Does Businesses Influence Political Decision-Making? Essay

Submitted By Kaustubh-Mamdyal
Words: 1260
Pages: 6

Government and business have a co-dependant relationship which is crucial to the economic growth in addition to higher social wellbeing, taking this onto account does have too large of an influence over the political decision making system. This essay will argue that in the case of Australia, Business does not indeed have too much influence, in fact perhaps too little, business as a whole has a level of influence which is needed to maintain and support business, yet not enough to diminish the societies interests in totality. This influence is necessary to maintain a stable or growing economy and allow the government the ability to support society as a whole, and the way they influence the state is made easier by the Government-Business model that is used, sectional interest groups and the need for greater industry voice due to globalisation.
"The great object of the institution of civil government is the improvement of the condition of those who are parties to the social compact” (Quincy Adams, J. 2006). Simply put the purpose of government is the betterment of society at large, both business or otherwise. To do this government depends on business to provide investment, employment, goods and services for the society, it also of course an important revenue stream through taxes. As a result of the important roles played by business within society, it has a high level of influence over government, its high level of control over the economy, resources and influence has led to Lindblom (1977) to stating it has a ‘privileged position’
Governments further select the level of interaction between itself and government based on the Government- Business Relations model the Government uses. These model include the ‘Regulatory,’ this model is shaped by the ‘ideas from the right,’ where the government sets the basic framework and rules for society yet works indirectly through regulatory mean. This model tends to create a largely adversarial relationship government and business, although allows for high economic expansion through the principally liberal views. Next is the ‘Developmental’ model where the state has a more proactive role, business and government acts as partners rather than adversaries. This model allows government to actively engaging in creating infrastructure and industry, it prioritises Protectionism over Free Trade. Next is the ‘Cooperative’ model which revolves around consultation, compromise and consensus between government and business, it allows for free trade, but the state provides assistance in coordinating activities. Australia employs a model incorporating aspects of the three models, to utilise the strengths of each of them.
The way in Business usually influence the state is through Sectional Interest groups. As theses interest groups ten to represent particular sections of society they have clearly defined membership. This allows for the sectional interest group to comprise exclusively of those are direct stake holder of the particular industry and as such, allows the group to have a large economic capability and expert knowledge in the field. Some of these groups include the Professional Associations such as the Australian medical association, Workers’ trade unions and even business groups such as the Business Council of Australia. Due to their vast resources and expertise they are able to target the political members or the bureaucracy directly and with great efficiency, this has led them to have close relations with the state and given them an ‘Insider status.’
Usually they Sectional Interest groups are represented and heard through government inquiries or by submissions to a multitude of parliamentary committees, although some sectional interest groups may have close ties with particular Politician or government departments at large. It is common practice that sectional interest groups seek out former senior public servant, as they are extremely valuable due to their close history with the creating or