Kaja Tampere, PhD, University of Jyväskylä Finland Role of PR and Communication Management in Legislation and Legitimation Processes in Democratic Society: Stakeholder Relations of Ministry in Law Preparation Process EUPRERA 2007
In order for democracy to function efficiently, the government has to communicate with the citizens of the country
Citizens have the right to know what the ministries and other government bodies are doing and why the various administrative decisions are being made. In a democratically organised country, decision making must be transparent. (OECD 1999, p 19)
Citizens are sovereign only nominally and exercise their sovereign rights only when the governors of the country are being elected. Citizens have no right to change laws as they please, they have to obtain the consent of the legislator first. (Dunleavy et al . 1995, p 5)
It is in the best interests of the representatives themselves to take into account and analyse the “voice” of the people, in order to ensure through dialogue the legitimacy of exercising the authority of the state and to increase their chance of being re-elected.
Society expects the government (the state) to protect it against the threat of war, ensure law and order, foreign policy, organise taxes, trade and industry, postal services, foster health care, education, social welfare and many other fields. (McKevitt 1998, p 20)
I would add the obligation to provide information as another duty of the government – society expects from the government all the functions McKevitt speaks about but in performing these functions it is vital to discuss matters and inform citizens of the choice, content and consequences of the measures that would lead to the desired aim, because this is what is required by our democratic system of government.