Tuesday, June 04, 2013

He Should Have Consulted the People

"I like the Prime Minister a lot, but anyone can make mistakes. He should have consulted the people."

         (Supporter of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan, on BBC News 3rd June 2013)

It’s such a simple concept, and so easily forgotten by those in power. Before you decide to do something like bulldoze the only substantial park in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul to put in a shopping mall and ersatz Ottoman oddity, talk with people about it! Explain why you want to do it, make your case. Hear their views, and honestly consider the alternatives they propose. Have a conversation.  See if agreement can be reached, and if it can, reach it, memorialize it, and do what you’ve agreed to. If agreement can’t be reached, then maybe go ahead with your plans, but only after explaining why you’re doing so, including why it’s in the public interest to do so.
Simple, and a wise thing to do, however big your electoral majority.  But Erdoğan’s in excellent company.  Besides the likes of Bashir al-Assad and the Commuplutocrats of contemporary China, here in the U.S. every agency of government eschews real consultation, albeit giving it regular lip service.  But what’s happening in Turkey shows that the chickens of consultation eschewed can come home to roost.

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