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What is GR


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Presentation for political science course at UofT - 02.24.09

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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What is GR

  1. 1. + What is Government Relations? February 24th , 2009
  2. 2. + Why Government Relations? Sector not profoundly impacted by government policy & regulation? Often all 3 levels of government directly affecting org ’slight’ change (regs, fees, leg and process) = drastic effect Success = Manage relationships between government & stakeholders
  3. 3. + Left to Right – Lobbying is Legitimate Those who do not know the plans of competitors cannot prepare alliances. Those who do not know the lay of the land cannot maneuver their forces. Those who do not use local guides cannot take advantage of the ground. Sun Tzu, The Art of War "Okay, you've convinced me. Now go out there and bring pressure on me." President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Business Delegation
  4. 4. + 2 key reasons for GR counsel Government is complex Communication unlike other organizations multi-layered, large size/scope, differing interests & considerations
  5. 5. + Complexity of Government (a.k.a. your Prof’s job ;)
  6. 6. + Myths & Realities (a.k.a. what I *don’t* do)
  7. 7. +Myths vs. Realities Myths:  Sell access/influence  Beyond the law  Unethical Realities  Influential … merits of a client’s ‘case’ determines success  Access… part of what we do  Strategic communications with a niche audience  Legislation governs all work defined as ‘lobbying’  Media observing, reviewing  Experience in government, political & bureaucratic – public service, social justice, aim to improve
  8. 8. + Different models  Lawmakers lobbied directly  Law-firms dominate  Former lawyers/politicians core  High-profile scandals  HYBRID – Similar to Interest Groups  Competitors = law firms – regulatory ‘wiggle room’  Interest Groups’ access to gov’t = adequate, institutionalized, powerful  ‘lobbying’ more focused on bureaucracy  Campaigns benefit corralling public opinion around  Responsible Gvt  Public opinion - Grassroots  PR pros dominate  Corporate Responsibility
  9. 9. + Landscape Public policy considerations competitive • Economic Crisis • Fed/Prov Relations • Political Considerations • Environmental Impetus Voices A-Plenty - Activists, associations, GR, media, labour, etc Lessons - Innovators in non profit/activist sector & campaigns’ use of digital media (08 US election campaign -‘tactics’) Experience - political, bureaucratic & private sector insight (‘strategy’)
  10. 10. + What Is A Lobbyist?  Consultant lobbyists paid to lobby on behalf of a client (GR consultants, lawyers, accountants)  In-house lobbyists employed by companies that carry on commercial activities for financial gain  In-house lobbyists employed by non-commercial organizations (advocacy groups, industry, professional and charitable organizations)
  11. 11. + Lobbying when/if…. Attempt to influence:  Development of any legislative proposal  Introduction, passage, defeat or amendment of bill or resolution  Making or amendment of any regulation  Development, amendment or termination of any policy  Decision about privatization or outsourcing  Grant, contribution or other financial benefit  Arrange meeting with public office holder
  12. 12. + Ontario Lobbyist Registration Act Public declaration Fines for non-compliance In 10 years of Act in force, no charges levied and only one investigation One year restriction for designated government officials for lobbying their former department/jurisdiction Interpreted narrowly & latitude
  13. 13. Who is Lobbying in Ontario? Lobbyist Type Number Clients Consultant 303 1484 In-House (P&P) 151 151 In-House (Organization) 939 211 TOTAL: 1393 1846 Lobbyist Registration Website: February 21, 2009
  14. 14. Who is Lobbying Across Canada? Lobbyist Type Number Clients Consultant 844 2216 In-House (P&P) 1541 298 In-House (Organization) 2305 485 TOTAL: 4690 2999 Lobbyist Registration Website: February 21, 2009
  15. 15. + Unique Canadian Context Interest Groups’ relationship with government • Financial & institutional support (vs. US philanthropy/donor) = less aggressive/fewer clients Power of Executive • Fewer ‘access points’ to effectively lobby (most decisions directed by PM/Premier) • Watts’ “executive-legislative fusion with responsible parliamentary cabinets” Legislative processes • Few/No free votes • Committee Process not transformational
  16. 16. + Ponderables Interest Groups’ relationship with GR • Question efficacy of some groups expending time/energy/funds on securing funds from government – cost/benefit Power of promotion • Braggadocio-online – boasting about numerous clients/files/meetings – to what end? Worldwide context • EU strict restrictions – Building entry req’s registration • AUS gave up