Wednesday, March 27, 2013


The term “permanent Campaign” was first coined by Patrick H. Caddell, an advisor to then President-Elect Jimmy Carter. In 1976 Caddell wrote, "it is my thesis governing with public approval requires a continuing political campaign."

Back in late September, I wrote a post about a hot new book that studied the Permanent Campaign.
As we all know, political parties and staff have adapted to new technologies and mirror the round the clock schedules of the media.

Dr. Greg Elmer is Bell Globemedia Research Chair and Director of the Infoscape Centre for the Study of Social Media, Ryerson University, Toronto.  He is  co-author with F. McKelvey and G. Langlois, of "The Permanent Campaign: New Media, New Politics". 

The permanent campaign is obvious and stealthy. There are the tax payer subsidized staff, the party staff and bloggers. In addition there are the more covert operations like the robocalls, organized letter writing and open-line campaigns.

Considering the recent disclosures in this province regarding the government's clandestine campaign to manipulate public opinion, the arrival of this late Christmas present was very timely. How much is the public spoon fed and manipulated, and how? Better late than never, I am always pleased to find a new read in my post.

The book talks a great deal about the role of political bloggers and argues that contrary to myth about the internet as distributed and decentered, the blogosphere is dominated by select few bloggers who serve as opinion leaders.

The authors  explore the use of technology to raise funds, to keep in touch with supporters, to target and attract potential supporter. It also discusses the potential for abuse and furthering direct democracy.

If you are a political operative, a member of the “permanent campaigns” team or someone who is just interested in real politick in Canada, this book promises to be informative. 

The permanent campaign has changed Canadian Politics, I am looking forward to reading this analysis of  the new political machines that exist here in Canada.

I'll provide a little review when I am done reading it.

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