Election campaigning never stops. That is the new reality of politics and government in Canada, where everyone from staffers in the Prime Minister’s Office to backbench MPs practise political marketing and communication as though the official campaign were still underway.
Permanent Campaigning in Canada examines the growth and democratic implications of political parties’ relentless search for votes and popularity and what a constant state of electioneering means for governance. With the emergence of fixed-date elections and digital media, each day is a battle to win mini-contests: the news cycle, public opinion polls, quarterly fundraising results, by-elections, and more. The contributors’ case studies – on political databases, the strategy behind online political communication, the politicization of government advertising, and the role of the PMO and political staff – reveal how political actors are using all available tools at their disposal to secure electoral advantage, including the use of public resources for partisan gain.
This is the first study of a phenomenon that has become embedded in Canadian politics and government. It reveals the extent to which political parties and political staff have embraced non-stop electioneering, and the consequences for our democratic processes and institutions.
Featuring contributions from a variety of scholars, this book offers fresh perspectives about the political marketplace that will be of interest to students of Canadian government and politics.
Permanent Campaigning in Canada is a stellar collection of first-rate essays written by an impressive cadre of scholars from across the country. It raises all the key questions, provides important insights, and will no doubt encourage further research and discussion about this important new trend in Canadian democracy.
An important book that lays out what permanent campaigning looks like in Canada today and poses vital questions about how it is impacting our institutions and the health of our democracy. For those of us alarmed about the increasingly blurred lines between government business and partisan interest, it’s an illuminating read.
Alex Marland is an associate professor of political science and an associate dean at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Thierry Giasson is a professor of political science at Université Laval. Anna Lennox Esselment is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Waterloo.
Contributors: Amanda Clarke, David Coletto, Kenneth Cosgrove, Jonathan Craft, Anna Lennox Esselment, Tom Flanagan, Mary Francoli, Thierry Giasson, Phillipe Lagassé, Mireille Lalancette, Andrea Lawlor, Mario Levesque, J.P. Lewis, Alex Marland, Maria Mathews, David McGrane, Denver McNeney, Steve Patten, Tamara A. Small, Sofia Tourigny-Koné, André Turcotte, Simon Vodrey, and Paul Wilson
Foreword / Tom Flanagan
Part 1: Theoretical Parameters
1 Welcome to Non-Stop Campaigning / Alex Marland, Anna Lennox Esselment, and Thierry Giasson
2 Governing on the Front Foot: Politicians, Civil Servants, and the Permanent Campaign in Canada / Jonathan Craft
3 Databases, Microtargeting, and the Permanent Campaign: A Threat to Democracy? / Steve Patten
Part 2: Political Parties
4 Media-Party Parallelism: How the Media Covers Party Messaging / Andrea Lawlor
5 “Friend, Can You Chip in $3?”: Canadian Political Parties’ Email Communication and Fundraising / Alex Marland and Maria Mathews
6 Online, All the Time: The Strategic Objectives of Canadian Opposition Parties / Thierry Giasson and Tamara A. Small
7 Permanent Polling and Governance / André Turcotte and Simon Vodrey
8 Election Preparation in the Federal NDP: The Next Campaign Starts the Day after the Last One Ends / David McGrane
Part 3: Governance
9 Institutional Change, Permanent Campaigning, and Canada’s Fixed Election Date Law / Phillipe Lagassé
10 Preaching to the Choir in Case It Is Losing Faith: Government Advertising’s Direct Electoral Consequences / Denver McNeney and David Coletto
11 The Obama Approach in Canada: Lessons in Leadership Branding / J.P. Lewis and Kenneth Cosgrove
12 Campaigning from the Centre / Anna Lennox Esselment and Paul Wilson
13 Permanent Campaigning and Digital Government / Amanda Clarke and Mary Francoli
14 24 Seven Videostyle: Blurring the Lines and Building Strong Leadership / Mireille Lalancette and Sofia Tourigny-Koné
15 Vulnerable Populations and the Permanent Campaign: Disability Organizations as Policy Entrepreneurs / Mario Levesque
16 Permanent Campaigning: Changing the Nature of Canadian Democracy / Anna Lennox Esselment, Alex Marland, and Thierry Giasson
Glossary; List of Contributors; Index
Political Communication in Canada
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