Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que
je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.
Blaise Pascal, Lettres Provinciales, 1657
Two centuries later, in English:
Not that the story need be long, but it will
take a long while to make it short.
Henry David Thoreau, letter, 1857
There is an essential message here for any person or group
that wishes to advocate. Governments almost always have
overloaded agenda. Getting on that agenda is not like
tuning a radio receiver to the transmitter.
It’s the other way around.
A federal-provincial committee, a citizen, a lobbyist, or a bureaucrat should follow Slater’s Rule: no more than three main messages, each with no more than three sub-points.
Named after Dr. R.W. Slater,
formerly Senior Assistant Deputy Minister at Environment Canada