Dr Jennifer Lees-Marshment has published a book recommending New Zealand create a Ministry of Public Input. The synopis is:
As political leaders acknowledge the limits of their power and knowledge, they seek a diverse range of public input into government, but this raises profound practical and democratic questions as to how we ensure that public input is collected and processed appropriately and what political leaders are supposed to do with that public input. Through interviews with government ministers and practitioners this research shows how politicians are becoming deliberative political leaders; integrating constructive input from inside and outside government into their decision-making. It also argues that we need to develop a permanent government unit to collect, process and communicate ongoing public input such as a Ministry or Commission of Public Input. By improving public input systems; acknowledging the limits of their own power and knowledge; and devolving solution-finding to others, politicians achieve change that lasts beyond their time in power. Public input is not irreconcilable with political leadership; it is essential to it.
I was one of those interviewed for the book. I think the idea of a Ministry of Public Input, to work across Government, is worth considering. In theory each agency should be doing this anyway, but Jennifer proposes an all-of-Government approach.
A summary of her book is online here.
Those she interviewed include around 51 current and former Australian, Canadian British and Ministers including a dozen current NZ Ministers.Tags: Jennifer Lees-Marshment