The Longer I'm Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006%E2%80%93

Paul Wells. Random House Canada (Random House, North American dist.), $32 (436p) ISBN 978-0-307-36132-5
Noted author and journalist Wells takes an incisive look at the ongoing career of three-time Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Determinedly conservative, Harper stepped into 24 Sussex following the self-inflicted implosion of the Liberal Party in the mid-aughts. Since then Harper has inexorably tightened his often authoritarian grasp on Canada, building his support from election to election while reshaping political consensus in the country. Wells makes a convincing case that although Harper was greatly aided by the Liberals' incompetence—first replacing the hapless Paul Martin with the bumbling Stephan Dion, then turning to the catastrophically inept Michael Ignatieff to lead the Liberals to calamitous defeat—that is not enough to explain Harper's slow but steady progress. His support is nation-wide and enough, as long as his opposition is split, to win a majority of seats, and he has been skilled enough to survive scandals and crises. Wells paints a portrait of a man who while not necessarily understood by those who watch, often aghast, as he works steadfastly to push Canada away from social democracy, demonstrates a keen understanding of the nation he now commands, a domineering figure whose legacy may prove as enduring as Mackenzie King's or Trudeau's. Agent: Jackie Kaiser, Westwood Creative Artists. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 10/22/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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