Searching for a political Edwards Deming (Part 2)

As I noted yesterday, W. Edwards Deming brought about a quality revolution in Japanese industry that eventually skipped over the Pacific Ocean and began to be applied more often in the United States in the 1990s. (Those of us who remember the gap between American made cars and Japanese imports in the 1970s remember why many of us eventually bought a Honda, Toyota or Nissan.)

My parallel here is pretty basic. The Republican Party — the political vehicle by which limited government, traditional values, and a wise foreign policy are to be sold to the American public and then enacted — has been a lemon (unsatisfactory or defective).

We need a Renaissance — and in a way, that’s what much of the Tea Party movement is about. Had the GOP been succeeding, there would be no such movement.

Why hasn’t the GOP succeeded? It’s all a matter of personnel. We just haven’t had enough principled, honest, and competent individuals within the Republican Party’s ranks.

If we had, we would by now have developed the kind of quality outreach efforts that elect more people of good character and judgment into public office. We’d have party leaders that weren’t in it primarily for personal gain or pathetic (and mostly imagined) political power.

Once you know the solution to what ails us in the governmental arena, the only thing left to do is to get the solutions sold and implemented. And believe me, we already do know what the solutions are. When it comes to reforming health care, taxpayers funded education, the health care system or any other policy area — the research is in. So why haven’t we seen the job get accomplished? Again, personnel makes all the difference.

Deming is known for his “14 points,” his “fourteen key principles for management for transforming business effectiveness,” as Wikipedia put it. You can read about them here.

Among them are:

  • Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service…
  • Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
  • Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
  • Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
  • Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.

He’s quoted as saying: “Massive training is required to instill the courage to break with tradition. Every activity and every job is a part of the process.”

When you hear IL GOP Chairman Pat Brady talk — what you mostly get is obfuscation and deflection, not an honest recitation of the facts.

The proof is in the pudding. Instead of a party opening itself up to the energy of the Tea Party movement and 9/12 Project, we have the same old endless games being played at state party headquarters. Instead of concerted efforts to recruit precinct committeemen, we have a state party encouraging the breaking of state law by having GOP county chairmen vote vacant precincts at the upcoming county conventions (more on this coming soon).

The volunteers, troops, donors, and voters that the Illinois Republican Party must win over this year won’t be won over if the same old modus operandi is in place. We need political reform in the same way businesses needed a quality revolution.