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Politics and the 80/20 Principle

Aug 17, 2007
We all know by now that the 80/20 principle states that 80% of our business comes from 20% of our customers and 80% of our complaints come from 20% of them as well.

So what do I mean when I refer to an 80/20 principle in politics? If seems to me, and this is just my opinion based on decades of observation - that maybe 10% of the people are on the far left. And 10% are on the far right. That leaves the vast majority - 80% in between.

The 20% get the majority of the media attention, their respective political parties act as if everyone agrees with "their" 10% and hated the other party's 10% passionately.

The founding fathers, recognizing that our country was too big - even then, for everybody to sit around a big table in Philadelphia, established a representative democracy. We, the people, elect folks to represent us.

These representatives go to our state houses and to Washington as our representatives. They are there to do our bidding. They work for us. They represent us.

Well that was the theory anyway. It turns out that they have a different agenda. It looks like this to me. First they want to get re-elected, forever. Second, they want their party to control things so they (whoever 'they') are can do what their party wants and not what we, the people, want. And finally, they want to make sure that whatever the other party does, tries to do, or proposes - fails.

When the opposing party fails, they win. If things are going well they can say it is in spite of their opponents programs, if things are going badly - no matter what the real reason, they can tell their constituents that they would do it better.

The promise to do it better than their opponents gets them re-elected and the cycle begins again.

What I propose is a three party system to replace the current one. It will be a revolution of massive proportions. It will sweep the crooks, beltway insiders, and incompetent hacks out of office across the country in a very few years.

Here is how it will work. It is a simple three pronged process. No bureaucracy, not PAC money, and no cost to you as a concerned citizen - except a tiny bit of your time. Hey, if people in Afghanistan and Iraq can face death threats and suicide bombers, you can at least get off the couch for a few minutes, can't you?

#1) You contact you representatives in Washington. You tell them what you like about what they are doing and what you do not like. You tell them that if they aren't going to represent you the way you expected them to represent you - that's OK. You will just do everything in your power to get someone else elected in their place next time.

#2) You get three people you know and respect to commit #1 above. Each of us gets three, who get three, who get three, and so on and so on. It won't take long for that to become a groundswell of input. The politicians will know we're paying attention to them and what they're doing and/or not doing.

#3) There are about 8,000 trade associations in the US, plus labor unions, social organizations, religious groups, and professional societies. You belong to more than one of them - maybe several. If you're serious about representative government, you will contact the powers that be in the groups you belong to and ask them to tell all the members to do #1 above.

The beauty of this process is that it doesn't matter where you (or anybody) falls in the political spectrum. The law of large numbers will rule. If 25,000,000 people contact their elected representatives things will happen. Changes will take place.

Politicians will respond by doing what the majority of their constituents elected them to do. What a novel concept. Why, because they want to get re-elected. They will actually be able to run on their record of actual accomplishments.

Once the "80% Party" is fully mobilized the media will be able to report what the people actually say, not what some political hack or talking head said the people said. Once the "80% Party" reaches critical mass we'll all know it.

That day will come when the letters (D) and (R) are removed from the names of the politicians appearing in the newspaper or on TV. Those labels are there now, in my opinion, to remind us which party's message is being delivered and so we'll know who to vote for.

When the "80% Party" takes over the people, speaking directly to and through tier elected representatives will bring accountability and action instead of finger pointing and road blocking to our government - bottom to government.

I may be wrong but I think if 25,000,000 of us contacted our elected representatives every time they did what we elected them to do and every time they didn't - we'd end up with more of the former and less of the latter.

We get the representative government we deserve.
About the Author
Wayne Messick's company www.iBizresources.com - part of a global consortium of business strategists is providing you a way to
contact your elected represenataives in your home district and in Washington.
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