Governments today lack transparency and for a reason. If people know what they were doing they would work to remove them.
There is presently a plethora of instances where governments are busy doing things and obscuring the details and sometimes obscuring the important facts. Sex-Ed in Ontario is one of them. Jonathan Gruber’s revelations about Health Care in the US another. Pipelines, security, NSA spying, the list goes on.
Perhaps, I am too cynical but it seems to me that people should logically show off the things they are proud of and which provide effective answers to society’s problems. Apparently that is not the case any more and for many governments never was the case.
Seventy years ago Churchill challenged Stalin to eliminate the “Iron Curtain” and to replace it with a picture window. Never done. Evil must hide. No one displays it proudly.
Upon looking around, I discover that there is a paucity of information regarding any program. How strange. If I want support for my ideas from someone, my tendency is to describe their benefits from participating. With governments, it seems to be more like, “There, there now, this is complicated. Go back to watching The Simpsons and we will help you.”
What is amazing is programs that have many obvious flaws make their way into production. If businesses or people did that they would not be around long enough to pay the taxes the government needs to do silly things.
It is a good idea to have accountability, which we do not, but it is better to have transparency. With transparency you need less accountability because fewer “accountable” things occur.
The difference is that between governance and politics. They have become intertwined to the point that they are indistinguishable. People think they are being governed, while politicians spend little effort on governing and a greatd eal on politics. Optics if you will.
It will interesting to see if that reverses. I am betting not in the intermediate term. In the long run we are all broke.
Another Peter Drucker quote:
“So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work”
Substitute “government” for “management” and you will see exactly my concern.
Try to make sure the quote does not apply to your own business.
Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is presently with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org