Just ordered the book for Kindle and Maur has it as well...how's everybody else doing?
Just ordered the book for Kindle and Maur has it as well...how's everybody else doing?
Just arrived in Oakville today, so will try to stop by Chapters tomorrow to see if they have it...
I just looked up the book and realized it's about Stephen Harper... Maaaaaaaan... Hope it's interesting because I have to fully admit that Canadian politics, in my view, are not. I'll still read it though, seeing as how I am a dedicated member of this book club. Maybe it won't be bad for me to brush up on what's been happening here while I've been in Switzerland during the last 3 years...
Yes it's interesting, as is Canadian politics. Welcome to Canada. Besides, how are you going to exercise your right to vote if you aren't informed?
I am still trying to find a version that is less than $25. And because the book is so new, it's not available at a lot of libraries. The one at chapters is $35.
Got mine at chapters today. It said 35 CAD on the cover but when I went to pay for it, they only charged me 21. Not sure how that works out but I didn't want to ask any questions either...
just get a Kindle already. The books are half the price, and then we can pass the books between each other for free. Join the revolution.
Btw so far I am really enjoying this book.
Juraj, they are on sale for $20, hence why it was nearly half the price. I bought mine today, although I am thinking about the Kindle since I will be away for so long. I saw the Kobo in Coles. What's the difference? What makes the Kindle the best? Where's the best place to buy it? Sell me on it!
Please don't buy that piece of crap...Kobo is a pathetic excuse for an eReader.
For more please read an article I wrote on the subject at my old job.
As a preamble, fear not my traditional friend. Amazon does not make you sign a contract stating that you are prohibited from buying print books for the rest of your life. I've had a Kindle now for a few months, and here are the advantages in my view, in no particular order:
1. It can hold many books and it is very portable. This may sound trite, but it's equivalent to carrying around dozens (if not hundreds) of books at the same time, in something the size of a small notebook.
2. It's very easy on the eyes. I find I process the words even faster than in print. Although I've read an article saying that you absorb less for this very reason
3. Because of the keyboard, it's very easy to make notes, highlight, and see what other readers have highlighted and commented. It's well suited to your geeky ways
4. you can download or email PDFs and other docs to the Kindle
5. you get internet
6. Book club friendliness. You can give and receive books for free from other Kindle users.
7. You can get the classics for free
8. Any book in the database is one click away. Yes, you can still go to Chapters if you want to.
Alrighty... Finished the book today. It was a lot more captivating than I thought. I think it's mostly due to the fact that it read like a good soap opera, a d I had no idea about any of this. Seeing as how I am only writing this now because I cant sleep and I have my iPhone handy, I will write more a bit later. Perhaps after the weekend...
I'm part way through the book. I was going deliberately slow because I was unsure of everybody else's progress. From what I've read so far, I have one major observation: Stephen Harper's overriding goal, above any ideology, is the destruction of the Liberal Party. Sad to say that he has been successful in his pursuit thus far. The Liberal brand has been severely weakened. Ultimately, I think Harper has benefited most from a united right and a fragmented left. The only option I can see is if the NDP and Liberal parties (and the Greens) merge, because they otherwise have no realistic shot at competing with the Conservatives.
The "left" will not unite. A reason being that the only real leftist party is the NDP.
I suppose my comment begged the question of what is the left? I should revise and say that "progressive" parties, in which I would include the Liberal Party, should unite. By "progressive" I mean a party that is not obsessed with lowering taxes and reducing the size of the state. I would also say that a "progressive" party is not socially conservative, as is the Conservative Party.
While there are differences between the NDP and Liberals, if the NDP ever wishes to even smell power, it should consider uniting with the Liberals. In doing so I think it could move the Liberal Party to the left on certain issues such as the environment.
As I mentioned earlier, I was surprised by the amount of "stuff" that went completely unnoticed by me with respect to Canadian politics not only during my absence from Canada, but also prior to that. The book was jam-packed with information that I have never come across before. I really felt like every sentence contained some tidbit of info. That's the one thing I liked about this book - it seemed pretty concise and fairly efficient at delivering the information to the reader. As I was reading through it, I had to deliberately pay attention to every single sentence, because I couldn't afford to miss some mention of a new "player" in the soap opera only to discover later that I have no idea who this person is and how they got involved...
The first half of the book, I had the question of "so what?" hanging in my head as I read. I had the impression that the author was trying to make a point about how "evil" or "bad" Harper is, but I really failed to see the point. Perhaps my view of politics is somewhat skewed, but I honestly didn't expect anything less or "more noble" from politicians. I believe that politics are often a dirty game, and it is human nature to try to obtain and maintain power. No? In fact, the first half of the book, I actually found myself thinking that it is quite commendable what the PMO (or rather PM) is doing in terms of making the government more coordinated (in terms of having a direction, purpose, and a cohesive message), and efficient. The lack of these things is what made me not such a big fan of the Liberal governments in the past. Perhaps, my right-wing, pro-capitalism, corporate-based education is at fault in my way of thinking here. Or perhaps, it's the whole Swiss-influence...
The second half of the book is where I started thinking... "OK... Perhaps his actions are not as commendable and there are definitely things with which I don't agree." In particular, the level of "openness" of the government and the whole issue with dissolving parliament on 2 separate occasions didn't sit particularly well with me . I fully believe that governments, just like corporations and individuals, should be socially accountable, and that the only way this can be ensured, is by allowing people to have access to vital information. I do not think that the extent to which the PMO, PCO, or PM (whichever it may be) is allegedly censoring and refusing to release information is good for a healthy democracy. However, I do feel that it is the onus of the opposition and the media to bring this to the public's attention. Instead of concentrating on what news will "sell", I think that the media have a responsibility to inform the public of the fact that they are NOT being provided access, and that they are receiving censored or partial documents that prevent them from reporting vital information to the public with respect to the government's doings.
As a result, I do no really blame Harper for the state of things and the developments in the recent years. In fact, I find it quite commendable that he was able to push his agenda (hidden or not...) across with a minority government to the extent that he has. This shows intelligence and a lot of craft. I feel as though the failure is entirely with the opposition and "the fourth estate". Based on what is written in the book, I feel as though the Liberals, NDP, and the Bloc are currently inept at coordinating and providing any kind of opposition, and as such, they are in no position and should not be able run a Nation at this point. I.e. to the victor go the spoils. I think they are exactly in the position where they deserve to be - watching from the sidelines in desperation and disgust.
I would love for the public to become more politically involved in Canada, and was glad to hear that there were protests and so on. This shows a lot of promise to me. I was beginning to worry that the Canadians have become somewhat "comfortably numb" with respect to their political consciousness and that they are not really self-aware of their political strength through unity. But alas... it doesn't appear to be the case. There is still hope...
I'm curious as to why you think it reads like a soap opera. I thought Martin did a good job of leaving his judgment out of the story, so I'm not sure about the good vs. evil theme.
In any event, I also would disagree that all of the "blame" goes to the opposition. There is no doubt that an impotent opposition is a major reason why the government has taken the liberties it has. However, do you find it commendable that this government has stifled information to the extent that the opposition is kept in the dark about major choices being made by this government? Afghan detainees? The cost of super-prisons? I could go on and on. Is a government to be commended for hiding its true agenda? Call me an idealist, but I think that in a democracy it is important to be up front about what your plans for the country are.
On top of it all, this culture of secrecy and disdain for the media, the politics of fear, are all contrary to what the Conservatives ran on in the wake of the sponsorship scandal. Even if I disagreed with many of their policies, I took for granted that having been out of power for so long, the Conservatives would have less of a propensity to abuse the public trust. They seem to have overlooked that entire side of their platform. The method through which they are governing, where cabinet Ministers have no real power yet they are talking heads for an unaccountable executive, is nothing short of a disillusionment.
I thought it read like a good soap opera because it was very much a "who said what to whom" kind of thing. Did they mean it?!?! What is his secret plot?! Who will come in and stop him?!?! Etc. etc. etc. I'm not saying it in a degrading or a negative way, but there were a lot of individuals involved in the various stories, and as I said before, it seemed like every single sentence in the book had something important in it. I could hear the dramatic piano music in the background as I read...
My argument is merely the following: Power corrupts. As such, I do not expect those in power to always act in noble ways, no matter how moral these individuals are. It's just human nature to eventually be convinced that you deserve more or that your subjects are not as informed/wise as you, so you need to be the sheppard and lead your flock of sheep to safety, etc. I believe that you once told me, Leo, that the reason you went into your field of work is for that exact reason. I.e. to protect the rights and liberties of the people, because almost every single right and freedom we obtained was not handed to us on its own accord, but mostly fought for.
So, if that is the case (which you may argue against), it is up to the "system", and the public to ensure that certain rights and freedoms are maintained, and not up to the party in power. This book made me feel as though there is clearly something wrong with the way our legislation is written when a PM is able to have such a significant, unchallenged dominion not only over his own office and party, but over parliament, the press, and people in general. As such, I think Harper has exposed certain weaknesses in the way things are currently operating. If the "checks and balances" in place were adequate enough, they would prevent such things from happening, no? I believe that legislation should have power in itself to be able to protect itself. The author seemed to suggest in a few places that the Canadian "system" was simply not designed for such a totalitarian, dictatorial PM... I agree with this and think that it should be amended to prevent such scenarios in the future, if that is what the public wants. Is "Canada" supposed to be different from the way it currently is?
Now, since I do not expect Harper and the PMO to willingly do that, I believe it is up to the opposition, the press, and the public to make this change happen. Clearly, the opposition, for whatever reasons - be it lack of funds, lack of cohesiveness, or lack of leadership - doesn't seem to be in a position to protect the public's interest by providing adequate resistance to the minority government in power, by preventing them from pushing their own agenda across. The press also seems to bitch and whine about not being treated with the same white gloves that they may have gotten accustomed to under the Liberals, but I think that they need to be more vocal and maybe even resistant towards these things. Unfortunately, governments do seem to have a big influence on what gets published and what not (pick up the "Censored" series books to see just a few examples of the stories that get killed every year due to "pressure from the top"), but this is yet another example, in my opinion, of "the system" failing or being slightly misaligned. If you (CBC, or whoever) genuinely believe in the freedom of press, then bite the bullet and stand up for what you believe is right. "Be the change you want to see in the world"... As such, I think that the only way that the information can be obtained is by people standing up to the PMO's current practices. Make it more visible to the public in the press, get the opposition to stand up and object more vocally, and perhaps the people will also follow suit. How is it that Harper is able to get away with these things? Is there no law or act against it? If so, why isn't he held accountable? These are questions I don't quite understand...
As for the public... as I said before, it's good to see that there are some that are mobilizing to protest against what they think is unjust and unfair. Ultimately, I think that change will happen only if all 3 of these bodies are pushed far enough. It's like pendulum, the further Harper pushes to the right, the harder the swing to the left will be.
Having said that, I still feel like there are certain things that he did that are quite commendable. For example, the need to have elections at steady intervals, maintaining the sovereignty of the "North", not brown-nosing as much with the Americans as previous PM's have done, etc. I also appreciate that he made his own administration fall into sync in the sense that they do have to communicate a cohesive message as opposed to anyone simply expressing their own message. I think that internal oppositions should be kept behind closed doors where members of the party/government should have the right to express their view and majority's opinion should be adapted as the official stance that they have an option to either all adapt in their rhetoric or to abdicate their position/party alignment. I don't think that's a bad thing... I do think that it is not fair though, that the members of government do not appear to be able to even question the PM/PMO behind closed doors...
I did not agree with the whole Afghan detainee thing, although I do not know about it as much as I would like to be able to form an opinion. The book doesn't seem to go into as much detail as I would have liked in this area. With respect to the country being run by unelected officials... I have mixed feelings on that one and don't know which way I actually lean. On the one hand, people should have a say who is in government, on the other hand, just because you are popular with the public, doesn't mean you are the best person for the job... Not sure...
Alright... my head is on the chopping block... Alex, Leo... swing away!
Unfortunately I haven't started the book yet, so I'll have to wait to put your head on the chopping block Juraj!
Juraj, I don't think you want to raise the issue or regular elections as something to commend the govt on. They passed a law which they promptly violated when it suited their strategic purposes.
I'm also not quite sure why only the govt can behave like irresponsible douchebags, but yet you ascribe a noble altruistic purpose to the media and the opposition which you say they do not live up to. If you are a cynic, you are surely a selective one.
I'm still reading the book but enjoying it immensely so far.
I agree about the fact that violating the law of regular elections is a bit hypocritical. I am not sure what happened exactly, and when they were supposed to hold these elections that they haven't. I didn't quite understand the timeline in the book with respect to this issue, so perhaps I have misunderstood what has happened, and I haven't been following Canadian politics enough to pick up specific details like that.
With respect to the view of the press, etc., perhaps you are right, I don't trust any government to be able to simply relinquish power "for the benefit of mankind". Going back to the Superfreakonomics book, incentives govern people's actions. As such, what incentive does the government have to jeopardize their position after they were able to manipulate their way into having more power? I think it's always up to the opposition (be it the other political parties, the press, public, or whatever) to keep the ruling party "in check" to the extent possible. That's all I'm saying... Don't complain, but do something about it! If you are pissed off that you can't get proper interviews, bring it to the public's attention... announce a public invitation... take it to court (if it violates any laws, etc.).
I guess to kind of summarize, I don't think what the government is doing (according to the author of the book) is right, but I do not expect the government to willingly change that of their own accord. As a result, the question remains: who will? Either the system really is f'ed up to the point that it is too lenient in allowing control-freaks like Harper to go against the will of the people, or the people do not really care. In the latter case... so be it! Apathy by majority...
here's a recent editorial in the same vein as the "they're all worthless" mantra
just saw the reference to Harper cheating on the debates...say it aint so! In any event, this book seems pretty well timed given we are in an election campaign.
Juraj, just wondering now that you are back in Fortress Europe whether or not you are still paying attention to election shenanigans in Canada?
In agreement with Len, I love that we are reading this book at such a perfect time. I'm really liking it, and only have about 50 pages left. This new incident of the two 19 year old girls getting escorted out of a Conservative rally because they had a facebook picture with Iggy is so in line with everything the book has been asserting about Harper!
I finished this weekend. I am quite pleased with this book, and will post my comments soon.
I finished the book last week...been busy...will post my blurb soon. But in case you were wondering: I really enjoyed reading this book...all the drama, the scandal...He's a real nutcase that one. I'm a better person now that I've read that book. I'm more convinced than ever that that man cannot have majority gouvernment...ever, but I'm still voting NDP. We'll see what happens on May 2nd...it's gonna be exciting!
Martin has been writing a bunch of columns all in the same theme as Harpeland. Here's his latest:
Just finished last week. Although it took me a while to finish the book, I really liked it every time I picked it up. I agree we couldn't have read this book at a better time--it will prevent me from ever voting for a CPC candidate as long as Harper is the leader.
The book gives me a new perspective on the Harper government--mainly, that any government scandal is probably known by Harper and the PMO before anybody else finds out about it.
More to come...
Hope y'all will vote by tomorrow...
I'm actually out of town next week (including Monday), so I went to the advanced poll for the first time last Monday. There was a fair number of people there voting--I thought there'd be like 5 voters for the whole day.
We lost all our notes from the kindle. So here goes nothing: What I liked most about reading this book was the moments where I thought to myself "oh I remember when that happened." I got a kick out of reading more about it. In general, Martin goes into details about key events, which gives an excellent picture of what we are up against in the upcoming 4 years.
At first I was very deppresed about the Harper supremacy - as I call it, but now I think that it's the only way to really shake things up. You can count on Quebec to be protesting at any sign of Tory lunacy.
All I can say is that while the timing of reading this book was great, it was also depressing. There seems to be a resounding consensus from constitutional experts that the last 5 years have witnessed an unprecedented attack on our institutions. Nevertheless, Canadians (or at least 40% of voters) gave Harper a majority and therefore a massive endorsement. (Disclaimer: I'm a Liberal) Forgive me if I lack confidence in the ability of the NDP to hold the Conservatives accountable.
First, their celebrating stung not only as a Liberal, but as someone who thought it rather hollow for Layton to claim that he would have any influence whatsoever as Leader of the Opposition in a majority run Parliament. He had more influence with 30 seats in a minority than with over 100 in a majority. Secondly, I'm concerned that all the NDP will do is try to preserve their Quebec beachhead by being the voice of Quebec nationalism minus the griping for sovereignty. Case in point, Layton has already called for Supreme Court Justices to be bilingual. This is utterly ridiculous pandering and is even moreso considering that his own Quebec MPs don't all seem to be bilingual.
In the coming days I'll review my Kindle notes and post some more comments. Overall I really enjoyed the book and as Rocio noted, brought back a lot of (painful) memories.
This is utterly ridiculous pandering and is even moreso considering that his own Quebec MPs don't all seem to be bilingual.
It's not about the MP, it's about representing the constituency.
Forgive me if I lack confidence in the ability of the NDP to hold the Conservatives accountable.
I am confident that they will prove themselves.
First, their celebrating stung not only as a Liberal, but as someone who thought it rather hollow for Layton to claim that he would have any influence whatsoever as Leader of the Opposition in a majority run Parliament.
I agree Layton will have no influence--but he's hollow for claiming otherwise? Fine. I'll give you that too. As long as you accept that ALL opposition leaders are hollow.
Can you name me a Canadian politician who, after becoming the leader of the official opposition against a majority government, said that he or she will not have any influence whatsoever? I doubt it. A good part of the speech on election night for an opposition leader is something we've all heard numerous times: "we're going to hold the government accountable, make sure it doesn't step out of line, put a check on its power, blah blah blah."
How would the NDP's fundraising be affected over the next 4 years if Layton wasn't "hollow" and told everyone how the Conservatives cannot be stopped no matter what the NDP does?
Jack's mission for the next 4 years is to make sure that Harper doesnt get reelected majority in 2015. Hopefully he does better than the Liberals. So call him hollow all you want, but he's there now. Deal with it!
Granted. Anybody that blatantly misrepresents their capacity to make change is hollow. Once again, I'm not sure that the "that's how it's always been done" argument really plays well in any instance. Nevertheless, I think opposition in a minority government does have a larger role. We've had minority governments since 2004. Prior to that, I can't say I recall which leaders in opposition promised as much change as Layton did in his victory speech. I doubt that anybody aimed for the stars as much as he did.
watch the speech: "spring is here my friends and a new chapter begins." Indeed it does. The Conservatives won a majority. Now that I'm watching it a second time I'm even more critical. No wonder many people think he's akin to a used car salesman.
Once again, I'm not sure that the "that's how it's always been done" argument really plays well in any instance.
I just find it odd that you were so taken aback by a politician posturing after his party just won the most seats ever and became the official opposition for the first time in its history. Keep in mind that the NDP does not have as much corporate sponsorship as the Liberals or the Conservatives, so I think the more hope the NDP gives people, the more money they will get from fund-raising.
I can't seem to dig up past election night speeches, but here's a quick list of recent majority opposition parties / leaders. In all three cases, the respective party became the official opposition for the first time in its history. It'd be interesting to hear what the leaders had to say:
No wonder many people think he's akin to a used car salesman.
Poor guy. Stick a mustache on any bald politician, sprinkle in some passion and charisma, and that's what you get.
Personally, I admire Jack's perseverance, determination and gumption. (Yes, I am fully aware that those are all synonyms. ) "A new chapter" did begin for the NDP. They were never the official opposition.
Don't get me wrong. As someone on the progressive end of the spectrum, I am happy that the NDP gained a lot of seats, at least the ones at the expense of the Conservatives. However the election night story was not the rise of the NDP. It was the massive victory of the Conservatives. For that, we are much worse off than we were before. I wasn't taken aback as much as dismayed that there was not even a hint of candour or disappointment regarding the Conservative majority voiced by Layton. I wonder how long the Quebec infatuation with the NDP will last given that the Conservatives now have much more leeway to carry out their agenda.
Jason, I'm not sure that corporate sponsorship has much to do with it, as corporate donations have been severely curtailed since Chretien was in office.
There is no doubt that Layton had more optimism and charisma than the other leaders. That is what won the NDP the massive support of Quebec, not the party itself.
Another important point. The story in this election was not only that the Conservatives won a majority, but that they did so without Quebec. This election represented Ontario siding with western Canada. This was, as far as I can tell, a first in Canadian history. What I found nauseating was the media focus on the NDP surge while paying much less attention to these other details which overall in my opinion make the country worse off.
Jack's mission for the next 4 years is to make sure that Harper doesnt get reelected majority in 2015. Hopefully he does better than the Liberals. So call him hollow all you want, but he's there now. Deal with it!
As someone who emphatically opposes the Harper government, I support the NDP in their role as opposition. It's not an issue of me dealing with it. It's the NDP that have to deal with a Conservative majority. Aside from preserving a possibly precarious and fickle beachhead in Quebec, I wonder how the NDP will achieve this goal.
I wonder how the NDP will achieve this goal.
Yeah, it will be interesting to see that. No doubt!
Overall, I really liked this book, and will again say that I am very glad I read it at the time that I did. Before 2008, I had a tendency to be apathetic and bored with Canadian elections, so I thank Stephen Harper and his dictatorial spirit for getting me back in the game!
I think the book had a quite obvious Liberal bias (or if not, an obvious bias against Harper). I have no problem with that; sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and you have to call it how it is, no matter the bias. So Len, I disagree that Martin leaves his judgment out of the book – I think it’s pretty clear he holds disdain for Harper, and is partisan to the Liberals (if it was you that said that Len, I can’t remember).
I think my biggest disgust with the Harper Government is his open disregard for empirical evidence (wanting to get rid of the long-form census, ignoring the empirical evidence about crime going down by getting tougher on it, or his calls to shut down supervised injection sites in Vancouver, despite the empirical evidence that shows there have been fewer overdoses since they opened. I actually watched an interesting interview on the CBC with Dr. Thomas Kerr, Director of the Addition Urban Research Initiative at the BC Centre for HIV/AIDS, where he was lambasting Harper for wanting to shut them down, despite the empirical evidence.
I also hate how it seems to be a common trend amongst Conservatives, just as it is for Republicans in the U.S., that having intellectual credentials is somehow a pejorative disadvantage (Ignatieff and Obama working at Harvard), and then he’ll appoint people like Rona Ambrose as Environment Minister, and Peter McKay as Minister of Foreign Affairs, despite having never left North America.
I liked how throughout the book we get background anecdotes on guys in the Harper government (i.e. Flaherty being in Harris’s Ontario gov’t that banned squeegee kids in Toronto and the rounding up the homeless with more police). I also liked how Martin pointed out Flaherty’s open disdain for Ontario and McGuinty, and how he discouraged business investment there because of high taxes, even though he was a member of the Harris cabinet that left the province with a $5.6 billion budget deficit.
I am also disgusted by his use of what Martin calls “wedge politics.” I found this quote to sum this up nicely: “His use of wedge politics was dismaying because it involved oversimplifying issues that required nuanced debate.” Some perfect examples: Paul Martin being soft on child porn, the attitude of “you’re with us or you don’t support the troops” during Afghan prisoner scandal, and the “you’re against Israel” if you didn’t support their incursion in Lebanon in 2006. I hate divisive politicians, especially when it’s used as a way to deflect criticism and due process.
I would critique Martin for the way he, or his quotes, overly-dramatized Harper’s behaviour. I found myself saying “come on” at some points. For example, calling Harper’s use of cheat sheets during the debate “ruthless,” or to what extent the whole NAFTA-Obama hypocrisy was such a big deal, and to what extent Harper’s party is run like an “Israeli military garrison.” I found some comparison’s to be over the top.
I liked the personal anecdotes on Harper – that he’s an “emotionless robot, his junk-food fetish, or the way he impersonates opposition members. That really made me laugh because he’s such a dork.
Like Rocio, I liked re-living certain events – the coalition, the Afghan detainee affair, the Schreiber affair, prorogation, his stance on Omar Khadr (unfortunately, this is still on-going). By the way, what the hell ever came of the Afghan detainee affair?).
I guess if I were to identify some positives about Harper (and I think Martin did too), would be his attention to detail, recognizing Quebec as a nation (albeit as a political tactic), making an official apology for residential schools (and insisting to write the speech himself). Could you argue that Harper is an extremely tactful politician, because of what he’s managed to pull off in a democracy? Perhaps. I find it incredible that after being found in contempt of parliament that he was rewarded with a majority. Perhaps this is partly the fault of the opposition, in not doing a good enough job of exposing him (in 2008 not doing a good enough job of pushing the fact that Harper signed a coalition in 2004. Why didn’t they make advertisements to counter Harper’s? I know they don’t want to play dirty, but sometimes you have to. Or why didn’t Elizabeth May call out Harper on cheating during the debate?). Anyways, I agree with Juraj that the opposition didn’t do a good enough job of exposing Harper. But, I also agree with Len that this doesn’t mean that it’s just the opposition that should be blamed.
Ultimately, it’s Harper who’s encroached on Canadian democracy, and despite the gains of the NDP, Harper will do what he wants for the next four years. I think that the changes in the political landscape (rise of NDP) will be beneficial for the future (i.e. the next election), but for the next four years, I don’t think it means much.
Having reviewed the book, I would agree, Alex, that Martin is highly critical of Harper. However, overall I would disagree that he is pro-Liberal. He is almost as critical of the disorganized and ineffectual Liberal opposition as he is of the scheming Conservatives. This remains a theme of his columns in the Globe and Mail. I don't recall any complements paid to the Liberals in this book, not that they deserve any.
thought i would throw in another Lawrence Martin column for y'all to read, this one about Jack '50+1' Layton, read it here
I heard that Lawrence Martin added a final post-election section to this book. Would be good to get a hold of that.