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Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them [Unabridged] [Hardcover]

Susan Delacourt
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 6 2013

Finalist for the John W. Dafoe Book Prize and winner of the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism.

Susan Delacourt is a senior political writer with the Toronto Star, formerly of the Globe and Mail, who has been covering Canada’s capital since the 1980s. She has written three books -- United We Fall, Shaughnessy and Juggernaut -- and is a regular commentator on CTV and CBC. She is winner of the 2011 Charles Lynch Award, an annual award presented to a Canadian journalist in recognition of outstanding coverage of national issues as selected by their colleagues in the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery.


Frequently Bought Together

Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them + The Longer I'm Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006- + Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics
Price For All Three: CDN$ 59.48


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Review

"Delacourt's Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them is likely to become the new manual for power-seekers. And while its focus is on Canada, it shows how we, Australia, Britain and the United States have borrowed from one another to create the present political situation...lively and very readable...Some power-seeking readers will study it as a how-to-manual for more political pandering. But other power seekers, we can hope, will read it as a guide to getting our country back." (Tyee.ca 2013-10-07)

"I’m pretty excited about this year's literary harvest, but there are three particular books that have captured my interest in Canadian history: And I hope that Susan Delacourt's analysis of our political system, Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them (Douglas & McIntyre, Spetember), will explain to me and future historians the way our politicians have become captive to the polling and advertising industries." (Charlotte Grey Ottawa Citizen 2013-09-02)

"the engaging Shopping for Votes provides a compendium of the latest vote-courting techniques used by political operatives from all parties...The strongest section, which draws on Delacourt's talents as a reporter, focuses on recent efforts by the Conservatives and NDP to target voters interested in their policies. The early chapters, by contrast, provide useful historical context for the role of advertising in politics..." (Dan Rowe Quill & Quire 2013-09-30)

"If Stephen Harper needs some light relief after reading the latest disappointing polling numbers, he could do worse than leaf through a new book by Ottawa journalist Susan Delacourt: Shopping for Votes -- How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them." (John Ivison National Post 2013-09-05)

"...Delacourt (who was a longtime colleague and competitor in the parliamentary press gallery) has written a lively history of the advertising Mad Men and marketing gurus who increasingly have shaped our politics in the last sixty years..." (Paul Adams ipolitics.ca 2013-09-25)

"...let me strongly recommend you make room on your bookshelf (or on your Kindle) for Toronto Star journalist Susan Delacourt's latest opus: Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them...Delacourt's journalistic writing style keeps the narrative flowing and the pages turning...This book shines a light on the wacky, weird, and often-misunderstood world of political marketing..." (Gerry Nicholls The Hill Times 2013-09-30)

"By now, it's a truism that politics is dirty business. Delacourt, a political reporter for the Toronto Star, deconstructs how elected reps bait voters. They brand their parties, cloister Canadians into categories like 'old-fashioned puritans' and apathetic 'self-indulgent' and even use Tim Hortons to lure voters to the polling station. Is nothing sacred?" (Readers Digest 2013-10-10)

"...Susan Delacourt's Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them, one of the very best books about Canadian politics to appear in many years...Ms. Delacourt has pulled the themes together in an excellently researched book that widens our understanding and deepens our depression about contemporary politics -- which offers, after all, a rough mirror of who we are." (Geoffrey Simpson Globe & Mail 2013-10-05)

"Susan Delacourt's new book, Shopping For Votes: How Politicians Choose Us And We Choose Them is creating quite a stir. Delacourt's central thesis is that Canadians no longer act as citizens -- with rights and responsibilities -- but as consumers, who are motivated by self interest, not the national interest." (ProgressiveBloggers.ca 2013-10-06)

"The story in Susan Delacourt's Shopping for Votes is a familiar one, told well..." (Andrew Coyne Montreal Gazette 2013-10-08)

"an insightful and provocative look at the inside world of political marketing in Canada." (Ottawa Life Magazine 2013-11-06)

"This is an insightful examination of how our national political parties use modern marketing techniques to win votes...Shopping for Votes is an important and well-written political study for those who follow Canadian politics and the way our votes are now shaped. It provides fresh, yet disturbing, insights into citizenship and political marketing." (Christopher Adams Winnipeg Free Press 2013-11-23)

"I'm a big fan of Susan's work on The Hill, and this book on the backroom, behind-the-scenes maneuvering for votes is timely and full of information." (George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight 2014-01-06)

About the Author

Susan Delacourt is a senior political writer with the Toronto Star, formerly of the Globe and Mai, who has been covering Canada's capital since the 1980s. She has written three books -- United We Fall, Shaughnessy and Juggernaut -- and is a regular commentator on CTV and CBC. She is winner of the 2011 Charles Lynch Award, an annual award presented to a Canadian journalist in recognition of outstanding coverage of national issues as selected by their colleagues in the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Simple but Powerful Idea Dec 4 2013
By Gordon Ritchie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Delacourt is a very competent and readable journalist and this book is no exception. Her basic these seems in retrospect to be blindingly obvious: the political operatives have realized that the techniques of retail marketing work in modern politics. Perhaps the most telling insight is the highly significant (and many of us would say deplorable) shift from (1) deciding what policies are best and getting out and selling them for all you and your ad agencies are worth; and (2) using the techniques of modern retail consumer marketing to decide what will sell best and then adopting those policies. Sadly, this is all too clearly what successful modern political organizations have adopted as their modus operandi. The result, regrettably, is lowest common denominator politics. The classic example (at least for anyone with an understanding of economics) was Mr Harper's commitment to reduce the GST by 2 per cent if elected. Mr Harper knows enough economics, and has enough solid economic advice, to understand that this was a very bad policy, directly contributing to turning the structural surplus his government inherited into a deficit BEFORE the meltdown of 2007. Today, the mantra of no new taxes, and indeed tax reductions, plays much the same role. These sorts of measures play well to the instant reactions of consumer/citizens provided they do not pause to consider the implications.
Delacourt paints for us a sort of dystopia where decisions will continue to be made on the basis of pandering to the "consumer" that lives within us, rather than the citizen of a modern state.
A good if chilling read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great analysis of the Canadian political scene Nov. 28 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Susan Delacourt ties together the changing worlds of advertising and politics in an interesting fashion. My Liberal friends find it a challenge that the most effective way of reaching the electorate is thin slicing the message so each target niche gets to hear/see a positive benefit in the Harper (or any other) government platform. They see that as divisive whereas students of marketing and advertising see it as a form of "sell them what they are buying" i.e. smart micro managing of the overall platform message. You don't market to those who are not buying your product i.e. the "Zoes" of Delacourt's world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Citizens Should Know March 24 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Even as someone who regularly follows politics, this was an eye opener! It identified, clarified and gave voice to many vague concerns and anxieties I sense in our daily lives, and how political parties manipulate ideas and language. The public needs to respond to these issues by pushing for regulation and disclosure.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read. March 19 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great insight on how politics and voting has changed in the Canadian landscape since the 50's and how its become a marketing game as opposed to civic duty.
It could explain why Conservative candidates don't bother to show up at all candidates meetings and why politics has become so polarized since 2006,no need to meet the public just rely on your CSIM voter data base and sell to the converted.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for politicos Feb. 2 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very interesting and well written. A must read if you're interested in politics and political marketing. A great book specific to Canadian politics.
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