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Open and Shut: Why America Has Barack Obama, and Canada Has Stephen Harper

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  33 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
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 wer ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 27th 2009 by McClelland & Stewart
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David Mcphee
Jul 09, 2010 David Mcphee rated it liked it
An interesting perspective could be that the election of Obama was, in some respects, the consequence of Americas horribly difficult, but ultimately successful, quest of racial justice. The election of Stephen Harper might be another chapter in the battle for environmental justice. I appreciate that the word racial and environmental justice may be too value laden for many.

But the carbon age (aka status quo), proponents who were very active in their support for G W Bush, were also threatened by
May 08, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
First thing: Major points for clear writing. I took sciences humaines instead of social studies in junior high and learned all about les autochtones and nothing about Canadian government. So, other than acing a few quizzes matching Premiers with their province circa 1999, I know nothing about how Canada works (or doesn't).

The really good bits in here are the pie-in-the-sky fantasies that are fun to imagine, like an open border and North America as one big happy country with two opposite immigra
Jul 27, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it
A good book. Recommended by a colleague, I initially scoffed that I already knew why we have Harper and they have Obama. She said that she thought the same thing, read it anyway and learned some stuff. Short book, so I gave it a shot. And she was right. Very readable. Funny to see someone I know in it (David Eaves). Provocative - he's starting a conversation here...I'll have to check out how the conversation has been going online.
Ahmed Messaoud
Sep 25, 2012 Ahmed Messaoud rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
John Ibbitson's book is a great read and gives insight into the Canadian Parliamentary system. The book is mostly focused on what makes Canada and the US different
Brendan Edwards
Sep 14, 2009 Brendan Edwards rated it it was ok
John Ibbitson would prefer to be an American, I think.
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John Ibbitson (born 1955 in Gravenhurst, Ontario) is a Canadian writer and journalist. He is currently Ottawa Bureau Chief for The Globe and Mail. He has written three books on Ontario and Canadian politics - Promised Land: Inside the Mike Harris Revolution (1997), Loyal No More: Ontario's Struggle for a Separate Destiny, and The Polite Revolution: Perfecting the Canadian Dream (McClelland & S ...more
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