A logrolling agreement is a political arrangement in which two or more lawmakers agree to support each other`s proposals, often unrelated, in order to gain favor or achieve a mutual goal. The term « logrolling » comes from the practice of rolling logs together to form a larger bundle, which made it easier to transport them downriver. In a similar way, lawmakers « bundle » their proposals together to increase their chances of success.
Logrolling agreements have been criticized for promoting legislative horse-trading, where individual proposals are not evaluated on their own merit, but rather on their ability to secure support for other proposals. This can lead to the passage of ineffective or even harmful legislation, simply because it was part of a logrolling agreement.
Despite the criticism, logrolling agreements are still commonly used in politics, especially in situations where legislation would not pass on its own. For example, a lawmaker may agree to support a colleague`s bill on agriculture in exchange for their support on a bill concerning education. In this way, both lawmakers are able to advance their own interests while also achieving a shared goal.
However, logrolling agreements can also be problematic from an ethical standpoint. Critics argue that they promote a culture of quid pro quo in politics, where lawmakers are more focused on getting what they want than on serving the public interest.
In conclusion, a logrolling agreement is a political arrangement where lawmakers agree to support each other`s proposals in exchange for support on their own proposals. While these agreements can be effective in achieving shared goals, they have also been criticized for promoting legislative horse-trading and a culture of quid pro quo in politics. As with any political arrangement, it is important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of logrolling agreements before entering into them.