Quotes about policy-making

“Laws and sausages” – was NOT Bismarck!!

“Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.” John Godfrey Saxe

  • As quoted in University Chronicle. University of Michigan (27 March 1869) books.google.de, Daily Cleveland Herald (29 March 1869), McKean Miner (22 April 1869), and “Quote… Misquote” by Fred R. Shapiro in The New York Times (21 July 2008); similar remarks have long been attributed to Otto von Bismarck, but this is the earliest known quote regarding laws and sausages, and according to Shapiro’s research, such remarks only began to be attributed to Bismarck in the 1930s. [source]

Macchiavelli (From chapter 6 of “The Prince” –  Concerning New Principalities Which Are Acquired By One’s Own Arms And Ability

Those who by valorous ways become princes, like these men, acquire a principality with difficulty, but they keep it with ease. The difficulties they have in acquiring it arise in part from the new rules and methods which they are forced to introduce to establish their government and its security. And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them. Thus it happens that whenever those who are hostile have the opportunity to attack they do it like partisans, whilst the others defend lukewarmly, in such wise that the prince is endangered along with them.

Gramsci

“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

Orlando Aloysius Battista.

“An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.”

“governments sometimes get policy right but the politics wrong; or the politics right but then stuff up on process. But the statements of Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg – and the even more strident statements of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday – have managed to stuff policy, process and politics all in one deft manoeuvre.”
Laura Tingle, Australian Financial Review in early December 2016, after the EIS debacle.

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