Canadians often see politicians as little more than trained seals who vote on command and repeat robotic talking points. Politicians are torn by dilemmas of loyalty to party versus loyalty to voters. Whipped examines the hidden ways that political parties exert control over elected members of legislatures. Drawing on extensive interviews with politicians and staffers across Canada, award-winning author Alex Marland explains why Members of Parliament and provincial legislators toe the party line, and shows how party discipline has expanded into message discipline. This book exposes how democracy works in our age of instant communication and political polarization. Whipped is a must-read for anyone interested in the real world of Canadian politics.
Alex Marland is a professor of political science at Memorial University of Newfoundland and a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada. He is the author of Brand Command: Canadian Politics and Democracy in the Age of Message Control, which won the Donner Prize for best public policy book by a Canadian and an Atlantic Book Award. He is trusted by Canadian politicians, political staff, and other members of the public sector to respect their conditions for sharing information about what goes on behind the scenes in Canadian politics and governance.
Marland [provides] an important fresh look at the issues around party whip systems and explores the mechanisms of party discipline and the extent discipline can be enforced in the digital age of direct communication between represented and representative.
It is a fresh addition to the study of Canadian politics, written in a clear and accessible tone yet rife with diligent detail and sharp analysis.
Whipped renews our understanding of Canadian parliamentary politics and party discipline in the modern setting, where we see intensifying message discipline across a range of new platforms and technologies. Writing in accessible plain language, Marland pushes his argument forward with a mix of convincing new primary research.