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 Canadian legislatures. Drawing on extensive interviews with politicians and staffers across the country, 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. He recounts stories from Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s drive for caucus cohesion in the 1980s through to the turmoil that the SNC-Lavalin crisis wrought on Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party in 2019. From caucus meetings to vote instructions, this book exposes how democracy works in our age of instant communication and political polarization. Filled with political tips, Whipped is a must-read for anyone interested in the real world of Canadian politics.
1 Party Discipline in Canada
3 Partisan Teams
4 The Communications Arena
5 Message Discipline
6 Government Centralization
7 Parliamentary Caucuses
8 Caucus Research Bureaus
9 Legislative Assemblies
10 Managing Trouble
11 The SNC-Lavalin Affair
12 Advice for a New Parliamentarian
Appendix 1: Interview Participants
Appendix 2: Interview Sampling and Recruitment
Notes; References; Index
Alex Marland is a professor of political science at Memorial University. 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 Whipped: Party Discipline in Canada, which was shortlisted for the Writer’s Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.
Thierry Giasson is a professor of political science at Université Laval. He is the director of the Groupe de recherche en communication politique based at Université Laval and an associate member at the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship. He is a past president of the Société québécoise de science politique. He is coeditor, with Alex Marland, of the Communication, Strategy, and Politics series at UBC Press.
Contributors: Kaija Belfry Munroe, Kody Blois, Matthew Bondy, Colette Brin, Thomas Collombat, François Cormier, Erin Crandall, Cristine de Clercy, Brooks DeCillia, Myriam Descarreaux, Anna Lennox Esselment, Holly Ann Garnett, Royce Koop, Mireille Lalancette, J.P. Lewis, Richard Maksymetz, Gillian Maurice, H.D. Munroe, Anthony Ozorai, Vincent Raynauld, Jacob Robbins-Kanter, Anthony Sayers, Tamara Small, Angelia Wagner, Jared Wesley, Paul Wilson, Stéphanie Yates
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.
~Darren G. Lilleker, International Journal of Press/Politics
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.
~Elizabeth Haig, Canadian Parliamentary Review
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.
~J.P. Lewis, Canadian Journal of Political Science
If you’re interested in how modern legislatures in Canada really work, Whipped: Party Discipline in Canada by Alex Marland is a treat — a detailed, well-researched and well-written look behind one of the curtains.
~Brian Topp, partner, GT&Company Executive Advisors, Policy Magazine
Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, The Writers Trust