|4 out of 5 stars|
I think either faction would enjoy reading this book. Paul Wells takes us behind the scenes in Canadian politics. Want to know what makes Stefan Dion or Michael Ignatieff really angry? The Conservatives figured it out and now you can know too.
Wells has a way with words. The National Post is quoted on the book jacket: "Wells is lucid, funny, revealing, opinionated, and sometimes wickedly snarky." The snark makes it all worthwhile. As when he describes some of the caricatures of Harper, including "The floating brain in a jar in the basement of 24 Susses Drive, surrounded by cats and the souls of crushed Liberals." Or when he describes a document of then-Liberal-leader Ignatieff's, trying to explain his past positions on Iraq: "Parts of it were nearly incoherent, as if Google translated from Finnish."
Plus, I think Wells has identified a trend in our voting habits: Canadians are sick and tired of negativity, of political fighting and mud-slinging. In the last election, the NDP made enormous gains because their leader, Jack Layton, was perceived as a decent guy that it would be pleasant to have a beer with. The NDP's current leader is a prickly sort who should probably take a good look at that image if he wants to maintain his party's current status. He is making Harper's life miserable in Question Period, but that may not be endearing him to the Canadian public, although it is admired on Parliament Hill. And the polls tell us that any losses the Conservatives are suffering are going to the Liberals, rather than the NDP. Could that be because Justin Trudeau is perceived as a nice guy to spend time with? I'm thinking its so.
Harper has spent many years now making small changes to Canadian government that will be difficult to reverse when the opposition finally finds the key to his downfall. I will be interested to see where we go from here.