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Improving Submissions by Understanding Public Policy Analysis

Many submissions to Governments are based along the lines of “I Want”. These submissions often fail to respect the reasonable interests of other affected parties. As a result, they tend to be less persuasive to politicians, when the consider making changes to Government policies.

More persuasive submissions will be based on offering the politician a workable policy option. To be workable, it must respect all affected parties.

My suggestion for entering the challenging world of public policy analysis, is Wikipedia.

Most people think that policy writing is easy. Writing something may be easy, but writing a policy that will work in the real world is astonishingly difficult and generally we are quite poor at doing it. The number one problem is people!

If everyone was like me, it would be much easier! Dangerous and misleading appeal to simplicity.

Economic policy analysis is challenging. (It usually involves business, or engineering design and costing.)

Example: Light rail or heavy rail to airport:

Analysis of social policies is far more complex, due to the breadth of human behaviours and desires and craziness. Politics clouds these issues further…..

The NZ Science Advisor to Government, Sir Peter Gluckman has written several very good papers:!/menu/main/topColumns/topLeftColumn/pdf/507163a.pdf
The art of science advice to government
He has commented on the poor quality of policy analysis within NZ Government:

Very interesting subject. It has a huge impact onto everyone’s quality of life. (Even more so for those parents driven to suicide, by poor social quality social policies. Mothers or fathers…)

We have much to benefit from putting in more effort, improving our policy analysis and having clearer political discussion before legislation is passed. This is the extreme opposite of passing legislation under “urgency” late at night, just before a holiday weekend.

As policy analysis is very complex and involves knowledge from a wide range of fields, it should never be done by a single person Teamwork is the essence of success, for many reasons.

Examples of submissions:
Many excellent submission examples may be found on the websites of the organisations listed below, as policy think tanks. Also look at the websites of Parliament and partisan policy writers such as political parties and other pressure groups, that you may be at cross purposes with.

Organisations Who Publish Policies:
You will note that these organisations have teams of people working together on policy analysis.
NZ Army We don’t want to kill poor people, we want to kill happy people!
New Zealand Centre for Political Research (including Dr. Muriel Newman Shared Parenting Bill)
NZ Institute for Economic Research
McGuinness Institute TacklingPovertyNZ
AUT Institute of Public Policy
Auckland Uni Public Policy Institute | Te Whare Marea Tātari Kaupapa
Family First
When you understand the other side, throw caution to the winds and pick up your pen…… (before the submission date!)

Political Process and Persuasion:
Bettina Arndt in her Keynote Speech at International Conference for Men 2017 gives positive ideas for getting past the roadblocks that the men’s movement is facing.
More subtle evolutionary based issues were covered by Karen Straughan’s speech about Evolutionary Realities. Keyword Neoteny starts at 10 minutes.
The women’s movement uses simple slogans, which seem deceptively simple and hard to argue with. Such as “equal work for equal pay”. This can be said in 5 seconds. To bring out all of the policy issues that are relevant to forming fair and equitable policy would take a discussion a day or even weeks, if there was no argument. Few listeners have that much patience, in this day of 90 second sound bites.