All’s fair in love and war
JOHN LILY (1578): EUPHUES: THE ANATOMY OF WIT
The surreal paradox of government is that nothing is what it seems and perception is reality. Change, risk, and ambiguity are constant companions. When the stakes are steep, the rules of fair play are suspended. No prisoners are taken. Much is excused, despite bad behaviour. The price is deemed worth paying for a just cause. In times of protracted austerity, all is fair in politics and budgets.
Restructuring was a panacea for coping with the economic and budgetary pressures of the New Public Management era. Governments streamlined and strengthened public services systematically. They generated flexible institutional arrangements that were more adaptable to economic and fiscal downturns. Canada, for example, steered its way to a decade of prosperity and balanced budgets under the banner of Program Review and Alternative Service Delivery.