Public Management - Lecture 001

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Management (MGS)
Sandford Borins

MAKING COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY WORK 07 January 2014 Political = Winner take all Business = Share Fishbowl analogy, whole world is transparent, everyone is watching what the politicians and public service is doing as everything they do is being scrutinized publically. Analyzing “Yes Prime Minister” Very cynical as the roles we expect them to portray is ironically contrasted. Most of the events are all related to the tobacco issue. • Prime Minister objective = Tax cut wins votes • Minister of Health objective = To stop tobacco because it destroys lives; however, objectives change as shown through promotion, self-serving. • Minister of Sports objective = Sponsorships • Thorne management skills (Health Minister) = Effective public sector entrepreneur, paper about concern and persuasively talked about it, proposal of tobacco reduction. • Hacker management skills (PM) = Strategic thinking and manipulation, rearranging priorities, right after Thorne presented his idea, showed how he can manipulate his proposal to something he wants, use Thorne. • Sir Humphrey management skills (Tobacco Minister) = Problem solving skills, suggested that Thorne be promoted to vacant job so as to not quit and destroy his reputation. Marginal seats is when difference between winner and runner up is very small that a proposal can move it. In Canada, a lot in sub-urban Toronto change or sway. PM Stephen Harper target speeches to ethnic minorities to get the support of sub-urban Toronto area. Political Management in Canada (p. 82 – 88) The ultimate test for a politician is winning elections. Blakeney feels currently, the winner seems to be the politician who is most marketable, who has the best image, but this does not offer detail to policies. Specifics serve to identify winners and losers; visions identify only winners (images vs. issues). Public often sees through and resents politicians who attempt to run on image alone, without defending their record or raising serious issues. “Good government is good politics and good politics is good government” = Government should be responsive to voters’ interests. When in a campaign, theme is important. Should also clearly identify the opponent. Each successive campaign became more media oriented (rallies at major cities). Timing is important for calling an election. Blakeney called an election at the wrong date: people in Saskatchewan are often grumpy in April, because winter always feels too long and people’s spirits haven’t been raised by the sight of crops emerging from the ground in the spring or the satisfaction of harvesting them in the fall. Technology of campaigning has become tremendously sophisticated. Some parties conduct public opinion polls to determine voters’ sentiments about various issues, they then modify their messages, speeches, and commercials to this instant feedback. Blakeney operated a 3-canvas system, called each residence 3 times, to find out what issues the voters were interested in and special-issues pamphlets were mailed. Changes were made based on public reaction assessed by party officials. Television commercials are not easy to change on short notice. Newspaper ads and radio spots can be changed on short notice, polling information was used to make these decisions. Voting behavior is unpredictable, no riding should be ignored. Reasons for running a good campaign in a constituency you feel you will lose: • Building support for next election • Useful in any election campaign to convey the impression that the party can win • Every visible campaign has a spillover effect in adjoining constituencies • It isn’t that expensive to run a highly visible campaign The Way it Works (p. 34 – 56) To build a strong team of an Opposition party takes patience, time and effort, and luck. The pay in Opposition offices is poor compared to that of the private sector; there is no guarantee of winning
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