When polling day comes around, many wait with baited breath to find out who will be in power. But despite the heat and the divisiveness, whether it's Trump or Biden, Sarkozy or Macron, Blair or Johnson, radical changes in our lives rarely materialize.  Some argue that the complexity of decision making forces compromise. Others claim we are living in an episode of Yes Minister, with incoming and inexperienced politicians unable to compete with thousands of permanent government employees. Democracy, they say, is just a veneer covering up a deep state of unaccountable advisers and experts.

Should we recognize that politicians and leaders make little difference to policy and focus instead on the quality of permanent government staff and civil servants?  Should we give politicians greater control of the appointment of all civil servants rather than a few at the top? Or is the reality that the management of a substantial economy is so complex that decisions are largely technical rather than political?

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