In a 2007 poll, 44% of Americans responded that they had contacted a U.S. Senator or U.S. Representative within the previous five years.
According to the Congressional Management Foundation’s Communicating with Congress report, this percentage was significantly higher than a 2004 poll, largely due to the increased availability of online tools to contact Congress.
CMF’s data suggests a more engaged electorate – something that should be viewed as a positive. After all, an ideal representative democracy functions best when more citizens voice their opinions.
Yet in a recent piece for The Huffington Post titled “The Tragedy of Political Advocacy,” Jake Brewer takes issue with this very trend. Jake’s main point is that modern advocacy campaigns create lots of noise, but produce few tangible results. The result? Lobbyists play an even more important role in the lawmaking process. Hill staffers don’t know what or who to pay attention to, so they turn to hired guns to make sense of their overflowing inboxes.