Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Policy and Politics

So, it's the day after election day and it seems like a time to talk about the importance of policy in our political process. I've been assured by smart political people that policy never moves politics, that politics move policy (or immobilize it.) The day after yesterday I'm just not willing to tolerate that outlook, never mind the truth of it.

The question is always how much money is enough and that is the political question. Most observers of this system not only question whether it is delivering it's promise, many question whether it's even delivering $2 billion worth of that promise. It is through the insitutions set up to deliver services that the money either becomes appropriate support or not. Those institutions largely follow policies which may or may not be working. The system is a process of turning the money the State delivers into support and if the process isn't working, then change is needed. That change will be in the policy not the broader issue of funding.

I find myself uncertain about what I believe right now. It's a bad day to carry a passion for good government. What I feel sure of, though, is that good institutions bring out the best in people and bad ones the worst (that's a quote, I'm just not sure whose.) My faith is shaken today, but in the end things only get better through better institutions and in our expansive society, institutions increasingly are increasingly manufactured from people and policy, not stone.

1 comment:

Doug said...

Side note from Doug- this was written badly, even by my standards, the day after the election. I just realized that by editing the post it changed the date. The handwringing about the importance of policy and good government is election-inspired.