Mortgage lenders do not advance money without an independent appraisal of the buyer’s acquisition. Public companies do not finalize a year’s financial statements without an external auditor’s review. It is a best practice to have independent directors on boards of public companies. In theory, outsiders protect shareholders from foolish decisions arising from managerial groupthink.
Groupthink is a phenomenon that occurs when the desire for group consensus overrides people’s common sense desire to present reasonable alternatives, critique a position, or express an unpopular opinion. Here, the desire for group cohesion effectively drives out good decision-making and problem solving.MindTools
In government, groupthink is guaranteed. There are almost no protections against leaders imposing costly vanity projects on taxpayers. Cabinet ministers cannot ensure that reasonable choices are made when megaprojects are on the table because places on the executive council depend on keeping the leader satisfied. In nearly every situation, that ensures compliance with the boss’s agenda.
The Royal BC Museum replacement project that soared in May and crashed in June is an example.
Premature notice of an unformed plan was made because John Horgan planned to resign. The billion dollar project might have created a warm memory of BC’s departing Premier. Certainly warmer than megaprojects like Site C, LNG Canada, Coastal GasLink, and Trans Mountain, none of which are desirable monuments to celebrate the only NDP leader to win two BC general elections.
NDP hoped John Horgan’s association with a provincial museum emphasizing pre-colonial history might soften memories of snipers, attack dogs, and armed assault teams employed by his government to oppress unarmed Indigenous people defending unceded territories with their words and their presence instead of the violence preferred by government.
Another item involving the museum caught my eye.
In 2018, Premier Horgan announced that all key infrastructure projects would be built by the province under a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), a policy said to protect workers, particularly those who are underrepresented in the construction industry.
On May 17 2022, Finance Minister Selina Robinson told the legislature the almost billion dollar museum “is not a CBA project.“
That suggests a certain lack of faith in the patronage recipients running British Columbia Infrastructure Benefits (BCIB), the provincial crown corporation established to supervise Community Benefits Agreements.
Categories: Horgan, John