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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
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.
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