British new wavers Naked Eyes scored a top 20 hit in 1983, with this love song about trusting someone.
You made me promises, promises
You knew you’d never keep
Promises, promises, why do I believe?
Voters are typically unforgiving of politicians that fail to keep their word. Campaign platform commitments are treated like legal contracts. Utterances by an elected representative a decade ago are dredged up to match for consistency with contemporary statements, and discrepancies are hammered as “flip flops” and hypocrisy.
Never mind that you’ve changed your tune countless times, on lots of things. And that sometimes, breaking a promise may be the right thing to do, especially if new information is obtained and events and situations have changed. The higher standard faced by governments to follow through on everything may contribute to them being less transparent, or hesitant to stick their neck out for much beyond indistinct and superficial generalities… even when concrete plans and proposals are required.