If there’s a contentious debate over a policy, and public opinion is split 50-50: often today’s politicians will do nothing. They will hope to slide under the radar, and then pivot after a decision is made. It’s a rational safe move to avoid looking like they made a mistake. Avoiding mistakes is a very innate and fundamental behavior.
However, in the position of the politician, or any decision-maker, when faced with such an issue — the realization is that any decision would have been considered a mistake by the half of the public that doesn’t agree.
But because that’s an unassailable truth, it should be that those decisions should be okay to make. And that the only mistakes to truly avoid are the ones that 100% of the people consider a mistake. Like avoiding making a decision for fear of losing face.