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.”
Paul Wells is the political editor of Maclean’s magazine. His previous book, Right Side Up: The Fall of Paul Martin and the Rise of Stephen Harper’s New Conservatism, was a national bestseller and his blog, Inkless Wells, is a must-read among Canadians who follow politics. He has worked for the National Post and The Gazette in Montreal, and has written for L'actualité, La Presse, TIME and the Literary Review of Canada. He lives in Ottawa. Follow on Twitter at @InklessPW.
WINNER 2014 – Writers’ Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
WINNER 2014 – John W. Dafoe Book Prize
“Veteran political columnist Paul Wells has crafted a fast-paced, romping great read about a Prime Minister who is frequently described by the Parliamentary Press Gallery as dull, plodding, and inscrutable. Though viscerally funny and often biting, this book is never partisan or unfair. Impeccably researched, gorgeously written, and deeply insightful, The Longer I’m Prime Minister is an essential read for all political junkies.”
—Writers’ Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Jury citation
“Thoroughly absorbing and intensely readable.”
—Robert Collison, Toronto Star
“A lively new book about the secrets of Harper’s survival and success.”
“Throughout, Wells gets the politicking and electioneering down perfectly. His signature casual prose style, interspersed with more than a few genuine laughs, makes reading more than 400 pages of bumpy Canadian politics a breeze.”
—Quill & Quire
“One of the most readable and thorough accounts of a man on a mission to change Canada forever…. [The Longer I’m Prime Minister is] a political book that should be read by every Canadian with a shred of political awareness…. Wells goes well beyond the dime-a-dozen political theories that line the nation’s bookshelves and offers rare glimpses of the man behind the myths to the point of (gasp) humanizing him.”
—James Baxter, Policy Magazine
“A fascinating, must-read book…. With detailed accounts from his trove of sources, Well describes a period of politics in a style that is at times hilarious, often biting and always informative…. Wells does an important service…. The book is also an excellent play-by-play chronicle of the last 7 years in Canadian politics.”