6.2.6.3 Analysis of Specific Issues

(This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book contents.  An archived copy of this page is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/6263.htm)

Politicians need to consider the decisions carefully, to persuade themselves and the public that they are doing the right thing.  Each political ideology and implementation approach has some validity.  For anyone, whatever their views, it is worth checking whether the treatment of any particular issue should move further in that direction:

  • An individualist (6.2.2) might ask whether government intervention could be avoided and whether people couldn’t buy their own services, although it would also be necessary to enquire whether regulation might be needed.
  • A collectivist (6.2.3) might ask whether a proposed decision would properly respect everybody’s rights, taking care to include minorities and those who are economically disadvantaged. If not, one might then ask what it would cost to achieve a ‘fairer’ settlement and what effect such spending would have on other government programmes and on the economy as a whole.
  • A conservative (6.2.4) might ask if any governance change were necessary, or whether people could just be persuaded to behave differently within the current system. If change could not be avoided, one might then ask how its disruptive impact might be minimised.
  • A progressive (6.2.5) might ask whether a different system would be better. A risk analysis would be appropriate if making the case for radical change.

Informally, people may follow some of these thought processes but it may be worth formally asking all four questions.  Publishing the analysis would then help to convince doubters that a decision had been carefully and fairly reached: transparent evidence of an inclusive negotiation (2.4).

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