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Harperland: The Politics of Control [Hardcover]

Lawrence Martin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 35.00
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Book Description

Oct. 5 2010

After four years in power, Stephen Harper's governance comes under the microscope of prominent Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin. Focusing on the growth of executive power under Harper and drawing on interviews with prominent insiders, Martin probes the smearing of opponents, the silencing of the public and diplomatic service, the secrecy, the prorogations, the unprecedented centralizing of power, and the attempted muzzling of the media. He examines controversies such as the existence of a secret dirty-tricks handbook, the Chuck Cadman affair, campaign financing, the dismissal of nuclear power head Linda Keen, the Afghan detainees cover-up, the turning of access-to-information laws into barricades to information, and more—and lets readers draw their own conclusions. Tough but balanced, Harperland offers a clear picture of a skilled politician at a crucial point in Canadian politics.

Frequently Bought Together

Harperland: The Politics of Control + Rogue in Power: Why Stephen Harper is Remaking Canada by Stealth + The Big Shift: The Seismic Change In Canadian Politics , Business, And Culture And What It Means For Our Future
Price For All Three: CDN$ 56.06

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Product Details

Product Description


"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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ominous Warning for all Canadians Feb. 11 2011
This book is a well written overview of Steven Harper's five years in power, and offers a good sense of his personality and the machine that he has built around him. The author perceives Harper as brilliant, but filled with paranoid hatred for anyone who is not in his neo-conservative camp, or could be conceived of as a threat to his compulsive desire for power and control.

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.
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64 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frightening Nov. 7 2010
By Doc1495
Lawrence Martin has produced a well researched and insightful look at a relentless, paranoid man who will use any means to achieve his personal goals. He paints a picture of a calculating politician who has undermined his mentors, and manufactured strategies to create one of the most centralized governments Canada has ever seen. Harper campaigned on a platform of "openness and transparency" and has gone on to create perhaps the most closed and opaque government in the history of the country. The most frightening conclusions of the book focus on Harper's distain for the principles and practices of democracy itself. Lawrence portrays a vengeful man who will book no debate, is antagonistic toward any view contrary to his own, and who will use any strategy to forward his personal philosophies, never, at any moment, acknowledging that the opposition represents a constituency of citizens who have a right to be heard and valued.

All this from a writer who is no Liberal hack. No, the Liberal party has felt Lawrence's sting in the past.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars uh-oh, are we ever in for it May 30 2011
After reading this carefully written and researched chronicle of Harper's first years as our P.M., all I can think of is 'how can he be reined in'? Who is in a position to contain this vindictive, anti-democratic and dangerous man? I tremble for our country.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concentration of Power is Dangerous March 21 2011
The consistently anti-democratic & freedom reducing administrative and policy decisions described in this book are saddening to any who believe that liberalism and responsible government are real and precious political options. This book, and the convincing summary of events and decisions at the end of the book, should cause one to do whatever possible to limit the growth of authoritarian government in Canada. Reading this books gives one a good understanding of the factors which are relevant to ensuring good government in our country.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for all Canadians July 28 2012
The book depicts Stephen Harper as being a sociopathic control freak hell bent on destroying the Liberal Party and the Canadian liberal tradition. Canadians need to wake up and see him for who he really is.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Boring book May 9 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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. Summary of this book: Harper and PM in majority have too much power.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars haroerkand Nov. 1 2010
By Bill
This is a good, objective, balanced book detailing Harper's development and how he has changed politics and Canada (temporarily, I hope).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Aug. 29 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Just a little scarey.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars He's human after all
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 more
Published 21 months ago by Wings
3.0 out of 5 stars At best: a decent overview of recent political events.
At best this is a decent overview of recent (Since Harper became PM in 2006) political events. At worst this reads like a newspaper article (and is boring). Read more
Published on May 5 2012 by Jeff Nijsse
4.0 out of 5 stars Harperland--not worth the irate fuss that Harper made about it!
Harperland, first and foremost, is probably the most objectively informative--in terms of what's even available at all--source for the background, possible motivations,... Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2011 by J. Dee
5.0 out of 5 stars The making of an autocrat
Dynamic change is always annoying, especially to comfortable bureaucrats of limited acumen and maximum comfort, which may explain why Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is so... Read more
Published on June 12 2011 by Theodore A. Rushton
4.0 out of 5 stars A Thorough and Reasonable Assessment of Harper
I found Martin's "Harperland" to be very useful in understanding the character of Prime Minister Harper from the perspective of a savvy political opponent. Read more
Published on Feb. 2 2011 by Ian Gordon Malcomson
3.0 out of 5 stars Harper through a left-leaning lense
Laurence Martin is a liberal (or a progressive anyway) and my sense of him (from TV and his columns) is that he has a visceral dislike for Stephen Harper. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2011 by Rose21
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