New politics

Bit late to this, but here is John Manley reflecting on his time in office, the current state of play and the way forward.

Many of the changes in political culture were healthy. We ceased to spend what we could not afford. We no longer assumed that growth was inevitable and learned that we had to have the right mix of public policy and investment if we wanted a strong economy. We demanded results and high ethical conduct from our public officials.

All of this is good. But what I see as the erosion of public space — the declining importance we attach to collective action, and the growing distrust of the state — are dangerous if left unchecked. If the past year and a half of turmoil in the financial markets has taught us anything at all, surely lesson number one is that public policy matters.