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This second edition offers an insightful and provocative look at the inside world of political marketing in Canadaand what this means about the state of our democracy in the twenty-first centuryfrom a leading political commentator.
Inside the political backrooms of Ottawa, the Mad Men of Canadian politics are planning their next consumer friendly pitch. Where once politics was seen as a public service, increasingly it’s seen as a business, and citizens are the customers. But its unadvertised products are voter apathy and gutless public policy. Susan Delacourt takes readers into the world of Canada’s top political marketers, from the 1950s to the present, explaining how parties slice and dice their platforms for different audiences and how they manage the media. The current system divides the country into niche” markets and abandons the hard political work of knitting together broad consensus or national vision. Little wonder then, that most Canadians have checked out of the political process: less than two per cent of the population belongs to a political party and fewer than half of voters under the age of thirty showed up at the ballot box in the last few federal elections. Provocative, incisive, entertaining and refreshingly non-partisan, Shopping for Votes offers a new narrative for understanding political culture in Canada.
Susan Delacourt is a political columnist in Ottawa who writes for the Toronto Star and Ipolitics, and appears weekly on CBC and CTV. Her work, which includes three previous books on politics, has earned her the Hy Solomon Award in 2014 for excellence in public policy journalism and the 2011 Charles Lynch award for career-long coverage of politics. Shopping for Votes was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction, and the John W. Dafoe Book Prize. Delacourt lives in Ottawa, ON, where teaches political journalism and communication at Carleton University.