Mysterious & Mysteriouser

flying blindEvery observer of Government or politics has been flummoxed, sometime, by a decision: unable to envisage how it came about.

It might be the winner of a tender, the rejection of a development proposal, or a tweaked policy or program, but we shake our heads and ask “What made them do that?

And often enough we never know the full story, even when we think we do.  Unless we’re right inside the process, it’s almost impossible to know what has influenced the decision, and what hasn’t.

As said Horace:
Amphora cœpit instituti; currente rota cur urceus exit?
A vase is begun; why, as the wheel goes round, does it turn out a pitcher? **

You need to know what might turn your vase into a pitcher!

If you want a particular decision from Government, you have to ensure you know as many as possible of those influences, accommodate or rebut them as far as possible, and perhaps create a few of your own.

For example, if you’re a residents’ action group seeking to block a development, you’ll need to know whether the developer has credibility or a bad record, whether the environmental assessment is thorough, who supports the development, and whether the Premier has ever taken her children for a walk through there.  There are other suggestions about different kinds of influences here and here and here.

The bottom line is: if you fly blind, you’re also flying unarmed **, and it is too easy to crash into an unexpected mountain or be shot down in flames – early and thorough research is vital.

 

* Horace, Ars Poetica (18 BC), XXI. in Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 93-96
** Just cope with the mixed metaphors, OK?

 

 

About Mike Smith

Partner in Ethical Consulting Services: www.ethicalconsulting.com; sometime University lecturer; previously Government Relations consultant; before that Labor Party State Secretary in Northern Territory; union advocate with LHMU/United Voice in NT and NSW; hobby – election campaigns!

Posted on December 18, 2014, in Change, Government Relations, how to lobby, Lobbying, Planning, Strategy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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