Negotiating is fighting

Negotiating is fighting

One of the most important figures of the Republican Party, Mitch McConnell, makes two important observations in his book “The Long Game”:

  • Politics is never a perfect conception
  • Politicians should know when to listen to people and when to lead them.

Today, in Turkey, the public has many demands from the government, including:

  • Higher minimum wage and pensions
  • The rates of public services should not exceed inflation, or better yet, they should not be increased at all.

Obviously, these demands will be a burden on the budget and also have a political cost. On the other hand, exporters are having problems due to high exchange rates and business owners are experiencing financing problems. However, a government shall never ignore the demands of the people, the voters, just to please a few select corporations.

A government should evaluate people’s complaints and wishes, while also considering its own wishes. For example, Turkish government is currently requesting a constitutional amendment despite the fact that the public does not demand such a thing. What the public wants is a better and improved economy. Therefore, the government will need to start negotiating with the public. It will give them the message that “I know what your demands are. I have the power to fulfil them but there is a price to you need to pay if you want them to happen. So, let’s reach a mutual agreement.” The recent resolutions of the Constitutional Court have already established the necessary grounds for a Constitutional amendment. For comprehensive change, however, the government will need civil society by its side.

The markets have immediately noticed this strategy of the government and as they think that this would be a long and exhausting negotiation, we are witnessing a rising selling trend now. This, you can tell from FX rate rises and the stock market falls. In the coming days, we could hear “calls for change” in many issues, from the country’s judicial system to the EU accession, the fight against terrorism to border security, bureaucracy to governance.

At the end of all this, neither the demands of the government nor the public will be fully satisfied, as has been the case so far. That’s why McConnell said, “politics is never a perfect conception.”

Sometimes, the changes from the proposal of an act to its adoption are overlooked, but the final version of a proposed law is formed by the accumulation of these “long stories”. We shall see what will come out of these talks between the government and the public in Turkey.