Beyond adversarial politics?

If you want to succeed in business, the basic thing that is needed is to offer a good product. So you must see to it that the various elements of your production and distribution teams work together to that end. If they fall into an internecine conflict in which each element is competing for power, the enterprise will fail.

Similarly, where a public good is concerned, success in getting a genuinely public good depends on focussing attention on the integrity of the good to be produced, not on the interests of the parties involved in designing it. I shall illustrate what I mean from an actual example, necessarily somewhat simplified. There is no lack of other instances.

Case study

Some years ago a consortium of developers (CD) proposed to build a n east-west tunnel under the Sydney CBD to relieve the city centre of traffic trying to bet from east to west or west to east, It was not to cost the State Government (SG) a cent, but the SG would use its power to acquire compulsorily any land needed, eg for entry and exit, and sell it at cost to the CD. The tolls they charged would reimburse the CD. Interested parties were invited to make submissions about how they were likely to be affected by the project. Perfect!
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