Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Conservatives with fingers in their ears.

This kind of tactic on the part of the federal Cons will, ultimately, turn around and bite them. Ordinarily, if a government is holding public consultations on policy X, parties from all sides of the policy are invited. If the policy is on electoral reform, pretty much anyone can come; if the policy is on education, educators, parents and students tend to make up the participants. It's just good sense to make sure as much information is on the table during the consultation, for two reasons. First, it might actually make the policy better. And, second, it gives the government some plausible deniability if things go south -- for they can always claim that, since everyone had a chance to say something, problems should've been raised during the hearings.

The Cons, however, don't seem to have figured this one out, and are leaving dissenting opinions out of their discussions on childcare and wheat. I don't get it. I wonder if the problem is that the Cons still don't get that they're now the government, and they're confusing public consultations with party conventions. If that isn't the issue, then I'm not sure what is. It just seems obvious to me that locking out a powerful lobby group can only have negative repercussions, particularly in any future elections. Is it arrogance? Cluelessness? Or is there some more sinister motive? As said, I tend to think it's just cluelessness -- they don't see the difference between consulting privately within the party to develop a platform and consulting publicly when deciding policy. But, if that's the case, why is it happening twice? Why hasn't anyone said anything to clue the various Ministers in to the problem?

I'm sure I'm missing something, but I can't think what.

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