Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Lobbying and Bribing

bribeLobbying vs Bribing

Lobbying, in general, refers to the act of trying to influence members of a legislative body to vote in favor of the ‘lobbyist’. In some governments, ‘lobbyists’ have formally recognized groups, whose interests are ‘lobbied’ for, that may be wholly or partially funded by organizations, or even nations. On a softer side, lobbying may just involve political support offered in return for political influence, or action. Lobbying that is legalized by a government does not involve financial support.

Bribery, on the other hand, involves offering money in return for political action or influence. Often this bribery comes in cash form, without involving bank transactions, and this is one of the reasons many lobbyists have been accused of bribery. Therefore, bribery is when money contributions are made to a political group in expectation of being favored in political or legislative decisions. Priorities and decisions of legislators, governors, councilmen and the President alike, are defined by money handouts by lobbyists

At times, there seems to be just a fine line between the two. Lobbyists have become very aggressive in pushing for their agendas, and this has led many to think that their practices have become unacceptable, as it unfairly swings the political landscape in favor of the rich and the big corporations that can use their monetary influence. Definitely, this kind of system has major drawbacks, since the concerns of the ‘common man’ will not matter if they are contrary to the interests of the big businesses. Some business leaders have such a grip on the avenues to power, that the gap between the businesses and the file and rank (who are the customers) is very wide.

Precisely put, bribery is when a business, individual or a group of individuals, offer cash or property in exchange for a specific influence in their favor. For instance, when a legislator tells his constituent that he will vote for certain legislation in return for a certain amount of money, then that is bribery.

Many times, proving a bribe can be as hard as it can be to distinguish between bribery (which is illegal) and lobbying (which is legal in some governments), unless informers are used. Informers will have to offer the real bribes, and tape the officials accepting the money offers. Alternatively, if there’s some written agreement with the official consenting to the bribery, it could also prove the acceptance of a bribe. Otherwise, proving a connection between the two parties without tangible evidence can seem like a ‘mountain to climb.’

Summary:
Lobbying is trying to influence politicians to decide in your favor, while bribing means the same, except that there is an offer of money or property.
Lobbying is legal (although contentious), while bribery is out rightly illegal.


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8 Comments

  1. This article is close to nonsensical, trying to make a distinction where there isn’t any. Yes, lobbying does involve money given to politicians to influence their decisions. In fact, there’s more money involved in lobbying than there’ll ever be in bribery. The lobbyists spend millions of $$ every year trying to buy votes in the senate, and they manage to succeed most of the time.

    For this reason, American politics is laughable.

    Lobbying = Bribery = Lobbying = Bribery. No distinction.

    • No they are not the same thing. If this were actually reality than lobbying would be against the law as well. You can influence someone or even completely change their mind without offering money and/or land. Yes you are correct that there is a lot of gray area within lobbying but to say that they are absolutely the same is just plain ignorant.

      • The difference is simple. Bribery is illegal for non politicians and legal for politicians. Just like most everything else in America. The politicians create laws to control the people while giving themselves the freedom to the point where they are not held accountable for anything.

      • The argument that if lobbying were bribery it would be illegal is pretty funny. The people who are taking bazillions of dollars from other people in exchange for political favor are the people who make laws that say that their own behavior and that of the people who are giving them bazillions of dollars is lobbying and is legal. The same people, the ones who made the laws saying that the people who give them bazillions of dollars are legal lobbyists are the same people who made the laws saying that the people who offer them infinitesimally small amounts of money compared to the legal lobbyists are criminal bribers. Down the Rabbit Hole we go!!!!!!

  2. I agree: No difference. Period. Left over campaign funds go in the pocket of the politician.

  3. Congresswoman Pelosi said when asked about inside trading . I am doing nothing illegal, a year later a law was passed making congressional inside trading illegal. suprise,suprise.
    I am from another era, born in 1934 honesty and itegrity were the first rules I was taught. lobbying is bribery, plain and simple . If the suits agree to gang rape does that make it legal?

    check my facts I am old.

  4. This article makes no sense. Lobbying is same as Bribery yet the author sees some distinction where there is is no logical distinction at all.

  5. Politians pass laws that lobbyist contacted the politian for one year when in office then years later after that same politian leaves office ends up receiving million’s of dollars in a so called job by the company he help, with the so-called lobbyist!

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