Power Trap

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

by Paul Adams

The inside story of why the NDP, Liberals, and Greens don't want to work together

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.

About the Author

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.


"A new book that advocates a Liberal-NDP merger blames partisan pettiness and personal rivalries for the two parties' refusal to play footsie..."
Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun
"Former journalist Paul Adams [has a new book exploring what is wrong with the left and how to fix it."
John Ibbitson, The Globe and Mail
"[Adams carefully indexes and dissects the battle over constitutions, language, energy, tax policy, free trade and deficits... he whacks all Canadian progressives for their failure to be more courageous in defending a progressive tax-based democracy."
Robin Sears, Literary Review of Canada

Subjects (BISAC)

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