Not much different in this part of the world. Transparency is a joke. We are still working on getting the actual data from the Health Canada study so that it can be peer reviewed.
The practice of lobbying government Ministers and other influential members of a ruling party is regarded by many as an integral part of our process of democracy.
Those in favour would argue that politicians should look to be educated in specialist areas, and who better to educate them than those in the business? Their staff should prepare comprehensive briefings based on that research. The idealists would argue that they should look to non-politically affiliated experts where those are available.
Similarly, there is the argument that politicians should be elected based on their policy positions. Citizens should be aware of what their government is working on and should communicate their positions on these issues to their elected representatives. Citizens should receive the kind of education and free flow of information that allow them to effectively argue their interests in our democracy.
In theory these arguments sound perfectly logical…
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