The Big Shift: The Seismic Change In Canadian Politics , Business, And Culture And What It Means For Our Future Hardcover – Feb 15 2013
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About the Author
Darrell Bricker is the CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs. Prior to joining Ipsos Reid, Bricker was director of public-opinion research in the office of the prime minister. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Carleton University and is the co-author (with Edward Greenspon) of Searching for Certainty: Inside the New Canadian Mindset. He is the co-author, with John Wright, of What Canadians Think About Almost Everything. Follow Darrell on Twitter @darrellbricker.
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Top Customer Reviews
What struck me, however, was that the authors spent almost as much effort trying to establish that there actually is a Canadian elite as they did on the Big Shift itself (although they did it through repetition rather than through any compelling evidence). It is almost as if they wanted to make consensus Liberals feel better about the Harper government by awarding them 'elite status' retroactively like some sort of Air Canada customer inducement program.
And this is where the book loses points for my part. In trying to account for a change in status quo, the authors posit that the pre-Big Shift Canada as a much bigger and consequential country than it actually ever was, with far more international clout and culture than it ever has had or will have. Don't get me wrong, I love living here and would never want to live elsewhere but we are a small nation. Rightly or wrongly, the Big Shift is an unimaginative, but realistic, view of Canada, its roles and its dependencies. They stopped short of saying that the 'Laurentian Consensus' also had a large element of make-believe about a Canada that really never existed except in their minds when the economy was vast and robust.
All to say, their description is well-crafted enough to make this shift seem a whole lot bigger than it actually is. Two fairly Liberal authors don the hair shirt and condemn their own kind in some sort of uncalled for act of contrition.
The question is are they describing the new normal or a major blip? This is something I would have liked to see discussed more and I really hope they do a second edition after the 2015 election.
According to the authors,the Conservativ4es "get it", and that is why they have been able to get elected. They will rule until the other parties also get it, and tailor their electoral platforms to appeal to the new Canadian values. This doesn't mean that they have to move to the right or abandon social objectives. But they must recast these to appeal to the changing electorate.
The authors also stress the importance of continued immigration as Canada ages and the birth rate remains below the replacement level. They welcome the new emphasis on receiving immigrants who can contribute to the economy, rather than refugees and family reunification. Again, this illustrates changing priorities, from the social and humanitarian to the economic.
The book is an easy read and quite funny at times, as the authors lampoon the ruling elites, and the press, and others who keep hoping that all these changes will go away as Canadians return to their senses.Read more ›
The book captures in perfect detail how the Conservatives viewed themselves just 18 months before they were removed from power in every jurisdiction in Canada: as its natural, inevitable leaders who would inflame hatred of taxes/government/science of 30% and fears of gays/abortion/Muslims of another 10% to achieve perpetual majorities.
At its core, this book is about the Conservative tribe: its voters who support it regardless of how they actual govern, because being a conservative is their identity. Conservatives believed that their tribe had reached critical mass and now it was safe to begin marginalizing non-conservatives. Subsequent elections proved them wrong.
This book is a great read to bring you back down to reality after any great success. It is a perfect gift for that guy who was more lucky than good, and it’s obvious to everyone but them. It is also quite useful for lining cupboards, wrapping fish, and the occasion kindling.
The book is an easy read and while at times the authors glee, derived from their findings gets the better of them in the form of editorial if not op-ed like comments that to some may reflect a kind of joy of the Conservative victory, to focus on this would be a mistake. Canada is a young country in transition from prepubescence to young adulthood. A clear departure from the Trudeau liberal to
a very different Western led Nation.
The book is written to be controversial and it succeeds. Canada, for as long as I have been a witness to it, was a country run by the east. One that held the view, a view as false as can be made,of moral superiority over its southern neighbour. That bilingualism works, that social programs run by the government are a solution and that Anti-Americanism is a form of cultural identity are patently false. Not because of Harper or his Conservatives but because of what the authors call the "Laurentian Elites" and their own efforts of the past, as the natural ruling party, have come provide the latent effect of a seismic shift to Conservatism.
Most recent customer reviews
This book spews the kind of conservative arrogance that made Canadians wake up and ditch Harper.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
The authors’ intent seem to be to veil their criticism of powerful liberals by calling them the “Laurentian Elites”. Read morePublished 6 months ago by khan2504
Wow, was this book a big disappointment. I had expected so much more.
Simply, if this is the best argument that can be made for the ascendancy of small "c" conservatism... Read more
Great book and love that it is Canadian data and the author is Canadian too. Well done and Darrell is a wonderful speaker for those planning a conference. Thanks.Published 15 months ago by Rose Lamb
It taught me about underlying currents in todays society. I loved the whole package and I would tell anyone that this a very smart book to purchase.Published 16 months ago by bill rogerson
I won't repeat what many already wrote So I will be short (please read other comments as they are good) , I rate it 3 starts because at least for me, it was known the majority... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Juan Jose Alvarado