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Do special interest groups threaten democracy?

Invitations to dinner, small presents, positions on the board of directors, political party financing: lobbyists try everything to influence lawmakers. Does this threaten the democratic system? Should the activities of special interest groups be regulated and limited?

Some people find lobbies useful in a democracy because they enable the representation of legitimate interests of all parts of society – including those ignored by politicians. Others, however, consider lobbies a dark art which is much more closely linked with corruption and specific economic interests. What role do lobbies play in your country?

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Parliamentary lobbyists to face closer scrutiny

This content was published on But two months ahead of parliamentary elections in October, questions are being raised about the independence of Switzerland’s politicians, and in particular the amount of power lobbyists and interest groups have on the way they cast their votes. Essentially part-timers, Swiss parliamentarians are being called to vote on increasingly complicated issues that are often well…

Read more: Parliamentary lobbyists to face closer scrutiny

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR