It's not just the amount and complexity of 'red tape', it is also the fact that 'red tape' is a tool which can be bent to purpose by all and sundry. In fact, a creative editor can make the red tape mean exactly what he or she wants it to mean. Red tape is in this respect more of a liability than an asset, where edit wars can be won by the editor most adept at bending the laws of reality to their own intent than others. I already have a fairly radical proposal up to the effect that we move away from what we now seem to have somehow ended up with, policy driven content, and back to what we once had and which made Wikipedia such an amenable and fascinating environment in which to work, one of content drive content. The paper which underpins the thinking for this is to be found here: Task force/Enhance community health and culture task force/Making Wikipedia a Happier Community. Policy appears to be a fundamental enemy of content and quality of content. Good faith, well researched edits by editors who care about their subjects results in ineffably better articles than anything cobbled together from a bunch of dubious web pages annotated with copious citations until your eyes blee with an overarching eye to policy compliance.