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Political Science General

The Effective Citizen

How to Make Politicians Work for You

by (author) Graham Steele

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
Oct 2017
General, Political Advocacy, Canadian
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2017
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2017
    List Price

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Effective citizens--engaged, knowledgeable, and persistent, and united in common cause--are the most powerful force that ever was, or ever will be. I hope this book will help citizens to be more effective.

In his uniquely straightforward and accessible style, Political insider Graham Steele pulls back the curtain on our political system and gives readers a look inside. A lawyer, analyst, former Nova Scotia cabinet minister, and author of the Globe & Mail bestselling memoir What I Learned About Politics, Steele answers the burning questions of Canadians: Who really runs the parties? What does a backbencher do? How does a citizen effectively navigate the system, and achieve change through a politician? What is "truthiness?"

A primer for anyone who wants to become a politician or influence one, The Effective Citizen explains how politicians think and what factors influence that thinking; how to interpret the "non-answer" in political speech; and acknowledges that in politics, "bland is safe." Ideal for political neophytes and junkees all the same, Steele's newest book will have the whole country talking.

About the author

Graham Steele was a member of the Nova Scotia legislature from 2001 to 2013. He was the minister of finance and minister of Acadian affairs (2009-2012) and minister of economic and rural development and tourism (2013) in the Dexter government. Graham is now heard regularly as a Nova Scotia political analyst for CBC. He is a Rhodes Scholar and originally from Winnipeg. The author of What I Learned About Politics, nominated for the 2015 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the 2015 Evelyn Richardson Award for Nonfiction, he lives in Halifax.

Graham Steele's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Walking into a politician's office can be like sailing into the Bermuda Triangle. Most elected representatives share a common set of techniques meant to disorient and flatter the people who try to influence them. Professional lobbyists know how to protect themselves from this low-level trickery, and advance their own agenda. Now, thanks to Graham Steele's book, the everyday Canadian can do the same.

Mark Coffin, Executive Director at Springtide Collective

Graham Steele is an honest writer. It's the ingredient that makes his books so compelling to read. In his first book, What I Learned About Politics, the former Nova Scotia politician and cabinet minister writes candidly about his 15 years in the game. It is not pretty. With his second book, The Effective Citizen: How to Make Politicians Work for You, Graham continues to point out the flaws in our political system as a way to improve it. Coming from someone who has been on the inside of politics and government, and who is so passionate about public service, his book is prescriptive, sometimes surprising—and a must read.

Jane Taber, former <i>Globe & Mail</i> political reporter, now Vice President Public Affairs at National Public Relations in Toronto

The Effective Citizen provides candid insight into the world of caucuses and backbenchers, useful even to readers who could not imagine petitioning their MP for anything, but remain intrigued by the many shortcomings of political discourse.

Blacklock's Reporter (Ottawa, ON)

Other titles by Graham Steele