Politics > Determining Political Choice > Goal of Politics: CL4 > Political Influences

Political Influences


Government solutions (CL4) necessarily interact with the Rule of Law (CL2), and with Officials (CL3). Government officials (CL3) have an obligation to make themselves accessible to official representatives (CL3) of established powerful groups (CL1). This interaction exposes government officials to temptation.

Channels of influence to government solutions from lower level political institutions.

Given the aim is to get government solutions with a desired bias, it naturally seems to powerful groups that engaging the private interests of government officials (CL3P) might be easier and surer than depending on due process and formal obligations (CL3S). 


The Channels

Because «politicization» disturbs government's capacity to consider society's well-being, the influences are divided into those that are necessary and those that are damaging.

ClosedNecessary Influences

Impartiality CL4B CL3P
Governmental responses to the needs of society should be neutral and unaffected by the private interests of Officials of all sorts. Whether elected or appointed, Officials should listen carefully, assess independently and choose impartially.

Formality CL4B CL3S
Development of governmental solutions in accord with official obligations, including consultation with representatives, should be handled in a documented and formal way.

Legitimation CL4B CL2B
Government choices are the source of societal laws and regulations administered by Officials. Solutions must be found that accord with the law, or else reasonable legislation must be introduced.

ClosedDamaging Influences

Sabotage CL4B CL3P
The re-shaping of choices due to an Official's direct personal interests (e.g. re-election), or indirect interests associated with inducements or pressures from powerful groups. The result is never in the best interests of society as a whole.

A powerful group… Closed with much to gain or lose can contact and pressure government officials privately. Alternatively, the group may enter into public debates with misinformation and scare tactics. The sabotaging group is often a political party. However, private interests may forcibly distort and undermine a satisfactory solution through pressuring politicians.

Corruption CL4BCL3S
Government officials have private interests that engage, or often consume them, to a degree that leads to them use their duties improperly in shaping the government solution.

Money is the universal solvent… Closed but each official will have certain desires and interests, even weaknesses, that may be used as levers. A darker method is to threaten to expose an official’s previous improper or socially unacceptable activities—i.e. blackmail. Politicians usually like financial contributions to be provided in the form of generous campaign donations, which supports one of their principal preoccupations in life—getting re-elected.

Invalidation CL4BCL2B
The rule of law may proscribe a government's preferred solution. So the aggressive political response is to use bureaucratic procedures that render the judgement futile. A common resort is legislation to prevent undesired but valid legal rulings.

Government officials often… Closed attempt to act illegally when pandering to public opinion, pursuing the so-called national interest, or protecting their own personal dishonesty. Historically, politicians in developed democracies like the UK and USA have been more than willing to ride roughshod over the rights of a few individuals. When the rule of law seems likely to invalidate government action, politicians withhold evidence, pressure witnesses, replace uncooperative officials and even judges. The most authoritative and aggressive response is to pass new legislation, even making it retrospective.

No CL4B ↔ CL1B Channel

This Channel, or rather the absence of this Channel, is of paramount significance in understanding politics and how things go awry.

No organized group-CL1B can impact directly on government choice-CL4B. The best it can do is ensure that its official representatives-CL3 get access to government officials or give evidence at inquiries.

So all to-and-fro interaction between government and a group or organization takes place between individuals-CL3 who are acting both in accord with the duties inherent in their role, and to some degree from the perspective of their own self-interest (both of which are affected by their own groups)—as described earlier under Individuals in Politics & Government.

Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 27 Jan 2010

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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