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ISBN: 9781459402706

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Power Trap

How fear and loathing between New Democrats and Liberals keep Stephen Harper in power--and what can be done about it

In 2011 the Harper Conservatives won a majority government with a minority of votes. If the opposition parties were willing to work together, they would have an excellent chance of defeating the Conservatives in the next election. Yet a merger doesn’t seem to be in the cards any time soon.

In Power Trap, veteran journalist Paul Adams draws on many hours of interviews with politicians and insiders as he explores the issues that are keeping the opposition parties apart. What he discovers is that the ambitions, animosities, and hidden agendas of these parties are standing in the way of the kinds of government that a majority of Canadians want. Because the Liberals believe they can still recover power and the NDP no longer see a compelling reason to join forces, neither party is willing to work with the others. The result of that all the opposition parties are caught in a trap, focused on partisan politics and unwilling to do what is necessary to defeat the Conservatives.

Adams tells a story of institutions and people who have lost sight of the need to put the public interest first. Yet there is a way to create a merged party that will attract a majority of voters and put an end to the Harper era.


Paul Adams

PAUL ADAMS is an associate professor of journalism and communications at Carleton University, and a veteran of CBC Television's The National, CBC Radio, and the Globe and Mail. His specialty is political reporting, and he has been posted in the Middle East, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Edmonton. Formerly he worked for EKOS Research, where he managed political polling conducted for the Toronto Star, La Presse, and the CBC. He is author of Summer of the Heart: Saving Alexandre, which was shortlisted for the Writers' Trust biography prize in 2004.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price


Examines the status of progressive voters through statistical analysis finding that progressive voters make up a majority, concluding that progressives don’t know where to cast their … 26 $2.60


Examines why now is the time for progressives to break free of the power trap involved in having two progressive parties through analysis of the economy and economic policy, what conservatives … 32 $3.20


Analyzes the reasons behind the Conservatives electoral wins through their ideological dominance particularly economic messaging 36 $3.60


Examines the NDP breakout in Quebec, discusses Jack Layton, and the party’s strategic targeting of seats 33 $3.30


Looks at the slow decline of the Liberal Party from Majority governments to being beaten by the Conservatives. Concludes that it was due to the lack of renovating their organization and it seemed … 37 $3.70


Looks at the antagonism between the Liberal and NDP parties and how they have been unable to properly work together 44 $4.40


Points to the climate change issues, finanical crisis, and the wage gap as factors that prime this moment in time as one of change 28 $2.80


Examines the reasons we need to have hope at this time. Points to Obama’s 2008 campaign as one progressives need to take lessons from. Looks at the difference between the Boomer and Zoomer … 29 $2.90


address the three groups of people who would be most important for the success of a united progressive party: Liberal and New Democrat partisans and currently frustrated and unattached progressives. 17 $1.70