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).
[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”!