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Maybe we should have a look at what practices are already in the law-making procedures

Most Political Science curricula have senior and graduate level "policy analysis" courses that provide a good basis for appropriate analysis of the impact of laws. Lots of congressional staffers have this background. But successful politicians, (ones who have won more than one election), usually learn quickly when to base votes on rational policy and when to base them on receiving sufficient contributions to win the next election. The conservatives believe this is right and proper. The liberals accept that this is what they have to do to survive.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 7th, 2011 at 10:45:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking more in terms of institutionalised analysis. In effect, what is mandatory in ways of analysis before a law is passed.

In Sweden - by constitution or custom - a change of law starts by an inquiry into the effects of a proposed change. I think they are always appointed by the cabinet and when parliament wants a bill that the cabinet does not want, parliament passes a motion to order cabinet to launch an inquiry. The inquiry has a set lenght (normally around six to twelve months), inquisitors are appointed by cabinet but works independently. The inquiry is pre-released a number of weeks before the final date and sent to stake-holders. Stake-holders - and others, it is public - can then write their answer, and inquiry and answers are then sent to cabinet and parliament.

Since inquisitors are in general academics or career public servants they stand to loose face if they claim absurd things. Politicians are always free to claim otherwise, but at least then the journalists has something to work from other then what the opposition says.

- Why do you say that reform X will only cost Y millions, when the inquiry says it will cost 3Y millions?

I have no idea how this procedure is performed in other countries.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat May 7th, 2011 at 12:18:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Denmark, all laws must pass in parliament twice as drafts before they are passed into law, in order to ensure that the opposition and the public at least has the text for a month or so. The public also has the right to comment on drafts and proposed laws. Occasionally - very occasionally - these drafts are even revised.

In practise, the only thing that a Danish government has to care about are the parliamentary majority and the courts in Strassbourg, in that order. So in practise, as long as they have a parliamentary majority (which is always - otherwise they're not a government much longer) and don't tick off the Commission too bad, they can break the constitution, international law and the UN charter with the same gratuitous impunity that the rest of us break traffic regulations.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat May 7th, 2011 at 05:28:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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