WINNER 2014 – Ottawa Book Award for Non-Fiction
The definitive portrait of Stephen Harper in power by this country’s most trenchant, influential and surprising political commentator.
Oh, he won, but he won’t last. Oh, he may win again but he won’t get a majority. Oh, his trick bag is emptying fast, the ads are backfiring, the people are onto him, and soon his own party will turn on him. And let me tell you, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy . . .
Despite a constant barrage of outrage and disbelief from his detractors, Stephen Harper is on his way to becoming one of Canada’s most significant prime ministers. He has already been in power longer than Lester B. Pearson and John Diefenbaker. By 2015, and the end of this majority term, he’ll have caught up to Brian Mulroney. No matter the ups and downs, the triumphs and the self-inflicted wounds, Harper has been moving to build the Canada he wants—the Canada a significant proportion of Canadian voters want or they wouldn’t have elected him three times. As Wells writes, “He could not win elections without widespread support in the land. . . . Which suggests that Harper has what every successful federal leader has needed to survive over a long stretch of time: a superior understanding of Canada.”
In The Longer I’m Prime Minister, Paul Wells explores just what Harper’s understanding of Canada is, and who he speaks for in the national conversation. He explains Harper not only to Harper supporters but also to readers who can’t believe he is still Canada’s prime minister. In this authoritative, engaging and sometimes deeply critical account of the man, Paul Wells also brings us an illuminating portrait of Canadian democracy: “glorious, a little dented, and free.”