theless, lobbyists do take the legislature and its members seriously as contributors to the policy process" ( 1989, p. 255). Ontario group leaders who were a part of this study do not ignore legislative contacts, but they accord them less significance than do environmental group leaders in Michigan. There is some evidence to suggest that this is an area in which convergence in political practices likely is coming about in Canada and the United States. It is possible that the "green lobbies" of Canada and the United States will come to display more similar behaviors in the 1990s than they have hitherto ( Mitchell 1990).
Political system differences affect both the role environmental interest groups play in the two policy systems and the tactics those groups employ to transmit policy-relevant information. Here, the consensual nature of the Canadian setting stands in sharp contrast to the competitive flavor of the American political system. Although groups in both governmental systems provide information on environmental issues to the authorities and to their members and contributors, the Ontario environmental interest groups are not as actively engaged in the range of strategies environmental groups in Michigan use to influence the policy process. Ontario group leaders, more so than their Michigan counterparts, use policy-relevant information as the basis for their interactions with government officials. Many groups in Ontario do pursue a less obvious, quiet involvement in politics, and this involvement relies rather extensively on the communication of policy-relevant information.