The Dark Side

The Dark Side

The Personal Price of A Political Life

Book - 2003
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Publisher: Toronto : Viking Canada, 2003.
ISBN: 9780670043286
Characteristics: xii, 299 p. ;,2003.


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Jul 04, 2016

The book has no footnotes and only an index of names, usually, as in this case, evidence of a shoddy piece of hack work. In spite of its title, "The Dark Side" doesn't really deal largely with people who paid a high personal price for their political careers in terms of marriage breakup or damage to their reputation. Some of the politicians highlighted, like former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow, had spectacularly successful careers and rock-solid marriages. It is really just a bunch of political interviews with English-Canadian politicians who operated at the provincial or federal level with much more emphasis on the personal than one usually finds in a political book. So it lacks depth, while at the same time it lacks the titillation value of a Frank magazine, which would have gone into gory detail about the marital scandals only delicately mentioned in "The Dark Side".
As in his other journalism, the book is marred by Paikin's anti-Conservative bias and his adulation of the Liberal Party. Paul Martin is rightly saluted as one of Canada's best finance ministers ever, but our best finance minister ever, Michael Wilson, isn't even mentioned, nor is one of his most signal achievements, the establishment of an inflation targeting regime for the Bank of Canada. Although written in 2003, just before Peter McKay and Stephen Harper created the Conservative Party from the PCs and the Canadian Alliance, Harper also goes unmentioned in the book. Although the Conservative Party would sweep the Liberals from power in less than three years, Paikin clearly didn't see it coming. He thought his beloved Liberals would continue to rule uninterrupted for decades to come.

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