Molded and Tested
Policy makers and private association leaders planning strategy to win legislative battles cannot neglect the mass public, especially in a democratic system. Active or latent, the public is a force to be reckoned with. Depending on the potential impact of a bill, the public may become highly involved in the political process or may merely attempt to set the perimeter of permissible legislation. Techniques of molding public opinion, so that it will reflect and support the views of those engaged directly in the power struggle, have evolved in West Germany into a fine art of persuasion, in the tradition of Madison Avenue.
While transportation would generally have an impact on wide segments of the population, the two bills did not seem immediately relevant to the public. Nevertheless, the Government leaders sought to mobilize public support for their bills, while many association officials generally sought to arouse public antipathy. The Bundestag, although taking positions, tended to be the neutral force between warring camps.
In the summer of 1954, a high Bundesbahn officer urged the Ministry of Finance to convince the public that motor vehicle