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Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them Hardcover – Unabridged, Sep 6 2013
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"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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Delacourt does have some interesting points and statistics, but that doesn't last long before she launches into an anti-Harper anti-Conservative rant with no facts or figures.
Reading the newspaper, it would be easy to believe that politicians make judgments based on polls: 42% support for X, 27% support for Y. The truth, argues Shopping for Votes, is significantly more complicated.
As technology has improved and politicians have gotten better at identifying individual voters, the ability of political parties to target messages more precisely has also increased. Parties now divide voters into archetypes: Zoe, the yoga-loving left wing younger condo owner, or Dougie, a single tradesman who liked to hunt (both archetypes are drawn from the 2006 Conservative strategy in Canada). Zoe would never vote for the Conservatives, so could be safely ignored – Dougie was a potential supporter, and so a key target. National polls of average support become totally irrelevant, even if everyday voters follow them closely.
The danger, argues Delacourt, is that politics is more polarized than ever. Politicians don’t look for broad, uniting policies: they look for ones that will target their key groups, ignoring the impact or effect on others. As consumers increasingly shop for the best party, choosing not to identify with any one group, parties also shop for the right voters, offering finely tuned products to different groups. The government is no longer the home of bold national projects or grand ideas, but rather small, carefully targeted ones. As a result, creating a national brand often falls to the private sector: Tim Hortons and Molson.
It’s a powerful – and interesting – message, and one that I suspect resonates with a lot of voters. The book is a great insight into how political hacks, as opposed to voters, think about elections, and how elections are being changed by trends like big data and better econometrics. An important and useful read, and if nominally targeted towards Canada, relevant to most electoral systems.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Great book. Explains much from a new perspective. Lots of factual detail. Easy direct read.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent analysis. I learned quite a bit about the reasoning behind the behaviour of political parties. Read morePublished 12 months ago by S. Cooper
I have this a very good review as it is a completely different take on politics these days. The author pulls together information that was there to be seen but in such a way that... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Dara Kennedy
Great book kind of scary when you think of some of the things some politicians would be willing to do to get elected.Published 22 months ago by Bill Davies
Very interesting and well written. A must read if you're interested in politics and political marketing. A great book specific to Canadian politics.Published on Feb. 2 2014 by Christa Mallay
I found this book quite informative.But it dose not make me at all trust ing og politions in general and the present conservative ones in particular.Published on Dec 1 2013 by Rob Nisbet