Andrew Charlton Explains the Economic Dangers of Political Gridlock

Although there are surely many varied reasons and explanations, the contentious tone and sheer anger evident in the elections and policy debates occurring all over the globe exists as one of the most striking similarities among a diverse group of countries. In many systems of government, Andrew Charlton notes, policy debates have become incredibly divisive and often fall strictly along partisan lines. This leads to tactics of obstruction designed to either stall or undermine the effectiveness of any policy, resulting in political gridlock.

The public living under these systems of governance has grown increasingly frustrated, and rightly so. What is most problematic, however, is the potentially devastating and long-lasting economic impact that could be caused by this kind of political gridlock. As Charlton said, the instability associated with political gridlock rarely inspires the confidence of businesses looking to make a secure and long-term investment. With the confidence of the business sector completely undermined due to political gridlock, the strength of the economy is sure to be negatively affected.

Australia serves as a notable example, particularly since it is a country that is largely reliant on capital. Should businesses and investors grow concerned over political instability, investment in new enterprise and reinvestment in existing enterprise will decline rather sharply. Combined with the likelihood of the end of the housing boom and the growing concerns over currency adjustment, the current strength of the Australian economy could be significantly weakened in relatively short order. The consequences of a weakened economy, however, will last far longer.

Fortunately, there are measures available to prevent these adverse circumstances from coming to pass. It is simply necessary for governments the world over to recognize the instability being caused by political gridlock and the declining trust of the public that stems from that gridlock. Clearly, there are few who benefit from governmental instability, so it is therefore in the best interests of everyone to bring back stable and effective governance.



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