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Home Features Hypothetically, what benefit could closed government offer?
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PEOPLEPaul 't Hart
TAGS Open government, Freedom of Information, Paul ’t Hart, transparency, Yes Minister
Would switching off the phones and cameras in parliament for a year improve government? Professor Paul ‘t Hart argues it might. Although there are benefits to greater openness, one needn’t be as cynical as Sir Humphrey Appleby to identify there are costs too.
Paul ‘t Hart
What would happen if we eliminated transparency from the political system for twelve months? We might actually get more sensible debate and better policy, reckons Professor Paul ‘t Hart of the Utrecht School of Governance.
Acknowledging that this is a “controversial” position to take, an optimistic ‘t Hart asked the Australia and New Zealand School of Government conference:
“Is there such a thing as virtuous ignorance? I think there is. Personally, this is no longer evidence based professor speaking, this is Paul ‘t Hart citizen, I’d love to have an experiment where we remove cameras and smartphones from parliament for a year or two.
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David Donaldson is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Melbourne. He's previously written for The Guardian and Crikey and holds a masters in international relations.
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