politicians must be careful not to offend any voters. That should make it wise to abstain from supporting a proposal which a lobbyist wants to see defeated. Lobbying for change of status quo may preferably be directed towards the president.

Since the parties, considered as organizations, are too loose to be able to be parts in joint organizations, the lobbyists are likely to be free in relation to them. In contrast to the case in the parliamentary, proportional setting we will thus not see any fusions between political parties and interest organizations. There is also, as indicated in part 10, a possibility that lobbyists form after reforms are implemented, rather than the other way round.