Here, on how Michael Ignatieff's empty vessel politics might become the norm if voters don't respond with due skepticism to increasingly sophisticated vote-swaying tactics.
For further reading...
- The year's two must-reads on the evolution of politics are Sasha Issenberg's The Victory Lab (referenced in the column) and Susan Delacourt's Shopping for Votes. And both provide clear narratives to the effect that consumer-focused politics are becoming more and more pervasive.
- Links to the commentariat's take on Ignatieff's political memoirs can be found here. And I deal with a few additional implications of empty vessel politics here.
- Finally, I'll consider yesterday's speech from the throne to be an ideal example of the contrast between politics focused on the common good and politics focused on a few swing voters. It may well be true that the Cons have simply written off the issues seen as most important by voters - but I'd be shocked if they haven't thoroughly focus-tested most of their policy baubles to see whether they might have a comparatively strong effect on persuadable voters.