The Effective Citizen

Effective citizens–engaged, knowledgeable, and persistent, and united in common cause–are the most powerful force that ever was, or ever will be. I hope this book will help citizens to be more effective.

In his uniquely straightforward and accessible style, Political insider Graham Steele pulls back the curtain on our political system and gives readers a look inside. A lawyer, analyst, former Nova Scotia cabinet minister, and author of the Globe & Mail bestselling memoir What I Learned About Politics, Steele answers the burning questions of Canadians: Who really runs the parties? What does a backbencher do? How does a citizen effectively navigate the system, and achieve change through a politician? What is “truthiness?”

A primer for anyone who wants to become a politician or influence one, The Effective Citizen explains how politicians think and what factors influence that thinking; how to interpret the “non-answer” in political speech; and acknowledges that in politics, “bland is safe.” Ideal for political neophytes and junkees all the same, Steele’s newest book will have the whole country talking.

Nova Scotia Politics 1945-2020

Who has held political power in Nova Scotia? How did they get it? And what did they do with it? In his latest book, best-selling author and former cabinet minister Graham Steele takes us on a roller-coaster ride through seventy-five years of Nova Scotia politics from 1945 to 2020.

The story ranges from Angus L. Macdonald, who won a crushing election victory in 1945 after a bitter falling-out with prime minister Mackenzie King, to Stephen McNeil, who provoked the first-ever teachers’ strike yet won the first back-to-back majorities in thirty years. It covers premiers from the calm intellectual Robert Stanfield, to the acerbic outsider Donald Cameron, to the aloof reformer John Savage, and highlights trailblazers like Gladys Porter, Wayne Adams, and Donald Marshall Jr.

Nova Scotia politics has seen an almost unnatural focus on jobs, roads, and corruption. Steele doesn’t shy away from the controversial parts of our political history: the trial of Gerald Regan for sexual crimes; the political pressure that led to the opening of the ill-starred Westray mine; and the environmental racism that pumped effluent into Boat Harbour for fifty years.

This is a book for anyone interested in modern Nova Scotia history or politics. It’s for the avid politics-watcher, of course, but also for the new voter, the newcomer, the new parent, the newly retired—anyone who wants some historical depth by which to understand today’s politics.

Steele pulls together the threads of history, adding original stories and archival research to the existing rich vein of historical writing, and then applies his own political experience to find the through lines that tie together past, present, and future.

What I Learned About Politics

On October 8, 2013, Nova Scotia’s NDP government went down to a devastating election defeat. Premier Darrell Dexter lost his own seat, and the party held the dubious distinction of being the first one-term majority government in over 100 years.

In this new memoir, former NDP finance minister and MLA Graham Steele tries to make sense of the election result and shares what he’s learned from a fifteen-year career in provincial politics. In his trademark candid style, Steele pulls no punches in assessing what’s right—and what’s often wrong—with our current political system. Includes an insert of colour photographs and a foreword from CBC Information Morning host Don Connolly.

Graham Steele

Graham Steele was a member of the Nova Scotia legislature from 2001 to 2013. He was the minister of finance and minister of Acadian affairs (2009-2012) and minister of economic […]

Historic New Glasgow, Stellarton, Westville and Trenton

Well known for its mining and manufacturing activities, New Glasgow, Stellarton, Westville, and Trenton, share a fascinating history. First settled by the Mi’kmaq and Acadians, and later by a large influx of Scots, the area became an important hub supported by coal and steel industries that attracted people from all walks of life.

Author Monica Graham outlines the towns’ coal and steel industries, their businesses and institutions, and their best-known people and landmarks. With over 180 historical black and white images from the 1870s to 1940s, Historic New Glasgow, Stellarton, Westville, and Trenton is an excellent addition to the Images of Our Past series.

New Podcast for Book Lovers!

 On Tuesday, April 23, Nimbus Publishing is launching an exciting new podcast for book lovers. Book Me! with Costas Halavrezos will focus on entertaining and illuminating interviews with the Atlantic Canadians […]