Friday, January 10, 2014

MetaDiscussion: Let's Cross the Bridge

Scandal of the day: The New Jersey governor is in trouble because a political appointee of his was able to close lines on a busy bridge, allegedly for reasons of political retribution.

My response to this situation is to ask how the appointee was simply able to order a closure affecting many people, seemingly without a rationale.  This happened in a part of the world that places a high value on accountability, citizen rights and service.

How did the political process allow this to happen ?

MetaDiscussion first:  My curiosity took me to Google News, in order to read the top 10 articles on this matter.

 Google News Search Jan 10, 2014

I looked at the top 10 listed articles on this scandal from: CBC, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Fox, The Economist, The Telegraph, Chicago Tribune, The Globe and Mail, Christian Science Monitor, CNN.

As expected, the focus is on the SCANDAL, and the resulting impact on the Governor's presidential hopes, not on the underlying causes.  This result teaches us a very important basic fact of political coverage: it's usually about the campaigns.  These spectacles are the most exciting things in politics; "political coverage" as it is today tends to revolve around the horse race of campaign strategies and gaffes more than policies.

So the discussion about this scandal, as it is, won't result in any changes to the process.  There isn't enough focus on how the authorities don't have to explain such decisions (well, without a subpoena) And nobody will mention "Open Government" as a possible solution to throwing light on backdoor deals such as this.  Yet.

We need to discuss the discussion first.

No comments:

Post a Comment