How the Tories took Ontario.
Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1995. 200pp, paper, $18.99.
Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up.
Ontario-Politics and government-1990-1995.
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.
Review by John Crawford.
Mike Harris's goal was to convince the public that his plan would
work, that the math involved in cutting taxes and balancing the budget
really did add up.
This is an account of the 1995 provincial election campaign in Ontario,
written by a journalist who followed the campaign closely. Largely drawn
from the author's press articles, Right Turn provides a
readable account of the ebb and flow of that campaign.
It is a truism that a week is a long time in politics. The 1995
campaign now seems well behind us, and any analysis will rely more on
hindsight than insight. Right now, public attention is focussed on how
the Tory government in Ontario will reach their goals, even how committed
they are to achieving them. Nevertheless, this book has value in its
presentation of a successful political campaign in an age of instant
With the increasing use of cellular phones, the Internet, and other
recent developments, political campaigns have acquired a new technical
aspect that threatens -- and this word is deliberately chosen -- to
change dramatically the means by which we elect our political masters.
Certainly the Tory superiority in the use of this technology was a
factor in their victory, but the whether that technology can be misused
is left open; the temptation to use misleading or deceptive messages to
capture the "don't know" voters is likely to grow. The 1995 Ontario
campaign suggests that the media allied to modern communications
technology are becoming more significant players in politics.
By nature, books like Right Turn often have chapters
of compelling interest but fail to link them into a straightforward,
overall account. This is the case here. Still, the book has much to
recommend it: the illustrations are apt, the writing is well paced, and
for such a timely book, the editing and other technical aspects are
The subject of Right Turn is clearly of parochial
interest, which suggests that it will be most useful in libraries of
secondary and post-secondary institutions in Ontario. However, any
schools in other provinces with a strong political science program will
also find the book interesting.
Recommended with reservations.
John Crawford is a retired teacher/librarian living in Victoria, BC.
To comment on this title or this review, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association.
Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice
is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
The Manitoba Library Association
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