Power, Politics, Persuasion.
The media have convinced simple-minded politicians [99%] that they are ‘in power’, when of course they aren’t—they are ‘in office’ to serve their constituents. Imagining themselves to be powerful, they then try to tell citizens what to do and wonder why they have little success.
Take the Murray-Darling River system as a classic example. The sensible procedure would have been to send to all local authorities an information sheet containing all the facts about the parlous state of the whole system, admit there’s a dreadful problem, and ask their advice!
The result would be pretty close to the desired outcome, because no local chairman or mayor wants to be seen as advocating the death of rivers, lakes and estuaries.
Instead, the minister treats them like imbeciles unable to think about difficult issues or to act generously, appoints an expert panel, and presents the results as a more or less fait accompli, What does he expect? That they’ll say, ‘Thanks for not asking our opinion first’?
It is time governments realised they are not experts, they have no real power—they are merely facilitators governing at the whim of their people, in whom they should have more trust.