Published in El Pais, 21 July 2021.
Many governments like to say that their policies and laws are based on the people. But, how much participation does the people have in creating it? And if there is participation, are they sufficiently representative of different sectors of the population? And in what part of the process did they participate and in what way? How were the positions that generated conflict, fixed? The ideal participation may be the reflection of a majority of the population and represents a latent need.
Although participation is included in the regulations for the creation of laws, participation is not clear. In the end, for a law to help improve people’s quality of life, it is important that people present different positions and together engage in healthy, evidence-based discussions and reach a mutual agreement that what they choose to do is the best for all or at least, for a majority.
For this, it is important to weigh the evidence since a case does not make the rule, but a case can also be the tip of a ball. Therefore, the discussion of different positions is healthy to reduce the gap in society. It is healthy to have critical and opposing positions between those who make the laws and between those called to participate. Of course, this session or sessions will have conflict since different people with power come together, each one has their own point of view, interests, and ideal solution to the problem. Resolving the conflict during the creation of a law may take time, but it is not wasted time, since it is gained in perfection. If the law is made with like-minded people, surely the law would have many biases and would not be comprehensive. This can lead to a failure in your implementation, keeping it only on paper and generating a lot of rejection in your application.
Policies are made in order to improve the quality of life of citizens in the short and long term. The risks of its implementation must be taken into account and precautionary solutions to these effects. It takes time because a law should not be in contradiction with other existing laws, and should protect fundamental human rights (eg, work, social-economic security). And for this, the participation of the opposing parties from the beginning until the end of its writing serves.