The endless emergency of politics

Good governance is like great marketing–it takes the long view, and relentlessly focuses on delivering on agreed upon goals over time.

Politics, on the other hand, is more like a ping pong match, and, thanks to electronic media, it's getting faster when we'd be better off if it slowed down.

Those that work in politics are now addicted to today's emergency, whatever it is. It could be a world event, a faux scandal or merely something the other side said. They use it to fundraise, they use it to distribute talking points and they use it to get attention and score points on the opposition. And they use polls to keep score, daily.

It's practically impossible to get the attention or effort of people on a campaign unless you've got something urgent and imminent to discuss. This is no way to do serious marketing.

One side effect of the endless emergency is an insatiable need for cash. Clearly, money spent on campaigns is effective (particularly in depressing the vote for an opponent), but just as clearly, it doesn't scale. Twice as much money is not twice as effective. When the campaign falls in love with the combination of instant reaction plus unlimited fundraising, all strategy and leadership go out the window.

The problem with getting elected using emergency tactics is that it makes it harder than ever to govern for the long term.

[Here's my post about the endless emergency of poverty].