David Farrar sets out a summary of some of the criticisms of the Lobbying Disclosure Bill in submissions to the Government Administration select committee.
I didn’t make a submission on the bill, though now I wish I had.
If this bill were a horse it would have been shot. It’s laudable that attempts should be made to provide more transparency to the entire lobbying process, but the bill as drafted appears to make lobbyists of people and groups that would probably never consider themselves to be anything of the sort. The disclosure requirements may result in fewer people engaging with their elected representatives, for fear of being regarded as a lobbyist.
Most submissions on the bill appear to be critical of it. The submission by the Law Society was particularly savage, describing many aspects of the bill as “illogical” and condemning attempts to make law in this area as “legislation by slogan”.
It’s hard to see how this sort of bill would make a positive difference, even if the numerous flaws could be fixed. It would be nice to change the world so that our political processes were more transparent, but it will take more that the passing of a law to make this happen.
Someone, please, put this bill out of its misery.