By Bob Rae
From esteemed Canadian political leader Bob Rae comes a piercing examination of the fractured state of Canadian politics and what can be done to fix it.
Segmented electorates. Endless repetition of sound bites with little substance. Billions of dollars spent on lobbying. It’s clear that Canadian politics is in a bad state. Through increasingly low voter turnouts and a general lack of engagement in the political process, Canadians have shown that they are dissatisfied and fed up with present-day politics.
In What’s Happened to Politics?, Canadians finally get an definitive account of the problems plaguing their national politics. Touching on everything from polling to issues of social justice to the way in which political parties package their candidates, Rae identifies the shortcomings of the current Canadian political framework, and what we, as citizens, can do to remedy that. With remarkable insight and startling accuracy, Rae speaks as the voice of reason as he imagines a political forum where citizens are inspired to participate instead of feeling disenfranchised. Filled with real-world examples and told from the point of view of an experienced statesman, What’s Happened to Politics? is necessary reading for every Canadian, regardless of their political affiliation. Erudite, engaged, and keenly attuned to the frustrations expressed by Canadians across the political spectrum, Rae shows why he is the leading voice on Canadian politics.
“In What’s Happened to Politics?, Rae raises a key questions that all Canadians need to contemplate. Part history, part memoir, and part manifesto, it is important for anyone who cares about Canada and how it’s governed.” – Alison Loat, co-founder and executive director of Samara Canada
“What’s Happened to Politics? aspires to open a conversation with Canadians on the state of our politics and government. It is a call to action to change the focus from rhetoric and spin to political decision-making based on shared values, ideas, and character. This book also focuses on the urgent need to reconcile the relationship between Aboriginal people and other Canadians and underscores the historic imbalance in the relationship, how it came about, and the way forward in terms that all Canadians can understand.” – Phil Fontaine, President, Ishkonigan Consulting and Mediation Inc. & three-time National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
“Rae paints a clear and disturbing picture of the impact of the current focus on slogans and simplistic ideology on important public-policy issues.” – David Miller, The globe and Mail
“This is an excellent book. It’s solidly rooted in experience… but very much focused on the future. It’s a highly personal political-intellectual memoir, but one that’s not at all self-indulgent.”
– Roland Paris, Director of the Centre for International Policy Studies
“Canadians, consider yourselves properly spanked. You get what you demand, and — by the logic of Rae’s argument — what you deserve.” – ipolitics.ca
“[Rae] demonstrates his deep knowledge of the major public-policy challenges of our time and a coherent philosophical approach. It is hard not to see how much of a mistake the Liberal Party made by not electing him leader – intellectually, he would be a tough opponent for Harper, indeed.” – David Miller, The Globe and Mail
Simon & Schuster Canada, August 2015
A 2015 Globe and Mail Best Book