Waiting for the Wave: The Reform Party and the Conservative Movement

McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP
Free sample

In Waiting for the Wave, Tom Flanagan studies the rapid rise of the Reform Party and presents some fascinating insights into the party and its leaders. He corrects two popular misconceptions about Preston Manning: that his political philosophy is directly derived from his religious convictions, and that he is an extreme right-wing conservative. Flanagan examines Manning's strategy of populism (listening to "the common sense of the common people") and illustrates how he used this strategy to "catch waves" of popular discontent to boost support for his party. Having held various positions within the party, Flanagan is able to portray its inner workings, revealing some of the personal ideologies of party members and showing how these conflicted with Manning's strategy of populism.
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About the author

Tom Flanagan is professor of political science at the University of Calgary.

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Additional Information

Publisher
McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP
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Published on
May 1, 2009
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780773578630
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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From an acclaimed professor and former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a passionate and edgy defense of free speech in Canada, and the role the internet plays in the issue.
     In February 2013, Tom Flanagan, acclaimed academic, University of Calgary professor, and former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, made comments surrounding the issue of viewing child pornography that were tweeted from the event he was speaking at and broadcast worldwide. In the time it took to drive from Lethbridge to his home in Calgary, Flanagan's career and reputation were virtually in tatters. Every media outlet made the story front-page news, most of them deriding Flanagan and casting him as a pariah. He was made to apologize publicly for his use of words but the bottom line was that Tom Flanagan simply sounded an opinion (he in no way whatsoever suggested that he was anything but virulantly opposed to child pornography) in an academic setting. In effect, his university, several of his colleagues, and much of the media, including the CBC -- and most of Canada! -- made him persona non grata. This book is two things: The author's side of the story, and what he endured during what he calls "The Incident," and a passionate and convincing defense of free speech, not just in Canada but everywhere. While Flanagan's is hardly the first book on the subject, what makes this book different is the component of the internet, a tool that is very much a double-edged sword when it comes to freedom of expression--it allows people to have an unfiltered voice to say what they want, but it also allows those to use it to be judge, jury and executioner against those whose opinions they disagree with. The book is also a sobering look into the kind of political correctness that has become a staple in the academic world. What happened to the author illustrates important tendencies in contemporary Canada threatening freedom of speech and discussion, and how the new technology is playing an increasing and menacing role.
Campaigns are central to the practice of modern democracy and integral to political participation in the twenty-first century. In Winning Power, Tom Flanagan draws on decades of experience teaching political science and managing political campaigns to inform readers about what goes on behind the scenes. While the goal of political campaigning - using persuasion to build a winning coalition - remains constant, the means of achieving that goal are always changing. Flanagan dissects the effects of recent changes in financial regulation and grassroots fundraising, the advent of the "permanent campaign," as well as the increase in negative advertising. He pulls these themes together to show how tactics are employed at specific points in a campaign by providing a firsthand account of his management of the Wildrose Party campaign in Alberta's 2012 provincial election. Lifting the veil of campaign secrecy, he provides a candid account of the successes and mistakes the newly formed party made in an election that nearly toppled the four-decade-long dynasty of Alberta's Progressive Conservatives. Modeling its campaign on the 2006 campaign that brought Stephen Harper to 24 Sussex Drive, Wildrose combined grassroots fundraising, an innovative platform that reached out to its electoral coalition, a carefully scripted leader’s tour, as well as negative and positive advertising in the race towards leadership. Success for the party seemed within reach until breakdowns in message discipline in the campaign’s final week caused the Wildrose tide to ebb. Citing diverse sources such as game theory, evolutionary psychology, and Aristotelian rhetoric, Flanagan explores the timeless aspects of campaigning and emphasizes new strategies of coalition-building. For future campaigners, Winning Power provides textbook illustrations of what does and doesn't work.
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