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 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.