Hidden Agendas

The other day I said to somebody that “it’s a political process” and he replied “you mean he has a hidden agenda.”

I think the word politics names the process by which many parties with widely divergent world views attempt to find common ground so they can get something done. That search is the key. So when I say “political process” I mean that the parties are still searching; but that they are still in the same room trying.

Lots of people hate that room for quite a laundry list of reasons. First off it appears that nothing gets done in there. Attempting to find common cause is what gets done in there. It’s risky hard work. There is huge risk that you spend resources and fail to find common cause. There is risk that spend resources, find what you think is common cause, and then latter you discover it wasn’t strong enough to stand the buffetting of future work. Always there is the risk that the guy in the room won’t be able to deliver his constituency. All that raise the risk that the game your playing is a short term rather than a long term one; which only makes the possiblity of defections higher.

If people all see the world in the same way then you wouldn’t have a problem you wouldn’t need to go into a room and try to find some common cause. In such rooms the puzzle is to figure out what the other guy can see that you can’t. In retrospect I find it amusing to realise that the difficulty of that work makes it always appear that the other guy is hiding something. It is rare that people know what they know. It’s even more rare that they know what you need to know.

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