The 10 rules of politics


Graham Steele on Monday, Aug. 19, 2013. (The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan)


Graham Steele was a member of the Nova Scotia provincial legislature for 15 years, and was even the finance minister for Darrell Dexter's NDP government. However, after serving several years on the cabinet, Steele was fed up and quit his position to become a backbencher. He left politics for good in 2013 and has written a book, What I Learned in Politics, about his experience. It's a book, he hopes, will teach Canadians what politics is really like. Graham Steele spoke to As It Happen's Carol Off about the "low, dirty, business" that is politics. You can listen to their conversation in the audio player below:

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Steele doesn't see his book as cynical, but rather as a practical guide that both informs Canadians and gives aspiring politicians a peek inside the chambers. "All I've done is I've taken the life as it is in politics and I've written in this book," he said. "People get into politics not knowing how to be effective. Once they finally know, they are voted out or they get tired and retire. Public policy gets done but not in the places it's supposed to be done."

So, if you're interested in running for office, Steele thinks you should learn the rules. It'll make you a better, more effective politician in the end. And maybe you won't end up as jaded as Steele did. "Your time in politics is a lot shorter than you have imagined. By the time you're leaving, you finally learned enough to get started." Think of What I Learned in Politics as a shortcut.


What I Learned in Politics is published by Nimbus Publishing.