Get the Book

The page below is an old version of my Business Plan for a New Political Party. Due to popular demand, I have updated the Plan considerably and put it into Kindle Format. You can buy it here.

Yes, it costs a bit of money. But the return on investment is enormous if you are serious about starting a political party.

Are you serious?

Use the Volunteers!

As I have said before, qualified professionals are expensive, and even when you can afford them, they can make expensive mistakes if they havenít had particular experience in third party politics.

That said, there are times when a third party needs specialized expertise. Often the place to get such expertise is within the ranks of volunteers. The volunteers often know more about the particular needs of a third party than outside contractors. While the amount of time these people can provide is limited, the quality is high. And should a project be too large to be done voluntarily, pay a proven volunteer for putting in the extra time as a contractor.

Example: the LP has many qualified computer people. Why do we need outsiders to do so much of the database and web work? As a computer professional, I am well aware that retrofitting specialized software for a new purpose is often more difficult than starting from scratch with general purpose software. Setting up a database tailored to a political party is not that difficult. Creating a mechanism for state and county leaders to update their segments of the national database is not that hard. I could do it myself given the time, and database programming is not my specialty. I wrote my first lines of SQL as part of the web site. A true expert could do much better.

I think the Ballot Base effort is a good example of using in party talent. Yes, the party paid money for this service, but it was paid to someone inside the party, someone who knows what the party needs.

The party keeps contracting out marketing experts where there is cheap data to be had: from My data is certainly not perfect. It has a lot of noise and there is a bias towards those willing to take the quiz. But the data is plentiful, and free. And polling data that is biased towards those willing to take such a quiz is probably more useful than a truly random sample, anyway. It shows how to attract early adopters.

My experience on the Strategic Planning Team was particularly irksome. On the team we had a set of experts with diverse backgrounds and knowledge of the partyís particular challenges. Yet, most of the time we were not allowed to actually argue like rational adults. Instead, we spent most of our time shuffling and categorizing a database of one-liner suggestions. When we were done, we had a set of goals and metrics, and left it to staff to choose among the strategies. While we did have competent staff, we also had expertise on the SPT that was way underutilized.

Paying for outside specialists is expensive, as I pointed out before. But sometimes you can get such expertise for free, if you ask.

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Lessons Learned in the Libertarian Party
General Motors vs. McDonald's
Danger! Overhead!
Economies of Scale
Professionals: not a Panacea
It's Coke or Pepsi Time
Use the Volunteers
Morale vs. Motivation
Proof by Definition
Vote for me, you Bastard!
Voter Education vs. Indoctrination
Sound Bites, Anyone?
First, Don't Be Silly
On Herding Cats
A Better National Committee?
And More
Why Third Political Parties Fail
The Constraints Third Parties must Obey to Succeed
A Strategic Framework for Third Political Parties
Starting a New Political Party from Scratch