Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Long Tail Of Politics

Arnold Kling :
. . .the Long Tail in politics is larger than the "head," which in this case consists of the two major parties.

The Long Tail is not the political center. It is not a third party waiting to form. It is not a coalition. It is not a "silent majority" of either the right or left. It is simply every variety of political belief that does not fit within the two major parties.

If we had a parliamentary system with proportional representation, the Long Tail would consist of many splinter parties, including some parties that are ethnocentric, a variety of Greens, a variety of libertarians, single-issue activists, and parties which are outside of today's classifications. The Long Tail is a motley assortment of political misfits, wing nuts, and sober independents.

The key point is that the size of the Long Tail, and its rapid growth, represents the most significant political phenomenon of our time. What you will start to notice is the tendency for politics to reflect tension between the Long Tail and the major political parties.

[. . . .]

My sense is that the Long Tail is losing its patience with coalition and compromise. We are tired of fiscal irresponsibility. We are tired of religious issues being debated in the political arena. We are tired of trying to reconcile socialism and paternalism with libertarianism. We are tired of being stuck with the same set of entrenched political oligarchs election after election.
Maybe it is time for me to join the Long Tail.

What do you think of Professor Kling's Long Tail?

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