Quality, Politics, and Parties

Uncle Sam asking people to vote

We demand quality in every aspect of life, from the food we eat to the cars we drive. We demand quality in government as well. But quality in government is not the same as quality in politics. What do we want in politics, and in political parties, and how do we get it?

By Mark Harris


Quality is the ultimate reason for existence in any organization. It doesn’t matter how many patients a hospital sees, how many widgets a manufacturer makes, or how many planes an airline owns if the patients get sicker, the widgets break, and the planes can’t fly. Doing one task well will get a man a job. Doing 1,000 tasks poorly will not.

Politics is one area in which we probably don’t think enough about quality. What is a quality candidate? What are quality elections? What is the best process to choose between candidates? What should a high-quality campaign look like? Who decides? This article will delve into quality and politics, in the hopes of increasing the quality of our political system.

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The British Campaign in Afghanistan 1839-1842

The British campaign against Afghanistan was prompted by fear, began with hubris, squandered advantages, decayed into folly, and ended with tragedy. An analysis of the Mission, Enemy, Troops, Terrain, Time, and Civilian Considerations (METT-TC) of one of the greatest failures in British military history.

India was the crown jewel of the British Empire, providing raw materials such as cotton for the growing British economy. Queen Victoria had just taken the throne (20 June 1837) of “this vast empire on which the sun never sets, and whose bounds nature has not yet ascertained.” The British East India Company was in de facto control of much of modern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, except for in the United States, British arms had prevailed for a century, and the Industrial Revolution (mid 1700s to mid 1800s) was transforming the British Lion into the first European superpower since Rome.

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