Difference Between Lobbying and Bribing

Lobbying vs Bribing

Though lobbying and bribing are terms that often come across when it comes to influencing members of the legislative body, there is difference between lobbying and bribing in their meanings. Lobbying originates from the word lobby. The word lobby is used as a noun as well as a verb. Lobbying is derived from the verb lobby. Then, if we take bribing, the original stem of the word is bribe. The word bribe is used as a noun and a verb. Bribing is derived from the verb bribe; bribing is a gerund. Although often discussed together, how exactly are these two terms, lobbying and bribing different? That is what this article is going to explore.

What is Lobbying?

According to the Oxford dictionary, lobbying means “seek to influence (a legislator) on an issue.” This definition can be simply explained in the following manner.

If a politician agrees with the opinion or a suggestion that he is approached with, he would then take action to have that policy or law amended. He would appeal towards the masses and the law-making body, campaign for the change that he believes must take place. This process is what is referred to as lobbying. It is an act of the supporters of a particular interest group who try to influence political policy on a particular issue that they believe in. Look at the following example.

This particular organization in the university was formed to lobby for animal rights.

This sentence speaks about an organization that was created to influence law-maker or legislators to protect animal rights.

What is Bribing?

The term bribing is essentially a negative term that conveys illegal action. This is the act of offering money or something of equivalent value, in return for political influence or action. This is referred to as a bribe. Bribing essentially denotes giving someone in an influential position an incentive that is often financial or of some material value, to do something or to influence their opinion in one’s favour. Read the following example.

In their country bribing is necessary if you want to have a good government job.

In this sentence, the speaker says bribing officials is necessary to gain a good government job.

Difference Between Lobbying and Bribing

What is the difference between Lobbying and Bribing?

What is common between lobbying and bribing is that they are terms that apply to a person in office or holding a position of trust and influence. This may refer to politicians, judges and whoever possesses the power and capacity to influence the process.

Lobbying is a legal practice while bribing is not. There are times, however, that the line between the two has become blurred. Lobbying is done for causes that benefit the society in general. Bribery is often done in profit of personal agendas.


Lobbying vs Bribing

• Lobbying is the act of the supporters for a particular cause or issue to influence legislation’s decisions in their favour. Bribing, on the other hand, is to offer an incentive to sway someone to your cause.

• Lobbying is legal, although sometimes questionable, while bribing is outright wrong. While there are no legal repercussions in lobbying, bribing can land you in hot water.


Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Lobbying and Advocacy 
Image By: Kristina D.C. Hoeppner (CC BY-SA 2.0)