The Globe and Mail's Ottawa Bureau Chief
Ibbitson's latest book, The Big Shift: The Seismic Change in Canadian Politics, Business, and Culture and What It Means for Our Future, is an immediate national bestseller. In the book, which was co-authored with Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson argues that one of the world's most consensual countries is polarizing, with the west versus the east, suburban versus urban, immigrants versus old school, coffee drinkers versus consumers of energy drinks. The winners—in politics, in business, in life—will figure out where the people are and go there too.
Based on an acclaimed keynote he gave last year—called The Collapse of the Laurentian Consensus—The Big Shift argues that the business elites in Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa are losing power and steam, even if they don't realize it. A new, powerful coalition based in the west is gaining control. In his talks Ibbitson further unpacks this Eastern-centrism and explores how a wildly different demographic make-up in Canada affects everything from specific industries, to government, to, yes, the media.
When John Ibbitson became Ottawa bureau chief for The Globe and Mail, he capped a career of covering, analyzing and commenting on Canadian and American politics unmatched by any other journalist. On stage, he draws from his unparalleled expertise to help audiences better understand everything from Canada-US relations to the state of federal politics, and where the power in Canada really lies today.
Back in Canada to lead The Globe and Mail's coverage of federal politics in a time of deep economic and political uncertainty, John Ibbitson shows us how our political system is decaying (we have faced four federal elections in six years), and what we can do to stop this free-fall. He talks about what's truly at stake in the new Canadian political scene (Everyone v. Harper), and about the challenges brought forth by the complex new era of US-Canada relations, where "Buy American" has both sides of the border buzzing. Coupling national pride with objective insight, Ibbitson offers a brilliant talk, keyed to the news—and the mood—of the day.
Open and Shut: Why America Has Barack Obama, and Canada Has Stephen Harper
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 were Canadians being offered? An overweight economist who couldn't offer an honest smile to save his life, and a backpacking political scientist whose English made your ears bleed. Who elected these guys? Practically no one." Ibbitson argues that the result of the US election was electric, energizing, and represents a profound changes in American politics. Barack Obama may well be just the man to rescue the republic from its many serious woes.
The result of the Canadian election was, he says, as flaccid as the campaign itself: another Conservative minority government that shortly afterward tripped over its own hubris, causing a major political tempest in the Ottawa teapot. The elections and their aftermaths tell us two crucial things: One, America is still capable of slamming on the brakes and putting itself back on the right track. Two, in Canada, something has gone so seriously wrong with our leadership it's time to sound the alarm. Which is just what he does in this timely, perceptive, persuasive book.
The Polite Revolution
From one of this country's best and most controversial political writers, a searing blueprint for the Next Canada. Five years into the twenty-first century, Canada is viewed as one of the most desirable nations in the world in which to live. Despite the worries of many Canadians--our country's regional and linguistic divisions, our frequent identity crises-- Canada, it seems, has a lot of good things going for it. The federal election of 2004, however, revealed new cracks in an already flawed political system. John Ibbitson argues that we have entered a new political era, that Canada has become a nation of solitudes--the West, the English Centre, the French Centre, the East--each of which has its own cultural and economic concerns, none of which are being sufficiently recognized by the major political parties. If we cling stubbornly to old methods of governance, he says, we risk losing all that the Confederation has achieved in its first 138 years. In this compelling, and ultimately hopeful book,
John Ibbitson dismantles the old ways of thinking about Canada's immigration, free trade, social, and defence policies. His ideas for the future of this country are daring: a devolution of power and dollars from the federal to the provincial level, a revamping of medicare, a refashioning of the electoral system. They amount to no less than a revolutionary plan for the creation and defence of a new national dream.
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