Harperland: The Politics of Control Hardcover – Oct 5 2010
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"Perhaps the first serious attempt to take stock of Stephen Harper's time in power...with commentary and insight from select players [Lawrence Martin] catalogues this tumultuous time from controversy to calamity." - Maclean's
About the Author
Lawrence Martin is a Globe and Mail columnist and author of 10 books, including many critically acclaimed bestsellers including The Presidents and the Prime Ministers, The Red Machine (a history of hockey in the Soviet Union), and a two-volume biography of Jean Chrétien.
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Top Customer Reviews
Harper's means to power are described as involving a complete disregard for all the traditional checks and balances of the Canadian parliamentary system. Control has been ruthlessly centralized in the hands of the Prime Minister's Office, and the roles of the cabinet, the legislature, parliamentary committees, etc., almost annihilated. Censorship of public information is now so severe that one has the impression that Canada is controlled by a totalitarian regime. On a day to day basis Harper and his sycophantic followers are always on the attack, and their levels of cynicism and paranoia know no bounds. Wedge issues, lies, and personal attacks are the order of the day. These people can only be described as ideological thugs and bullys.
Harper's ends to power are to dismantle the traditional progressive values of Canada, by initiating policy platforms revolving around tax cuts, economic deregulation, tougher measures on crime, the support of traditional social values, etc. These are the same reactionary policies that have been used by the neo-cons of the United States, over the last 30 years, to drive that great country into the ground. They are based on mind-sets that deny the future rather than prepare for it.
Harper is known as the outsider's outsider, and one has a sense that this is what drives his hatred and paranoia.Read more ›
All this from a writer who is no Liberal hack. No, the Liberal party has felt Lawrence's sting in the past.
It’s not a very pretty picture.
Martin makes no pretense of being objective. He clearly believes Stephen Harper to be the most dangerous threat to Canadian democracy in memory, perhaps in history. Martin’s portrayal of the man he calls “a control freak” is disturbing.
The first part of the book details the rise to power of the newly-merged Conservative Party, a re-branding of the right-populist Alliance Party and the wounded remnant of the Progressive Conservative Party. Much of the second half of the book outlines the Harper government’s policy positions and political maneuvers with respect to issues from the Afghanistan war, to the 2008 federal election, to the brazenly tradition-breaking move — many would say a blatantly undemocratic move — to prorogue Parliament rather than face a confidence vote his party would lose.
But the book’s main focus throughout is how the minority Conservative government is the product of the will and vision of one man, Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Martin pulls no punches in depicting a hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners politician, a practical ideologue, a right-wing incrementalist, always looking toward his long-term goals while working toward them step by measured step.
Although there is another, looser side to the guarded and uptight Stephen Harper we all observe in public, only his closest friends ever see it, and that only infrequently.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The more I read about this dictator the more I dislike him.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
Irrespective of whether you agree with Harper's social-conservative stance or not, this book demonstrates Harper's complete lack of regard for the Canadian public and the... Read morePublished 12 months ago by reluctantm
Just going through this great book for the third time looking for some thing that would even slightly change my mind on how I see this man and as usual could find little or nothing... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Johnny Boy
If you read 100 pages of this book, don't bother continuing because you read everything you needed to. After that it goes in circle. Read morePublished 21 months ago by John Johnson
Thought the book may be slow and difficult to read but found it totally entertaining. Really explains the mind set of the Conservative party presently in power.Published on Dec 14 2013 by gordon patterson
The story so far... An interesting look into a man who knows what he wants and who will do what ever it takes to get it. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2013 by Wings
The book depicts Stephen Harper as being a sociopathic control freak hell bent on destroying the Liberal Party and the Canadian liberal tradition. Read morePublished on July 28 2012 by Mr. Jones