Mill Street Books and The Millstone hosted a successful book launch for Susan Delacourt’s new book Shopping for Votes. Susan, an award-winning journalist who is one of Canada’s most influential political voices, has been a writer and editor for the Ottawa Citizen, the National Post, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. She currently writes on politics for the Star, where she’s worked for the past 10 years. Susan and Ottawa-based strategic and political advisor Robin Sears engaged in a lively Q&A session before an audience of 40 people at Café Postino last Sunday afternoon. As sun streamed through the high windows, patrons indulged in the delicious Café Postino Italian desserts and coffee as they brought books to be signed by the author.
Susan’s book advances the theory that governments now regard people as simply consumers and not citizens with broader democratic interests. A political party is something you buy, with the help of political advertising which is aimed at the lowest common denominator and concerns only the pocketbook. Political advertising no longer informs; it sells the party to those 10% of people who take no interest in politics between elections. They can swing an election. It is an important addition to the lexicon of political literature and contains a warning for all of us.