Critical response paper: How Governments getstuff done 170360460Molly PodrebaracDr. Jorg BroschekPO264-A: The Practice ofPolitics in CanadaJanuary 22, 2018 The paper written by Rachel Curran outlinesseven key guidelines that are necessary for governments to follow in order tomake the best political decisions and policies. The author uses examplesthrough contrasting Steven Harper’s incremental government who successfully implementedthe guidelines with the direction of Curran, in comparison to the abruptTrudeau government who developed “deliverology” methods, however has struggled toproduce real change (Curran 1). The guidelines consist of the following; governmentsneeding to be realistically ambitious of the policies they state they willachieve, prioritizing matters given by the bureaucracy, being firm aboutcabinet timelines, creating a clear and efficient decision making process,ensuring the government is instilled with working parts, having compensationabilities for unexpected events, and being able to deliver on policies promised(Curran 2-6). Curran states that throughthe use of these seven guidelines, governments are better able to produce asystem that is the most efficient and develop the best policies within thegoverning term (Curran 1).
Curran was a lawyer of 15 years within the field of publicpolicy and affairs. Curran worked with Steven Harper during his terms as Primeminister, and used her past knowledge on policy making to guide Harperthroughout a smooth and effective term. Harper under the direction of Curranfollowed the seven guidelines produced a stable incremental government that wasefficient in getting work complete.
Curran wrote this article articulating theguidelines and rules that must be adopted by all forms of government in orderto avoid conflict and become the most efficient. The sevenguidelines that Curran presents all follow a centralized theme that politicalleadership is essential, must be properly managed, and that it is alwayscontextualized (Curran 1). Withinlecture we talked firstly about the importance of political leaders having tobe charismatic, have good inter-personal skills, propagate personal visions assolutions, and repress problems. There are many other characteristics of strongpolitical leadership, however these characteristics must always becontextualized. This meaning that leadership must always be connected to thecitizens and it is essential for the continuation of relationships and developmentof new ones to occur. This article connects the need for strong leadership tomany of the theoretical approaches that governments encounter.
Firstly, the institutionalapproach can relate to the first guideline that governments cannot beunrealistically ambitious (Curran 1). This guideline addresses the idea that itcan take efforts of many complex initiatives to all work together on all levelsof government, to create policy that is being passed without conflict (Curran1). This relates to the institutional approach that is centered onconstitutional laws and regulations that can either constrain authority:through the challenge of getting approval and cooperation from many differentfields of government to pass policies. Or it can administrate authority, whichcan also be shown through the governments powerful regulation and control overpolicy rules and regulations when they successfully passed. As well, therational choice approach ties into the second guideline, which is prioritizingjobs given by the bureaucracies “must do tasks”. This guideline is essential inorder to pick the most important aspects of the political list so that thecivil service lines to accurately line up with political cycles (Curran 3). Thisrelates to the rational choice theory, which provides a formulized model of howpeople behave, and how they achieve goals. This relates to this idea of theprime minister and cabinet needing to prioritize and understand the list givenby the bureaucracy, and what is essential to reform in the current term ofpolitical needs.
The historical institutionalism approach can relate to theguideline that addressees being firm on Cabinet timelines, it is clear thatthroughout political history the prime ministers Cabinet and privy counsel havehad increased influence in policy making and agenda setting compared to thecabinet ministers. This “center government” is a historical trend that has yetto change, but rather grow and create conflict on effective decision-making andfinancial disputes, often leading to delays in political matters (Curran 4). Finally,the two matters of having a government attached to working parts and being ableto maintain government through unexpected events both relate to the politicaleconomic approach.
These guidelines stress the need for a strong economy thatcan rely on resources and institutions to create policies in all forms ofgovernment (Curran 5-6). Curran states this is necessary to deal with unexpectedpolitical deficits that can occur such as the 2008 global financial crisis,where Harper successfully used this method to deal this epidemic (Curran 5-6). Therefore,throughout this article, the seven guidelines are clearly connected to thesociety centered political methods focused on matters of political economy, aswell as state centered politics through institutional and historicalinstitutional approaches. CitationCurran, Rachel. “Howgovernments get stuff done.” Policy Options. Dec, 25th 2017,policyoptions.