In modern democracies, the practice of lobbying is based fundamentally on the right of any individual to address elected persons to express his or her point of view. Many democratic states have regulated the practice of lobbying. While being legitimate, lobbying must be practised transparently, meaning that the public is able to know who is seeking to influence public decision-makers.
Québec Parliamentarian have wagered that citizens who are better informed of the choices faced by public decision-makers would play a more active part in democratic life instead of distancing themselves.
Transparency tends to favour better accountability of executives, foster participation in debates and increase the social consensus around decisions that are made.
A lobbyist’s communications contributes to the enlightenment and expertise necessary for public decision-making. Lobbyists’ knowledge of a subject and their ability to propose practical solutions help public decision-makers to make decisions. Whether they be parliamentary, government or municipal public office holders,they recognize that their decisions may be difficult to make in a vacuum, without accounting for the opinions, information or expertise of the people or the groups concerned.
The lobbyist then can contribute to provide public decision-makers with useful information and understanding, especially on increasingly complex questions.
When communicating with public office holders with the aim of influencing legislative, regulatory or administrative decisions, the lobbyist is subject to the Act and must show transparency by registering in the Lobbyists Registry.
For the lobbyist, compliance with the Act has the following advantages, in particular: