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Thursday, March 6, 2008

[LPplatform-discuss] Purpose of the Platform

Michael Wilson wrote:

MW) You don't sell a car by saying it is better than some other brand.  You have to show people why it is better. (MW

You don't sell a car by handing the owner's manual to prospective buyers when they walk into the showroom

Why would we want to write our marketing brochure with a committee of 20+ members, barred from doing official drafting work except in person, constrained to modify the brochure only once every two years, with a mandatory plank structure, mandatory Statement of Principles prefix, 7/8 hypermajority approval of changes to the SoP, mandatory retention of the previous brochure, a minority report system for dissenting drafts, complicated token-based plank retention voting, per-plank 2/3 approval of all changes via 15-minute debates among hundreds of delegates, optional challenge to the Judicial Committee, and mandatory binding of our presidential ticket to its every provision?

The LP already has some very good brochures:

The LP's problems won't be solved by putting the word "Platform" on the cover of one of these excellent marketing documents.  The Platform just needs to be a reference tool for -- and to remove obstacles confronting -- our sales force (the candidates) and the opinion leaders who evaluate them. Too many of us fantasize (as I sometimes do) about the Platform being a sales tool, whose cover-to-cover reading will make the scales fall from voters' eyes. The Platform Committee should not try to be a sales or marketing team. Those are important jobs and some people here may be very good at them, but they aren't the role of a Platform Committee.  We are not going to be writing any spells or incantations with magical powers of persuasion -- especially not through the Platform process.  There are already entire libraries of such spells already tuned to the speaker, the audience, the medium, the locale, and other circumstances.  Our sales force -- our candidates -- do not need a one-size-fits-all script written for them.  They will adjust their sales pitch to their audience no matter what the Platform says.  The Platform's job is to set guideposts for the direction and outline of the broad path we want them to show to their various audiences -- and then get the hell out of these candidates' way.