6.8.4 Political Negotiability

As noted above, governance cannot be negotiable unless people can raise concerns (6.8.3.1) and speak freely (6.8.3.2).  Decisions may be needed on specific issues, without waiting for an election or change of government.  The people’s representatives, in the form of politicians (6.1.2) or recognised group representatives (6.4.4), need to be able to negotiate meaningfully and to reach decisions that are accepted as legitimate.

For negotiation to be meaningful in the terminology of this book (2.4), it has to be respectful, inclusive, balanced and transparent.  The following sub-sections examine each of these criteria in turn:

  • Respectfulness means recognising that each of the parties to a negotiation wants to be treated as an equal (6.8.4.1).
  • Political inclusivity means ensuring that all affected groups are represented (6.8.4.2).
  • Balanced negotiation means taking account of the numbers of people affected and the impacts on them (6.8.4.3).
  • Transparency includes keeping people informed during negotiations and explaining decisions (6.8.4.4).

There is always a possibility of a failure to agree, so an appeal process may be needed – as described below (6.8.6)

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