Open & Shut

Open & Shut

Why America Has Barack Obama, and Canada Has Stephen Harper

Book - 2009
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Last November America elected its first black president. Canada, too, went to the polls that month. The difference for the two nations was remarkable: Americans had a clear choice between an indecisive, has-been who represented at best more of the same and a progressive, eloquent, African American, the first ever black presidential candidate. As Ibbitson remarks, "What were Canadians being offered? An overweight economist who couldn't offer an honest smile to save his life, and a backpacking political scientist whose English made your ears bleed. Who elected these guys? Practically no one."

Ibbitson argues that the result of the US election was electric, energizing, and represents a profound changes in American politics. Barack Obama may well be just the man to rescue the republic from its many serious woes. The result of the Canadian election was, he says, as flaccid as the campaign itself: another Conservative minority government that shortly afterward tripped over its own hubris, causing a major political tempest in the Ottawa teapot. The elections and their aftermaths tell us two crucial things: One, America is still capable of slamming on the brakes and putting itself back on the right track. Two, in Canada, something has gone so seriously wrong with our leadership it's time to sound the alarm. Which is just what he does in this timely, perceptive, persuasive book.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2009.
ISBN: 9780771043185
Characteristics: 166 p. ;,21 cm.
Alternative Title: Open and shut

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johnsankey
Sep 06, 2013

Ibbitson is normally worth reading even if you don't agree with him, but this book makes a mountain out of a political blip. The dull all-white-male premiers club vs. the exciting new Obama of his book has, in only 4 years, become 87% of Canadians with a woman premier and an Obama at odds with half the world and probably half his countrymen as well over his war plans. Skip it.

r
romate
Oct 24, 2012

"The elections and their aftermaths tell us two crucial things: One, America is still capable of slamming on the brakes and putting itself back on the right track." Ha,ha,ha. Given the last three years of the Obama administrations (can you say $16 trillion Mr. Ibbitson?) I wonder if John Ibbitson would like to pretend this book had never happened. Pathetic and not worth reading.

carknerdy Aug 17, 2009

A disappointing read. It seems merely timed to cash in Obama's popularity and has little to say beyond filler and truisms.

Also, the author said the only inspiring thing about Ottawa in recent years is new restaurants on Elgin st. Really? That's the best thing about Ottawa?

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