Winning Power: Canadian Campaigning in the Twenty-First Century

Tom Flanagan. McGill-Queen's Univ. (CUP Services, U.S. dist.; Georgetown Terminal Warehouses, Canadian dist.), $34.95 (248p) ISBN 978-0-7735-4331-7
Political campaigns have existed for centuries, but it is the recent changes in campaigning that take center stage in this fascinating study. As a Distinguished Fellow in the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary and a former campaign manager for Canadian Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Flanagan (Harper's Team) is well qualified to dissect this topic. Drawing on both his own experiences and his analysis of other campaigns, Flanagan notes that although certain aspects of campaigning have remained constant since antiquity, there have been four significant recent developments: new technology, new means of raising money, the establishment of a permanent campaign, and a new focus on negative campaigning. All of these themes are well represented in Alberta's Wildrose Party's provincial campaign in 2012, which Flanagan managed and which serves as an important case study. Although he includes perspectives from ancient Roman writers and theories of political positioning, Flanagan never allows his writing to become overly academic. Consequently, his work will appeal to both those who are already well versed in politics and casual readers who are seeking to understand the complex process of campaigning. Flanagan's insider perspective lends his book allure and authenticity as he sheds light on a key part of politics. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 01/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
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