Public Non-Consultations

As a political constituent, you will be forgiven if you you think the political system doesn’t give a stuff about what you think about anything they do, and that would be because they don’t…  They are required to “consult”with the public on dozens of things, do they? Well technically they sort of do but only because they have adjusted the concept of “consulting” to an embarrassing low level. So embarrassingly low, that neither I nor anyone I know has been actually ever been formally consulted about anything…

Is this because it is too hard to do? In this amazingly public social media world we live in? Not even a hope of sustaining that argument. So why don’t we? Well it’s pretty obvious isn’t it? They might tell us what they actually think… That is called participation and we can’t have that…

Sherry Arnstein the famous author on the eight types of political participation in “A Ladder of Citizen Participation” (1969). Often termed as “Arnstein’s ladder”, broadly categorized the steps as:

*Citizen Power: Citizen Control, Delegated Power, Partnership.
*Tokenism: Placation, Consultation, Informing.
*Non-participation: Therapy, Manipulation.
She defines citizen participation as the redistribution of power that enables the have-not citizens, presently excluded from the political and economic processes, to be deliberately included in the future. And our interest in including the “have-nots”? Non existent…

With the tools available today there is absolutely no reason why the public is not pro-actively consulted on every single thing every single council does.