Political will

Are the politicians REALLY willing to push through that radical reform?  How might they be, ah, ‘dissuaded’?  And if there’s a good chance they will be dissuaded, isn’t it safer to hedge rather than tear up your existing plans to comply with a law that may not last, may not get ‘properly’ implemented in any case.

All good questions.

Things that affect political will –

jostling within a party, jostling between parties within a coalition government. The closeness of the next election, the opinion polls, the ‘national mood’, the amount of resistance that a politician calculates he or she will meet (from media, other sectors etc).

As Yes Minister had it;

[How to guide ministers to making the right decisions]

Sir Humphrey: If you want to be really sure that the Minister doesn’t accept it, you must say the decision is “courageous”.

Bernard: And that’s worse than “controversial”?

Sir Humphrey: Oh, yes! “Controversial” only means “this will lose you votes”. “Courageous” means “this will lose you the election”!

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