Transcript: Mistakes, Bad Decisions, and Fallout | Jan 28, 2020

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Mistakes, bad decisions and fallout. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says WE'VE ALL MADE THEM. AND WHILE NOT EVERYONE'S BAD DECISIONS END UP ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE NEWSPAPER, SENDING MAJOR POLICY INITIATIVES OFFSIDE, OR DERAILING THEIR FUTURES, NOBODY LIKES TO PICK THE WRONG COURSE OF ACTION. SO, TONIGHT, WE EXPLORE WHAT GOES INTO MAKING BAD DECISIONS AND WHAT CAN HELP AVOID THEM? WITH US TO CONSIDER THAT: IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL, DAVID MOSCROP, AUTHOR OF "TOO DUMB FOR DEMOCRACY? WHY WE MAKE BAD POLITICAL DECISIONS AND HOW WE CAN MAKE BETTER ONES." HE'S ALSO A POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW IN COMMUNICATIONS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA.

David is in his thirties, with side-parted auburn hair and a prominent beard. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit and a pale blue shirt.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover is white, with the title inside a winding red arrow.

Steve continues FROM OUR STUDIO AT QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY IN KINGSTON: ARIEL SALZMANN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ISLAMIC AND WORLD HISTORY AT QUEEN'S.

Ariel is in her fifties, with long straight silver hair pulled back. She's wearing glasses, a black suit and blouse, and a silver pendant necklace.

Steve continues AND HERE IN OUR STUDIO: AMANDA GALBRAITH, PRINCIPAL AT NAVIGATOR LTD...

Amanda is in her thirties, with long straight chestnut hair. She's wearing a black blazer and a dark blue blouse with a bright red pattern.

Steve continues AND STEVE JOORDENS, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY AT UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SCARBOROUGH. WE ARE DELIGHTED TO HAVE YOU TWO HERE IN OUR STUDIO IN TORONTO...

Steve Joordens is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short curly gray hair. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, blue shirt and patterned blue tie.

Steve continues AND OUR FRIENDS IN POINTS BEYOND FOR A DISCUSSION ABOUT WHAT CONSTITUTES A GOOD DECISION VERSUS A BAD DECISION. STEVE, YOU'RE GOING TO GET US STARTED HERE. WE NEED A GOOD PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR TO GET US GOING. DEFINE A BAD DECISION FOR US.

The caption changes to "Steve Joordens. University of Toronto Scarborough."

Steve Joordens says I MEAN, A DECISION IS LARGELY JUDGED BY ITS CONSEQUENCES, WHAT DOES IT LEAD TO? WHEN PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO MAKE A GOOD DECISION, THAT'S LARGELY THE GAME THEY'RE TRYING TO DO IS LOOK INTO THE FUTURE, TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPACT THAT VARIOUS DECISIONS WILL HAVE AND HOW THEY WILL ALL PLAY OUT. IT'S A VERY COMPLEX THING TO DO. WE ARE PROBABLY THE ONLY ANIMAL THAT TRIES TO DO THAT, LOOKS INTO THE FUTURE THAT FAR, AND BECAUSE IT'S COMPLEX, WE OFTEN GET THINGS WRONG.

The caption changes to "What not to do."

Steve says WELL, I'D LIKE ARIEL SALZMANN TO COME IN HERE AND HELP US LOOK BACK THROUGH HISTORY. LET'S TAKE THE MOST OBVIOUS ONES OUT OF THE MIX, LIKE CHAMBERLAIN'S APPEASING HITLER IN THE LATE 1930s WHICH HELPED PRECIPITATE WORLD WAR II. TAKE THE WORLD WARS OUT OF IT. GIVE US SOME EXAMPLES IN HISTORY OF REALLY BAD DECISIONS.

The caption changes to "Ariel Salzmann. Queen's University."

Ariel says AS HISTORIANS, WE FREQUENTLY TALKED ABOUT AGENCY AND INDIVIDUAL AGENCY, BUT OBVIOUSLY THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE MOST POTENTIAL FOR DOING GREAT WRONGS AND DOING GREAT RIGHTS ARE THOSE VERY HIGH UP IN THE FOOD CHAIN IN POWER. AND SO IN TERMS OF, YOU KNOW, GREAT BAD DECISIONS, I WOULD SAY, YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT JUST THE INDIVIDUAL, IT'S ACTUALLY COLLECTIVE, GOVERNMENTS, AND I THINK ONE OF THE ONES THAT WE SORT OF MISS ARE THE DECISIONS THAT WERE TAKEN IN THE 1980s OVERALL. THE 1980s IS WHEN WE WERE BECOMING REALLY AWARE THANKS TO NASA SCIENTISTS THAT THE GLOBE WAS WARMING. AT THE SAME TIME, WE WERE APPROACHING THAT DAY, 1989, OF COURSE WHEN THE WALL CAME DOWN IN THE EASTERN BLOC. AND SO CHOICES WERE MADE THEN TO BASICALLY SPREAD THROUGH WHAT HAS BEEN CALLED SHOCK DOCTRINES, CAPITALISM THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, AND NOT ADDRESS THE LOOMING EXISTENTIAL CRISIS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND GLOBAL WARMING. AND I THINK THAT NOW WHEN WE'RE STARTING TO JUDGE WHAT WENT WRONG, WHAT ARE THE DECISIONS THAT WERE MADE THAT WERE ABSOLUTELY WRONG, I THINK WE HAVE TO TAKE OUR CUES FROM THE DOOMSDAY CLOCK THAT WAS JUST UNFORTUNATELY MOVED FORWARD TO LESS THAN TWO MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT BY THE UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS, AND THEY LIST THESE TWO FACTORS: CONTINUED NUCLEAR BUILD-UP, AND OF COURSE THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE UNITED STATES FROM TWO MAJOR TREATIES, NOT JUST THAT ONE WITH IRAN BUT ALSO THE INTERMEDIATE RANGE MISSILE TREATY, AND THE SECOND IS THE ACCELERATING PACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE, WHICH WE SEE IN AUSTRALIA.

Steve says THAT'S A PRETTY GOOD LIST TO GET US GOING HERE. AMANDA, IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, HAVING WORKED WITH POLITICIANS, HAVING WORKED FOR CLIENTS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR, WHAT TENDS TO... WHAT TENDS TO GO INTO A REALLY BAD DECISION? WHAT ARE THE FACTORS THAT ARE AT HAND WHEN YOU SEE BAD DECISIONS MADE?

The caption changes to "Amanda Galbraith. Navigator."

Amanda says I MEAN, IT'S INTERESTING, RIGHT? FROM A CORPORATE PERSPECTIVE, OFTEN WHAT HAPPENS IS YOU'RE GETTING PEOPLE MANAGING UP. ON THE GROUND, IT'S REALLY BAD. BUT I'M GOING TO TELL MY BOSS, 75 percent HOW BAD IT IS. AND HE'S GOING TO TELL HIS BOSS 75 percent OF HIS VERSION OF IT. BY THE TIME IT GOES ALL THE WAY UP TO THE CEO, THEY GET A VERY SANITIZED VERSION OF THAT. YOU'RE HAVING A WHOLE CRISIS ROLLING IN AND ALL OF A SUDDEN IT'S LIKE A TIDAL WAVE THAT BLOWS THEM OFF THE MAP. THAT'S USUALLY FROM A STRUCTURAL ISSUE. SOMETIMES YOU JUST GET BAD APPLES, SO BAD ACTORS, SO GOOD COMPANIES TELL PEOPLE TO DO BAD THINGS FROM EMBEZZLING. THAT HAPPENS QUITE A BIT. ON THE POLITICAL SIDE, IT'S SIMILAR. YOU'RE RUNNING A GOVERNMENT. AT ANY POINT IN TIME, PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DO DUMB THINGS, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO CALL PEOPLE BACK, THEY'RE GOING TO MAKE MISTAKES. HOW DO YOU RECTIFY IT BEFORE IT BECOMES A FRONT PAGE NEWS STORY.

Steve says CAN YOU TAKE US... BRIEFLY, YOU'VE WORKED FOR A NUMBER OF POLITICIANS OVER THE YEARS. I KNOW YOU DON'T WANT TO EMBRACE ANYBODY, BUT LOTS OF TIME HAS PASSED BY NOW. GIVE US AN EXAMPLE OF A DECISION THAT TURNED OUT... MAYBE AT THE TIME YOU THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD ONE, BUT IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, TURNS OUT TO BE A BAD ONE.

Amanda says YEAH. THAT I WORKED FOR OR...

Steve says PREFERABLY THAT YOU'VE WORKED FOR. IF I'M GOING TO EMBARRASS YOU, WE REALLY MIGHT AS WELL GO ALL THE WAY HERE.

Amanda says FOR SURE. ONE THAT COMES TO MIND THAT WAS REALLY CHALLENGING FOR ME AND FOR THE OFFICE, WHEN I WAS WORKING FOR THE MAYOR AND IT WAS AROUND CARDING IN THE CITY OF TORONTO.

Steve says MAYOR JOHN TORY?

Amanda says YEAH. HE FIRST CAME IN AND PUBLIC OPINION AT THE TIME WAS VERY MUCH... THIS IS BEFORE A LOT OF THE BLACK LIVES MATTER AND ALL THIS STUFF HAPPENED, THEY WERE VERY PROTECTIVE TO THE POLICE AND THE CONSTITUENCY WAS PROTECTIVE OF THAT. THE POLICE WERE ADAMANT THAT THEY NEEDED THIS TOOL. AND WHAT HAPPENED WAS, WE DIDN'T SEE THAT PUBLIC OPINION WAS SHIFTING SO QUICKLY AND THEN YOU SORT OF GET SWEPT UP IN THE TIDAL WAVE. THE GOOD THING SMART POLITICIANS DO IS THEY SEE THAT HAPPENING AND THEY STAND UP AND SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT? THIS WAS THE WRONG THING TO DO. I'M GOING TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND CHANGE MY MIND. WHAT I SAY TO POLITICIANS AND EXECUTIVES IS FLIP FLOPPING IS A ONE DAY ATTACK. PEOPLE CARE ABOUT YOU DOING THE RIGHT THING. THAT'S AN EXAMPLE WHERE WE DIDN'T SEE WHERE THE PUBLIC WAS GOING, BUT FIXED IT IN THE END.

Steve says WE'LL COME BACK TO THAT ISSUE OF WHETHER YOU SHOULD DIG YOUR HEELS IN AND OR CHANGE YOUR MIND. WE'LL COME BACK TO THAT IN A SECOND. DAVID MOSCROP, HOW ABOUT YOU? HERE IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, LOOK AS RECENTLY OR AS FAR BACK AS YOU LIKE. WHAT'S A POLITICAL DECISION THAT WAS MADE THAT YOU THINK IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME REALLY TURNED OUT TO BE A BAD DECISION?

David says HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE?

Steve says WELL, IT'S AN HOUR SHOW, DAVID.

The caption changes to "David Moscrop. Author, 'Too dumb for democracy?' University of Ottawa."

David says ALL RIGHT, GOOD. WE'LL GO AN HOUR.
[LAUGHTER]
WELL, YOU KNOW, LET'S TAKE THE DOUG FORD GOVERNMENT AND JUST RECENT EVENTS. I MEAN, IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE FORD GOVERNMENT, THEY CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL AND SEEMED INTENT ON REMAKING THE PROVINCE OVERNIGHT WITHOUT MUCH REGARD FOR PUBLIC OPINION, WITHOUT MUCH REGARD FOR CONSULTATION, WITHOUT MUCH REGARD FOR ANYTHING, AS IF THEY HAD A DAY TO LIVE. AND SO IF YOU LOOK AT, FOR INSTANCE, AUTISM FUNDING OR FRENCH LANGUAGE SERVICES AND RIGHTS, THE FRENCH LANGUAGE UNIVERSITY, THE PUBLIC SERVICE, THESE WERE DECISIONS THAT WERE TAKEN AND LATER AMENDED OR REVERSED OR PUT ON HOLD, AND IT'S A GOOD EXAMPLE OF HOW, IF YOU HAVE A PLAN, PERHAPS A HASTY ONE, AND YOU SET ABOUT IT WITHOUT THOUGHT OR WITHOUT CONSIDERATION OF WHAT OTHERS MIGHT THINK, YOU GET INTO TROUBLE REALLY QUICKLY, ESPECIALLY IF YOU TAKE IT ON AS A PARTISAN PROJECT INSTEAD OF SAY A DELIBERATIVE PROJECT WHERE YOU WANT TO ENGAGE WITH THOSE WHO AGREE WITH YOU AND THOSE WHO DON'T AND THE PUBLIC AT LARGE TO TRY TO COME TO A GOOD DECISION THAT EVERYONE CAN LIVE WITH.

Steve says JUST IN THE INTERESTS OF BEING EVEN-HANDED HERE, SINCE BOTH EXAMPLES WE'VE GIVEN SO FAR ARE BY CONSERVATIVE POLITICIANS, GO BACK TO THE KATHLEEN WYNNE YEARS OR THE DALTON McGUINTY YEARS AND PLUCK ONE OUT FROM THE LIBERALS, IF YOU WOULD?

The caption changes to "David Moscrop, @David_Moscrop."

David says LET'S SAY GAS PLANTS, JUST OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD. WE ALL KNOW THAT STORY, WE... OR HYDRO ONE, FOR THAT MATTER. YOU CAN SEE IN THESE INSTANCES WHAT POLITICIANS WERE GETTING AT AND PERHAPS EVEN A BROADER PLAN THAT WOULD MAKE SENSE, BUT THEN YOU SEE THE EXECUTION BEING BUNGLED AND YOU SEE THAT AS IT COMPOUNDED, THEY WOULD EFFECTIVELY DOUBLE DOWN ON BAD DECISIONS AND LED TO A LOT OF TROUBLE. AND PART OF THAT IS THE INSTITUTIONS THAT WE HAVE. WE HAVE A PARTISAN POLITICAL SYSTEM. WE HAVE A 24-HOUR NEWS CYCLE. POLITICIANS ARE CONSTANTLY BOMBARDED AND ARE RISK AVERSE SO WE SET THINGS UP TO BE MORE DIFFICULT THAN THEY HAVE TO BE, SO WHEN YOU MAKE A MISTAKE, YOUR INCLINATION ISN'T TO FIX IT, IT'S TO HIDE IT AND MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE AND HOPE YOU DON'T GET BUSTED.

The caption changes to "Decision-making deep dive."

Steve says STEVE, LET'S GO TO THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ANGLE ON THIS AGAIN WHICH IS, WHEN YOU'RE MAKING A DECISION... GOOD, BAD, OR INDIFFERENT... WHAT'S GOING ON COGNITIVELY IN YOUR HEAD?

The caption changes to "Steve Joordens. University of Toronto Scarborough."

Steve Joordens says IT'S A BIG ANSWER TO A QUICK QUESTION TOO. THERE ARE TWO PSYCHOLOGISTS WHO WON A NOBEL PRIZE LOOKING AT DECISION-MAKING AND THEY TALK ABOUT HOW... WE MAKE OVER 2,000 DECISIONS A DAY ACCORDING TO MOST PSYCHOLOGISTS. A LOT OF THOSE ARE GOVERNED BY VERY QUICK, WHAT WE CALL, HEURISTICS. WE GO WITH THE FAMILIAR. SO A LOT OF DECISIONS WE DON'T DELIBERATE VERY DEEPLY AT ALL.

Steve says YOU DECIDED TO PUT THAT TIE ON TODAY.

Steve Joordens says EXACTLY.

Steve says IN NO TIME AT ALL.

The caption changes to "Steve Joordens, @SteveJoordens."

Steve Joordens says YEAH, I REACHED IN, THAT WILL WORK WITH WHAT I'M WEARING. YEAH, VERY QUICK. OCCASIONALLY WE MAKE DEEP DELIBERATIVE DECISIONS WHICH ARE THE ONES WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TODAY, WE KNOW THEY COUNT, THAT THERE COULD BE CONSEQUENCES THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO US, AND THAT'S WHERE THE INTELLIGENT PERSON TRIES TO GET AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE, WHICH INCLUDES AS MANY PERSPECTIVES AS POSSIBLE, TO TRY TO ASSEMBLE A GROUP AROUND THE TABLE THAT MAY BE THINKING ABOUT THINGS OR VALUING THINGS THAT I MIGHT NOT NATURALLY THINK ABOUT OR VALUE, AND SO IF THESE PEOPLE ARE COMFORTABLE BRINGING THIS UP... WHICH IS ANOTHER PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUE, OFTEN INTROVERTS AT A TABLE WILL NOT BRING THINGS UP DURING A DISCUSSION BUT WILL WANT TO, YOU KNOW, BRING SOME IDEAS FORWARD LATER, SO HOW DO YOU GET ALL THAT INPUT, BUT TO HAVE THE ULTIMATE GOOD DECISION TO KIND OF CONTRAST WITH WHAT MAKES A BAD DECISION, THAT'S IT, GETTING LOTS OF PERSPECTIVES AND SEEING LOTS OF PEOPLE TALK ABOUT HOW THESE CONSEQUENCES COULD PLAY OUT AND THEN RATIONALLY GOING FROM THERE.

Steve says THE...

Ariel says IF I COULD INTERRUPT FOR A SECOND?

Steve says GO AHEAD, ARIEL.

Ariel says I THINK WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT DECISION MAKING WE DON'T TALK ABOUT THE DEEP INSTITUTIONAL FORCES AT WORK. THERE'S A GREAT DEAL OF INERTIA, FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE POLICIES TOWARD THE ALBERTA BITUMEN FIELDS THAT GO FROM ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER, SO THAT THERE'S REALLY NO CHANGE. IN FACT, WE'RE CONTINUING AS CANADIANS TO SUBSIDIZE THIS, YOU KNOW, VERY TOXIC INDUSTRY. SO I THINK THERE'S WAYS IN WHICH... THERE'S A LOT LESS FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT IN MAKING THESE KIND OF MAJOR DECISIONS WHICH, FROM A HISTORICAL POINT OF VIEW, ARE GOING TO HAVE ENORMOUS CONSEQUENCES AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF COURSE ARE ALL AROUND US RIGHT NOW. ON THE OTHER HAND, AND I THINK THIS IS VERY TRUE IF YOU LOOK AT THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION, THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, THEY'RE ACTUALLY AVERSE TO EXPERTS AND THEY'RE AVERSE TO REALITY, IN FACT, AND THEY SURROUND THEMSELVES WITH A POLITICAL CULTURE THAT WILL SUPPORT IT. SO BEYOND TRUMP'S... AND I WOULD BE VERY INTERESTED TO HEAR WHAT SOME OF YOUR GUESTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT HIS PARTICULAR PSYCHOLOGY OR APPROACH TO DECISION-MAKING... BUT BEYOND THAT, THERE IS A CULTURE SURROUNDING HIM THAT ENABLES WHAT HE DOES. AND WHEN HE MAKES WHAT SEEMS TO BE, YOU KNOW, ERRATIC DECISIONS, SUCH AS THE ASSASSINATION OF A LEADING GENERAL AND A WAR HERO IN IRAN, QASSEM SOLEIMANI, THESE ARE NOT SO ARBITRARY AS WE THINK, AND THE PEOPLE AROUND HIM ARE FACILITATING THOSE DECISIONS. SO I THINK WE SHOULD ALSO LOOK AT THE MILIEU AND THE DEEP INERTIA OF OUR INSTITUTIONS AND OUR ECONOMIC RELATIONS AS WELL AS THE KIND OF THINGS THAT BOLSTER OUR MILITARISM. OUR MILITARISM, WHERE YOU HAVE A COUNTRY THAT ALMOST HALF THE WORLD'S MAJOR ARMS MANUFACTURERS AND MILITARY MANUFACTURERS IN THE UNITED STATES, YOU CAN SEE THAT, AS EISENHOWER SAID SO MANY YEARS AGO, IN '61, THAT YOU HAVE THIS MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX THAT IS MAKING DECISIONS FOR ITSELF, IN EFFECT.

Steve says WELL, I WAS GOING TO GET TO DONALD TRUMP LATER, BECAUSE HOW CAN WE NOT TALK ABOUT DONALD TRUMP, BUT SINCE YOU'VE RAISED HIM, WHY DON'T WE DO THIS RIGHT NOW? OKAY, SHELDON, DO YOU WANT TO BRING THIS UP, AT THE TOP OF PAGE 3.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Presidential popularity snapshot."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
DONALD TRUMP'S APPROVAL RATING IS CURRENTLY SITTING AT ROUGHLY 43 percent, WHICH IS BASICALLY WHERE IT'S BEEN FOR ALL OF HIS PRESIDENCY. INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, IF YOU WANT TO COMPARE, THAT IS 2 percent LOWER THAN WHERE BARACK OBAMA WAS AT THIS POINT, IN OTHER WORDS THREE YEARS IN OF HIS PRESIDENCY, AND THAT IS DESPITE THE FACT THAT TRUMP OF COURSE HAS BEEN IMPEACHED AND DONE A LOT OF CRAZY THINGS OVER THE LAST 3 YEARS. NOW, THE AUTHORS OF "MISTAKES WERE MADE BUT NOT BY ME," EXPLAIN THAT 43 percent CONTINUING SUPPORT FOR TRUMP IS EXPLAINABLE THUS. LET'S BRING THIS GRAPHIC UP.

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Downplaying post-decision dissonance." The quote reads "HOW DOES A PERSON JUSTIFY SUPPORT FOR AN UNPRESIDENTIAL PRESIDENT. EASY. IF YOU WERE ON THE FENCE ABOUT HIM, YOU ARE LIKELY TO JUMP OVER IT TO HIS SIDE NOW BECAUSE AFTER ALL YOU VOTED FOR HIM AND IF YOU VOTED FOR HIM YOU WANT YOUR VOTE CONSISTENT WITH WHAT YOUR FEELINGS ARE ABOUT HIM TODAY. THANKS TO THE COGNITIVE BIASES THAT PEOPLE SEEK CONFIRMATION OF WHAT THEY ALREADY BELIEVE, YOU NOW, POST ELECTION, ARE MOTIVATED TO FOCUS ON WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT HIM AND DISMISS WHAT YOU DON'T LIKE."
Quoted from Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. "Mistakes were made (but not by me.)" Spring, 2020.

Steve says LET'S GET INTO THAT. DAVID, WHERE DOES THAT PUT US TODAY IF THAT'S IN FACT THE CASE?

The caption changes to "David Moscrop. University of Ottawa."

David says WHERE WE'VE ALWAYS BEEN. YOU KNOW, THE FACT IS THAT THE UNITED STATES IS NOT JUST POLARIZED AMONG PARTISAN LINES, BUT THAT PARTISAN POLARIZATION IS IDENTITY BASED. YOU DON'T SUPPORT THE REPUBLICANS OR DEMOCRATS, YOU ARE A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT. IT'S BOUND UP WITH WHO YOU ARE AND YOUR IDENTITY AND HE WILL BEING... WELL-BEING. THERE'S ALWAYS GOING TO BE 30 X PERCENT OF AMERICANS WHO SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATS NO MATTER WHAT AND THE BALANCE IS OVER THE INDEPENDENTS. AND THE EXCERPT YOU JUST READ SHOWS, WE'RE DEEPLY BIASED, WE'RE COGNITIVELY WIRED TO FEEL GOOD, TO AVOID FEELING BAD, AND PARTISAN POLITICS PLAYS TO THAT AND PEOPLE KNOW THAT. I MEAN, PARTISAN ACTORS KNOW THAT EXTRAORDINARILY WELL AND THEY EXPLOIT THAT. AND THAT BECOMES EMBEDDED IN OUR INSTITUTIONS AND THEN WE'RE OFF TO THE RACES. SO I WOULDN'T, FOR INSTANCE, BE SURPRISED TO SEE DONALD TRUMP, NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES, RE-ELECTED IN 2020 AND THEN WE'LL JUST HAVE TO BATTLE IT OUT FOR ANOTHER FOUR YEARS.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says AMANDA, HOW DO YOU SEE IT?

The caption changes to "Amanda Galbraith, @agalbraith."

Amanda says I THINK HE'S GOING TO BE RE-ELECTED IN 2020 FOR SURE. TAKE THE SOLEIMANI ASSASSINATION, FOR EXAMPLE. THAT WAS ARGUABLY A BAD DECISION FROM A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE IN THAT IT WAS UNSETTLING. FROM A POLITICAL DECISION DOMESTICALLY, IT WAS GOOD FOR HIM, RIGHT? HE'S BEEN DOING TOURS, RALLIES, SAYING HE'S GOT THE BAD GUY. I THINK THAT IS THE LENS WITHIN WHICH HE IS MAKING DECISIONS. SO TRUMP IS ERRATIC, BUT FOR US TO DISMISS HIM AS BEING FRANKLY UNINTELLIGENT OR UNSOPHISTICATED I THINK IS AN ERROR.

Steve Joordens says IF WE ACTUALLY GO BACK AND SAY BEFORE THE CONFIRMATION BIAS SETS IN, WHICH IS SURELY A STRONG FORCE, WHY DID THOSE 40 percent RESONATE WITH TRUMP IN THE FIRST PLACE? YOU KNOW, WHEN I THINK OF TRUMP, I THINK OF NEVER WRONG, ALWAYS STRONG. IT'S A CARDINAL SORT OF FEATURE IF YOU TRY TO DEFINE HIM. THAT'S WHAT HE PRESENTS HIMSELF AS. AND I THINK TO A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO FELT SORT OF WEAK AND THEY DIDN'T HAVE A STRONG VOICE AND THINGS WERE HAPPENING TO THEM, BEING VICTIMIZED BY IMMIGRATION OR WHATEVER THEY MIGHT THINK, THAT WAS THE BASIS OF THEIR ORIGINAL DECISION. THAT GUY IS STRONG. HE'S GOING TO STAND UP FOR AMERICA, HOW I THINK OF AMERICA, AND, YOU KNOW, THAT EMOTIONAL BASIS, NOT NECESSARILY A DEEP THOUGHT-OUT, COGNITIVE WEIGHING OF EVIDENCE AND VALUES AND ALL THIS, BUT, NO, "I LIKE THAT GUY. HE MAKES ME FEEL GOOD. HE MAKES ME FEEL STRONG." THAT CAN BE A VERY POWERFUL BEGINNING OF A DECISION. AND THEN ONCE THAT DECISION IS MADE, THEN ABSOLUTELY, WE HAVE ALL THESE FORCES THAT MAKE US WANT TO FEEL LIKE WE ARE NOT STUPID.

Steve says IT'S INTERESTING THAT... WHEN JIMMY CARTER, 40-PLUS YEARS AGO, SENT 8 HELICOPTERS OVER TO RESCUE THE HOSTAGES, SIX OF THEM BROKE DOWN. FROM THAT POINT ON, CARTER WAS SOMEHOW SEEN AS WEAK, AND HE NEVER RECOVERED FROM THAT.

Steve Joordens says YEAH.

Steve says AMANDA, LET ME TRY THIS ONE HERE...

Ariel says CAN I ENTER INTO THIS TRUMP DISCUSSION?

Steve says YOU STARTED IT.

Ariel says HE WASN'T ELECTED BY THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS. HE ACTUALLY LOST THE GENERAL ELECTION. HE WAS ELECTED BY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE. AND SECONDLY, I MEAN, YOU KNOW, ONE CAN'T DISMISS THE FACT THAT RACISM PLAYED A HUGE ROLE AND THAT RACISM IS TARGETING NEW IMMIGRANTS TO THE UNITED STATES AND, YOU KNOW, SURE, THERE WAS DISCONTENT. THERE'S ALSO A TOXIC MASCULINITY THAT HE TAPS INTO. I WAS WONDERING IF SOME OF THE PSYCHOLOGISTS WOULD WEIGH IN ON. AND THESE ARE THINGS THAT HAVE KEPT HIM GOING. BUT SURPRISINGLY ACTUALLY THE POLLS ARE SHOWING THAT, YOU KNOW, A MAJORITY CERTAINLY ARE... WANT TO HEAR MORE ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON AND THE CRIMES THAT HE COMMITTED IF THEY'RE NOT CRIMES IN THE INDISCRETIONS AND THE ASSAULT ON DEMOCRACY THAT HE COMMITTED THAT WARRANTED THIS IMPEACHMENT. SO I THINK, YOU KNOW, I DON'T THINK WE CAN BE SO CONFIDENT THAT THAT TRUMP BASE IS GOING TO CARRY HIM OVER THE THRESHOLD IN THE NEXT ELECTION, AND I THINK IT'S MORE FOR THE DEMOCRATS TO LOSE, ACTUALLY, BY FIGHTING AMONG THEMSELVES AND BASHING THE FORERUNNER, WHO IS CURRENTLY BERNIE SANDERS, HAS THE BEST CHANCE OF BEATING TRUMP, THAN FOR THE TRUMPERS TO AGAIN GET HIM ELECTED. IN FACT, I THINK THE WHOLE SITUATION WITH THE REPUBLICANS IS A LAST-DITCH EFFORT, BECAUSE THE WHOLE DEMOGRAPHY OF THE UNITED STATES IS CHANGING AND THEY'RE NOT GOING TO GET REELECTED. THEY CAN'T GET REELECTED ON THE MERITS SO THEY HAVE TO CHEAT AND THAT'S THE CHEATING WE SEE GOING ON FROM LOCAL ELECTIONS ALL THE WAY UP TO THE TOP WITH TRUMP HIMSELF.

Steve says STEVE JOORDENS WANTS IN.

The caption changes to "Justifying our choices."

Steve Joordens says TO ADD TO THE COMPLEXITY. WHEN YOU COME TO AN ELECTION, THERE'S THE DECISION, WHICH IS THE ELECTION. THERE ARE OTHER SUB DECISIONS WHICH ARE, DO I BOTHER TO GO OUT AND VOTE? IF YOU ASK ME WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IN 2020, THAT'S THE QUESTION: HOW MANY PEOPLE GET MOTIVATED ON EITHER SIDE? WILL THE TRUMP BASE WIN THE DAY? WELL, UNLESS THE OTHER SIDE DOES NOT GET MORE MOTIVATED TO COME OUT IN GREATER NUMBERS, BECAUSE SHE'S RIGHT, THEY DIDN'T NECESSARILY WIN BUT THEY WON BY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE BECAUSE THEY GOT THEIR BASE OUT TO VOTE. SO WHAT MAKES SOMEBODY DECIDE, YOU KNOW, I'M GOING TO BOTHER TO DO SOMETHING, IT'S WORTH MY TIME TO DO IT, AND THAT'S A WHOLE SUB DECISION.

Steve says AMANDA, I WANT YOU TO GET IN ON THIS. BECAUSE IF YOU'VE BEEN IN POLITICS OR ANY LENGTH OF TIME AT ALL, YOU'RE GOING TO SEE YOUR SHARE OF GOOD DECISIONS AND BAD DECISIONS. IT JUST COMES WITH THE TERRITORY. I'M INTERESTED IN WHY THE ELECTORATE DECIDES TO FORGIVE SOME POLITICIANS FOR BAD DECISIONS, I.E. JUSTIN TRUDEAU, BLACKFACE, BROWNFACE, WHICH FIVE DAYS AFTER THAT BROKE DISAPPEARED AND THE PUBLIC OBVIOUSLY DECIDED TO FORGIVE HIM AND HE WON. AND WHY THEY DECIDE TO CRUSH OTHERS, ON THE OTHER HAND. DO YOU KNOW WHAT GOES INTO ALL OF THAT STEW?

Amanda says PART OF IT IS BELIEVABILITY, RIGHT? SO NOBODY BELIEVES PRIME MINISTER TRUDEAU IS RACIST. NOBODY DID. SO THAT BEHAVIOUR IS NOT RINGING TRUE TO ME AS A PERSON. ALSO, IT WAS INTERESTING, I WAS ACTUALLY NOT AT WORK AT THE TIME, SO I WAS NOT IMMERSED IN THE DAY-TO-DAY POLITICS OF IT, AND ONE OF MY FAMILY MEMBERS, WHO IS ABOUT 70, WAS LIKE, OH, WELL, EVERYBODY DID THAT BACK THEN. AND I WAS LIKE, EVERYBODY DID NOT DO THAT BACK THEN. IN FACT THEY WERE GETTING KICKED OUT OF UNIVERSITY FOR DOING THINGS LIKE THAT. SO PART OF IT IS PEOPLE'S WILLINGNESS OF EXCUSING BEHAVIOUR WHEN IT DOESN'T FIT A PATTERN. TRUDEAU DIDN'T HAVE A PATTERN OF THAT SO THEY WERE WILLING TO BRUSH IT OFF. BUT WHERE YOU SAW, FOR EXAMPLE, THE FORD GOVERNMENT, THEY WERE ELECTED ON THE IDEA THAT THEY WERE GOING TO CLEAN UP THE MESS, NO MORE PRIVILEGED APPOINTMENTS, NO MORE FAT CAT LIBERAL STUFF AND YOU HAVE AN APPOINTMENT SCANDAL ONE AFTER ANOTHER, AND THEY GOT PUNISHED MUCH MORE THAN A LIBERAL GOVERNMENT I THINK WOULD HAVE GOT FOR THE SAME THING.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says HOW DOES THE ELECTORATE DECIDE WHOM TO FORGIVE AND WHOM TO CRUSH AND WHY?

David says PART OF IT IS PARTISAN IDENTITY. IF YOU LOOK AT THE EARLY DAYS OF THE BLACKFACE-BROWNFACE SCANDAL, LIBERALS WERE MORE WILLING TO FORGIVE AND THE NDP WAS SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE. SO THERE'S ALWAYS THE FACT THAT WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO DELUDE OURSELVES INTO EXPLAINING AWAY BAD BEHAVIOUR OF PEOPLE WE LIKE WHILE DOUBLING DOWN AND PUSHING FORWARD ON THOSE WE DON'T LIKE BECAUSE, AGAIN, WE LIKE THE PEOPLE WE LIKE AND WE DISLIKE THE PEOPLE WE DISLIKE. AND OF COURSE THE OTHER THING IS, IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THE MISDEED IS. FOR INSTANCE, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE, THEY CAN UNDERSTAND LIARS, BUT THEY REALLY DON'T LIKE HYPOCRITES. SO YOU OFTEN FIND THAT IF THERE'S AN EXPECTATION BUILT IN TO YOU BEING GOOD AND YOU FALL FROM THE HIGHER HEIGHT, THEN YOU LAND HARD AND SOMETIMES FATALLY. AND SO PART OF IT IS WHETHER OR NOT IT'S, YOU KNOW, A LIE, AND PEOPLE SAY, LOOK, ALL POLITICIANS LIE. OR IT'S HYPOCRISY AND PEOPLE SAY, WELL, YOU'RE NOT THE PERSON I THOUGHT YOU WERE, I DON'T TRUST YOU ANYMORE. BUT OF COURSE THAT GOES BACK TO WHAT WAS JUST SAID, IT ALSO DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ARE AND HOW YOU SELL IT. JUSTIN TRUDEAU IS REMARKABLY GOOD AT SELLING, AND SOME OTHER PEOPLE, FOR INSTANCE, DOUG FORD, MAYBE AREN'T. SO THERE'S A BUNCH THAT GOES ON AND IT DEPENDS ON THE INDIVIDUAL, BUT IT CERTAINLY DEPENDS ON HOW THE POLITICIAN IS ABLE TO MEET THE PUBLIC AS WELL.

Steve says STEVE?

Steve Joordens says TO JUMP ON THE SELLING POINT. THIS IS A COMPLEX THING. WHEN WE HEAR SOMEONE SPEAK, WHEN IT COMES TO TRUTH TELLING AND TRUTH THINKING, WE'RE LOOKING MORE AT THEIR BODY THAN LISTENING TO THEIR WORDS. WE'RE LOOKING AT HOW THEY PRESENT THE INFORMATION. IN THE FAMOUS HUGH GRANT SITUATION WHERE HE HAD TO APOLOGIZE FOR A BAD DECISION AT THE TIME, HE WAS FOUND TO BE WEARING A TOO-SMALL SUIT ON JAY LENO WHEN HE WAS APOLOGIZING, WHICH MAKES YOU FIDGET, MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE, MAKES YOU PULL YOUR LEGS OUT AND MAKES YOU LOOK NERVOUS AND THAT YOU LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT. HE PROBABLY WAS PUTTING IT ON. WHEN IT COMES TO A JUSTIN TRUDEAU OR A FORD, I THINK WE'RE LOOKING... AND WE'RE KIND OF DOING THAT COMPUTATION IN THE BACKGROUND. DOES IT SEEM LIKE SOMEBODY HAS SAID, GO OUT IN FRONT OF THE CAMERAS AND DO THIS, BUT THE PERSON ISN'T REALLY THERE, OR DOES IT SEEM, YOU KNOW, AND TRUDEAU IS GOOD AT APOLOGIZING AND, YOU KNOW, HE HAS THAT AUTHENTICITY TO WHAT HE SAYS. AND WHETHER, YOU KNOW, THAT IS AUTHENTICITY OR HE WEARS IT WELL, HE CERTAINLY WEARS IT WELL, AND THAT MAKES US, YOU KNOW, TEND TO BELIEVE SOMEBODY MORE THAN THEIR WORDS, THEIR BEHAVIOUR.

Steve says THOSE OF YOU UNDER 40 AND DON'T KNOW WHAT HE'S TALKING ABOUT WITH HUGH GRANT, GOOGLE IT. I'M NOT GOING TO REPEAT IT ON THIS PROGRAM HERE. ANYWAYS, AMANDA, I WANT TO RETURN TO THAT NOTION YOU BROUGHT UP A WHILE AGO, WHEN YOU GET IN TO THE MIDDLE OF A BAD DECISION, DO YOU DIG IN OR DO YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND AND SEE WHAT TRANSPIRES AFTER THAT? AND, YOU KNOW, LET'S JUST TAKE DOUG FORD'S GOVERNMENT HIMSELF. HE'S HAD SOME PRETTY HIGH-PROFILE CHANGES OF POSITION. YOU KNOW, HOLDING TOUGH ON AUTISM AND THEN SWITCHING THE MINISTER AND MAKING A VERY DIFFERENT DECISION. STICKING WITH HIS CHIEF OF STAFF AND THEN FIRING HIS CHIEF OF STAFF AFTER THE PATRONAGE SCANDAL. TRYING TO GET THE OPP COMMISSIONERSHIP AND REALIZING THIS ISN'T GOING TO GO SO WELL, STANDING DOWN, PUTTING SOMEONE ELSE IN THAT HAS MUCH MORE WIDESPREAD APPEAL. LET'S TRY THIS. IS THERE A GENERAL RULE ABOUT WHEN TO DOUBLE DOWN ON A BAD DECISION AND WHEN TO BASICALLY SAY, OKAY, WE'VE SCREWED THIS UP, WE'D BETTER CHANGE OUR MINDS.

The caption changes to "Intellectual humility."

Amanda says IN POLITICS?

Steve says POLITICS.

Amanda says THERE IS NOT A GENERAL RULE. IDEALLY IN THE WORLD YOU DON'T WANT TO MAKE THE BAD DECISION IN THE FIRST PLACE. ONCE YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THE MIDDLE OF IT... POLITICS YOU HAVE TO WATCH PUBLIC OPINION AND CAUCUS, AND FRANKLY CAUCUS IS PRETTY CRITICAL. IF YOU START TO LOSE THEM, YOU'VE LOST YOUR LEADERSHIP.

Steve says WHICH PREMIER FORD WAS STARTING TO LOSE.

Amanda says WHICH IS WHEN HE STARTED TO MOVE. POLITICIANS WILL UNDERSTAND THE HUE AND CRY OF PUBLIC OPINION MORE THAN CAUCUS BEING UP IN THEIR EAR WHICH IS ONE THING I'VE EXPERIENCED OR COUNCILLORS, IF YOU MAY. GOOD POLITICIANS ACTUALLY DON'T DIG THEIR HEELS IN FOR LONG. THAT'S AN INTERESTING STRENGTH OF THE FORD GOVERNMENT FROM MY PERSPECTIVE. YES, THEY WERE RELATIVELY INEXPERIENCED IN POLITICS. BUT WHEN THEY MADE SOME DECISIONS THAT WERE NOT WISE... I DON'T THINK YOU'RE SEEING THAT NOW... BUT THEY WERE ACTUALLY WILLING TO CHANGE THEIR MINDS AND REVERT AND MOST PLACES DON'T. LOOK AT THE GAS PLANT SCANDAL, FOR EXAMPLE, LOOK AT SNC. THEY DUG THEIR DEALS IN SO LONG. THAT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A 6-MONTH STORY, THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A ONE-WEEK, TWO-WEEK STORIES. THAT'S WHAT DAMAGES YOUR BRAND.

Steve says ARIEL, THERE WAS A A... CAN I THROW A QUESTION AT YOU FIRST?

Ariel says WE ARE TALKING ABOUT BAD DECISIONS BUT WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE PENALTIES FOR PEOPLE WHO MAKE GOOD DECISIONS. I THINK ONE OF THE GREAT DECISIONS EARLY THIS CENTURY WAS JEAN CHRETIEN'S REFUSAL TO GO ALONG WITH THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION IN GOING INTO IRAQ. BUT TAKING THOSE DECISIONS IS OBVIOUSLY I THINK MUCH HARDER TO DO AND STICKING WITH THEM THAN MAKING A BAD DECISION AND FLIP-FLOPPING LATER. SO WHILE WE'RE LOOKING AT THE CONTORTIONISM OF DOUG FORD AND VARIOUS OTHER PEOPLE, I THINK, YOU KNOW, FOR OBAMA TO STICK WITH THE IRAN DEAL DESPITE THE, YOU KNOW, BOTH SIDES, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS GOING AFTER HIM, FOR CHRETIEN AND THEN UNDERMINED LATER, BUT I DON'T THINK WE MAKE ENOUGH OF THE DIFFICULTY OF MAKING RIGHT DECISIONS AND STICKING BY THEM.

Steve says HMM. DAVID, IN YOUR VIEW, DO YOU HAVE A SORT OF A SENSE ABOUT WHEN IS A GOOD TIME TO DIG YOUR FEET IN, WHEN IS A GOOD TIME TO CHANGE YOUR MIND?

David says WELL, I MEAN, ON A CYNICAL, STRATEGIC SIDE, I MEAN, THE ADVICE IS, OF COURSE, MANAGE THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU AND MANAGE PUBLIC OPINION TO THE EXTENT THAT YOU CAN, AND I THINK, AGAIN, THE INSTITUTIONS THAT WE'VE CREATED INCENTIVIZE THAT. I DON'T BLAME POLITICIANS WHO DO THAT, BUSINESS LEADERS TO DO THAT, ANYBODY WHO DOES IT. IT'S THE WORLD WE'VE CREATED. ON THE OTHER HAND, IT IS WORTH EVERY SO OFTEN TO SEARCH YOUR OWN SOUL TO THINK DEEP ABOUT WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE DONE WRONG OR NOT DONE OR DONE TOO MUCH OF AND THEN TO REVISIT IT. I MEAN, IF YOU'RE GETTING FEEDBACK, ESPECIALLY NEGATIVE FEEDBACK ABOUT SOMETHING, THE WORLD MIGHT BE TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING USEFUL AND PERHAPS YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO IT AND MAKE A CHANGE OF HEART BECAUSE IT'S TRUE. TAKE, FOR INSTANCE, JEAN CHRETIEN DECIDING NOT TO GO INTO IRAQ. THAT WAS IN PART BECAUSE CAUCUS WAS DIVIDED, THE COUNTRY WASN'T ALL FOR IT, BUT HE BELIEVED IT TOO. SO, YOU KNOW, IT'S WORTH LOOKING NOT JUST AROUND YOU BUT ALSO INSIDE A LITTLE BIT AND THINKING ABOUT WHAT IT IS YOU BELIEVE AND WHY YOU BELIEVE IT. THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GET SLAMMED FOR IT BECAUSE WE LIVE IN A CYNICAL, DIFFICULT AND PARTISAN WORLD.

Steve says AMANDA, I DON'T KNOW IF YOU KNOW PAUL RHODES...

Amanda says YES.

Steve says YOU DO KNOW PAUL. 25 YEARS AGO HE WAS AN ADVISOR TO MIKE HARRIS, COMMON SENSE REVOLUTIONARY, AND I GUESS HIS ADVICE PROBABLY WORKS FOR BUSINESS PEOPLE TOO, IF YOU'RE IN TROUBLE, FIGURE OUT WHERE THE STORY IS GOING TO END, AND GO THERE. IS THAT STILL THE BEST ADVICE FOR PEOPLE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR TOO?

Amanda says YOU WANT TO CONDENSE THE NEGATIVE NEWS. IF YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO APOLOGIZE, IF YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY SOMEONE, IF YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO THAT, DO THAT QUICKLY. I SAY TO CLIENTS, YOU WANT TO OWN FAIR AND REASONABLE. YES, YOU'VE DONE SOMETHING BAD OR MADE A HUGE MISTAKE. HOW CAN YOU GET TO FAIR AND REASONABLE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE SO THE MEDIA WILL MOVE ON AND FRANKLY THE PUBLIC OR YOUR CUSTOMERS OR EMPLOYEES.

Steve says DO YOU WANT TO GIVE AN EXAMPLE FROM YOUR TIME IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR? YOU DON'T HAVE TO NAME NAMES IF IT'S EMBARRASSING.

Amanda says I'M TRYING TO THINK OF ONE I CAN ACTUALLY SAY PUBLICLY.
[LAUGHTER]
I'LL SAY AN EXAMPLE WOULD BE...

Steve Joordens says EXTEND THE NEWS CYCLE ON THIS.

[LAUGHTER]

Amanda says AN EXAMPLE WOULD BE, SOMEONE FOUND AN EMPLOYEE HAS ACTED INAPPROPRIATELY, RIGHT, AND THEY'RE BEING INVESTIGATED AND THE POLICE ARE GOING TO ANNOUNCE THAT THIS HAS HAPPENED, WHICH HAPPENS MORE FREQUENTLY THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE. HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE GETTING... YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TO DO... THERE'S AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION AND YOU HAVE TO DISCIPLINE THEM, YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE YOUR EMPLOYEES, YOUR CUSTOMERS... IDEALLY, ONCE THE NEWS HITS THAT THAT PERSON HAS BEEN ARRESTED, YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR STATEMENT READY. ALL THAT SHOULD ROLL OUT IDEALLY IN A 12-HOUR WINDOW, MAX. AS QUICK AS POSSIBLE. WITH A 24-HOUR NEWS CYCLE, WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THIS IN THE BREAK, THINGS MOVE ON SO FAST, IF YOU GIVE EVERYBODY A STORY THAT IT IS WRAPPED AND DONE AND YOU'VE DONE THE BEST YOU CAN, PEOPLE WILL MOVE ON. IT'S WHEN THEY FEEL LIKE THERE'S STILL SOMETHING THERE OR YOU'RE LYING OR YOU'RE NOT BEING AUTHENTIC, PEOPLE STILL DIG AT THE STORY.

Steve says WHAT GOES, STEVE, INTO A PUBLIC FORGIVENESS, IF YOU LIKE, OF SOMEBODY WHO HAS MADE A BAD DECISION?

Steve Joordens says YEAH. I MEAN, JUST ONE THING TO CARRY ON FROM THE LAST ONE. ONE OF THE THINGS WE SEE FROM THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT I THINK PSYCHOLOGISTS ARE AMAZED BY AND A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE AMAZED BY. ONE WAY TO SHORTEN THE NEWS CYCLE IS TO COMPRESS THE STORY. THE OTHER IS TO FOLLOW IT WITH ANOTHER STORY AND ANOTHER STORY AND ANOTHER STORY, AND IT'S AMAZING HOW WELL THAT WORKS. IF YOU'RE DOING THAT SECOND STRATEGY, THEN YOU NEEDN'T APOLOGIZE. THAT'S ONE THING. SO THE APOLOGY CAN DO EXACTLY WHAT AMANDA SAYS, IS WRAP A BOW AROUND THE STORY AND TELL REPORTERS AND THE MEDIA, THERE'S NOTHING ELSE TO SEE HERE. YOU GOT ALL THE JUICINESS. FIND SOMETHING ELSE. SO THAT HUMAN ENDING IS A NICE WAY OF ENDING IT. BUT IN SOME CASES WHERE SOMEONE IS INCAPABLE OF AN APOLOGY, THE OTHER STRATEGY SOMETIMES WORKS PRETTY WELL AS WELL. YOU KNOW, WE SEE THAT IN ALL SORTS OF SITUATIONS WHERE SOMETIMES IT'S JUST DENY, DENY, DENY. IT'S NOT... IT'S TRY TO BURY IT, TRY TO CHANGE IT WITH ANOTHER STORY, AND THAT'S A SECOND STRATEGY PEOPLE USE.

Steve says DAVID, I HAVE 30 SECONDS LEFT, UNFORTUNATELY, WHICH IS NOT ENOUGH TIME TO GIVE US A GREAT ANSWER SO I'LL SETTLE FOR A GOOD ANSWER. WHAT GOES IN TO MAKING BETTER POLICY DECISIONS FOR POLITICIANS GOING FORWARD AS OPPOSED TO THE BAD DECISIONS THAT THEY THEN HAVE TO BRING CRISIS MANAGERS LIKE AMANDA INTO TO CLEAN UP THEIR MESS?

David says THAT'S EASY. I'LL GIVE YOU A GREAT ANSWER IN A FEW SECONDS. YOU DELIBERATE. YOU DON'T BASH EACH OTHER OVER THE HEAD. YOU SIT DOWN, RECOGNIZE THE PERSON ACROSS FROM YOU AS AN AGENT, AS AN INTERLOCUTOR, IN GOVERNANCE WITH YOU, AND YOU TALK ABOUT THINGS. YOU EXCHANGE REASONS. YOU EXCHANGE IDEAS. YOU RESPECT ONE ANOTHER. AND THEN YOU TRY TO COME TO A DECISION. AND THEN IF YOU HAVE TO, YOU BASH EACH OTHER OVER THE HEAD AND VOTE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."

Steve says THAT SEEMS LIKE A VERY GOOD CHECKLIST. DAVID MOSCROP, THE AUTHOR OF "TOO DUMB FOR DEMOCRACY? WHY WE MAKE BAD POLITICAL DECISIONS AND HOW WE CAN MAKE BETTER ONES." HE'S AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA. WE THANK AS WELL ARIEL SALZMANN, THE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AT QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY FOR JOINING US ON THE LINE FROM KINGSTON. AND HERE IN OUR STUDIO, AMANDA GALBRAITH THE PRINCIPAL AT NAVIGATOR, AND STEVE JOORDENS, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY AT U OF T SCARBOROUGH. GOOD DISCUSSION, EVERYBODY. THANKS SO MUCH.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Ariel says THANK YOU.

Amanda says THANK YOU.

David says Thank you.

Watch: Mistakes, Bad Decisions, and Fallout