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Influence of Government Type on Policy Making

1412 words (6 pages) Essay in Politics

12/10/17 Politics Reference this

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When a country has a democratic government, the process of implementing a law is extremely tedious compared to a monarchy. In a monarchy, the ruler’s word is law, and that law is enacted precisely when the ruler says it is, saving a great deal of time and work. However, the trade-off is necessary, especially in complex policy issues, such as foreign policy, that relate to war.

When entering conflict with a foreign nation, it’s crucial for the survival of a nation. War is an extremely costly operation, one that can cause substantial financial damage to a nation. A democratic political system, such as in the USA, specifically prevents a nation from entering wars for any defensive or offensive purpose that is not publicly approved, because a mistake in such decision will impact the survival of a nation. Even though there is a loss of efficiency, it ensures the survival of a nation.

However, the main reason why extensive checks on policy is necessary, is because we humans suffer from our own psychological bias. In the book The Nudge, the author describes “we human can be manipulated by savvy architects of choice “. Referencing that we human, and politicians of course, will sometimes makes incorrect decision or irrational decision based on psychological manipulation. A check and balance system extensively prevents that from happening in our government. By making single sided and quick decisions virtually impossible from our policy making process.

Despite the obvious loss of efficiency, this trade-off of speed for balance is essential. The framers of the American constitution knew well the results of absolute rule and structured the nation they founded very specifically to avoid such tyranny. A somewhat clunky government is the unavoidable price of a multi-faceted government. In turn, public participation is encouraged under such a system, as people are made to feel that their efforts can make a difference, as opposed to the sense that a distant and unconcerned monarch will simply do as he or she likes regardless of public opinion and action.

Using the United States as an example, the president, head of the executive branch of government and holder of the ostensive title of “head of state,” has virtually no power to draft new legislation. In fact, his (or her) authority in this matter is entirely limited to effectively asking nicely for Congress (which constitutes the legislative branch) to introduce the desired law. Political allies in the House of Representatives will certainly comply, but their opponents are sure to question and criticize the new law to within an inch of its life, insisting on amendments and modifications if they allow it to move forward at all. Assuming some agreement – often taking a long time to reach and achieved only after the requisite rounds of political scheming and posturing – can be reached, essentially the entire process must be repeated in the Senate, where the unique balance of senators may bring the bill’s future into question yet again.

We can see that by allowing discussion and exchange between the Senate and House, the public participation in the political matter increases as well. As each citizen recognizes that we elected our own policy makers, every citizen makes a difference, as opposed to a monarch, who often distances him or herself from the public when making public policy, thus discouraging public participation.

One way to allow the public participation is allowing public to form special interest group to maintain their position in the government by lobbying to influence other people to support the organization’s position. These interest groups often testify in legislative hearings, donate to political candidates (Www.opensecret.org), and donate money to candidate or organization to lobby    politicians. 

When special interest effects certain elite groups, the candidate of the elite group can spread their ideas to the public at large, which results in a change in public opinion, thus ensuring their ideas and objective are in place in the society. Special interest group are formed by groups of individuals, and the group’s ability to drawn in large numbers of citizens directly impacts the quality of policy, because when implementing a policy, to satisfy its members, the policy drafting procedure must ensure a common understanding of the law, must be readable (not overly complex), and it must achieve the group’s social, political, and legal objectives, which are the criteria of a good-quality policy. Reading) (

Think tanks are a wide range of institution that provides public policy research, advice,and analysis, while operating independently. They are non-profit and operate independently from political partiesand government. Their main goal is to help government officials understand and make rational decisions on different issues. They support policy developments by conducting research on complex issues with their expertise and present their extensive findings to government officials, such as congress and other officials. Think tanks act as an intermediary between knowledge and politicians.

However, think tanks approach different issues differently. A scientific approach requires extensive testing of theories about the policy effects. A professional approach requires analysis of the opportunity cost of different alternatives. And lastly a political approach requires support of the left or right-wing party.

Although the description above summarizes different approaches for different think tanks, the underlying simultaneous approach requires think tanks to understand complex issues and to provide research and advice to funders or political leaders and together draft a quality policy that can reach different objective.

To explain the difference between political vs economic model we can look at democracy vs communism. To begin with, democracy is entirely a political model.

In the American sense, democracy is no economic model. It is a system in which the people at large vote upon voluntary candidates who have asked to serve as representatives in a variety of capacities, and once winning election, to decide policy as they see fit. As this structure the administration of the country, with no necessary commentary upon economics, it is a political model.

By contrast, communism is an economic model, though its nature does tend to favour a political structure. Communism is an extreme flavour of socialism that emphasizes the dignity of the common worker, who is credited with building and maintaining all human societies. As such, communism purports to establish an economy free of financial inequality, in which the workers – constituting most of the population – are all equal social partners. It is in this manner that communism can be mistaken for a political model, as such tight controls on societal resources all but require a strong centralized government to oversee distribution. But this is a consequence of communism’s economic ideal, rather than a prescription. Communism is an economic model.

Again, an economic model as rigid as communism tends to demand a powerful government, but ultimately it is a nation’s political model – not its economic model – that determines the selection of policies. This is only sensible, as policy should be set by a nation’s leaders – even if, as in the U.S.A example above, those leaders are none but the people themselves – and not by directly by economic factors.

I believe economic model should dictate policy making, because economic model is a much effective and less costly way to drive changes in the country. When we look at the example of increase alcohol tax led to decrease in alcohol purchase. We can see that economic policy clearly influences human behaviour. Not only it decreases drunk driving accidents, it increases productivity and health gains. In the past we have seen example of political models in place to ban alcohol (18th amendment), not only it did not decrease incentive to purchase alcohol, it increase power, corruption within a nation which cause more social damage to a nation. Economic model has proven itself as the best model to drive changes in a country and human behaviour.

References

Keilman, John. “Higher Booze Tax a Lifesaver?” Chicago Tribune. Web. 1 Oct. 2014.

“Top Donor Profiles.” Center for Responsive Politics. 1 Jan. 2013. Web. 1 Oct. 2014. <www.opensecrets.org>.Thaler, Richard H., and Cass R. Sunstein. Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness. New Haven, Conn.: Yale UP, 2008. Print.

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