Published in 2017, Graham Steele’s insider book on political life is a must-read for any citizen who wants to understand what we are dealing with. It is written in clear, straightforward language that gives the reader both confirmation of our worst assumptions along with insights about what to do about it.
For myself, I’m always highly critical of anyone who seeks power over others regardless of the reason. At the same time, I am resigned to the fact that most people want “someone in charge” as this gives a sense of order. So along come the politicians who are only too happy to fulfill the role.
So understanding their priorities, communication methods, thinking, behaviour and ways of using words is immensely worthwhile since it arms the citizen with knowledge of what is likely going on when dealing with a politician. This is especially true when the dealings are frustrating and seeming to go nowhere.
In some ways, the book infuriated me as it confirmed my bias regarding politicians. On the other hand, it reminded me that they are really just people and subject to human failings. Of course, the difference is that they have the power to tax and pass laws. So their failings are that much more serious.
Effective citizens–engaged, knowledgeable, and persistent, and united in common cause–are the most powerful force that ever was, or ever will be. I hope this book will help citizens to be more effective.
In his uniquely straightforward and accessible style, Political insider Graham Steele pulls back the curtain on our political system and gives readers a look inside. A lawyer, analyst, former Nova Scotia cabinet minister, and author of the Globe & Mail bestselling memoir What I Learned About Politics, Steele answers the burning questions of Canadians: Who really runs the parties? What does a backbencher do? How does a citizen effectively navigate the system, and achieve change through a politician? What is “truthiness?”
A primer for anyone who wants to become a politician or influence one, The Effective Citizen explains how politicians think and what factors influence that thinking; how to interpret the “non-answer” in political speech; and acknowledges that in politics, “bland is safe.” Ideal for political neophytes and junkees all the same, Steele’s newest book will have the whole country talking.