Alex Marland

Alex Marland
Memorial University of Newfoundland · Department of Political Science

Professor of Political Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland

About

55
Publications
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452
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Introduction
Alex Marland’s research centres on political marketing, public policy, electioneering and political elites in Canada and Newfoundland. He is a co-editor of the UBC Press series Communication, Strategy, and Politics.

Publications

Publications (55)
Chapter
This chapter examines the evolving nature of Justin Trudeau’s brand and the implications for Canada’s role and image in the world. Trudeau’s celebrity initially improved his political fortunes and increased Canada’s global profile. However, his brand, and by extension Canada’s, took a hit due to political scandal, policy shortcomings, and poor expe...
Article
en Challenges in distinguishing between core policy and operational decisions in the public policy process have spawned a legal grey area in Canadian public administration. Governments are immune from civil liability for policy decisions made by the cabinet yet they remain exposed to liability for operational decisions by public servants. We seek t...
Book
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Whipped: Party Discipline in Canada examines the hidden ways that political parties exert control over elected members of Canadian legislatures. Drawing on extensive interviews with politicians and staffers across the country, Whipped explains why Members of Parliament and provincial legislators toe the party line, and shows how party discipline ha...
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A political party is keen to jettison anyone who could plunge it into crisis, cost it votes, harm its reputation and damage its brand. Association with election candidates is particularly high risk because of the high stakes of an election campaign. As part of their reputation and brand management, party officials can screen aspiring candidates bef...
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The push to implement Open Access (OA) as the new standard for academic research dissemination is creating very real pressures on academic journals. In Canada, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) recently adopted a policy requiring that journals applying for its Aid to Scholarly Journals (ASJ) grant make their scholarly conte...
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Political parties with strict party discipline are well-placed to demand that their election candidates and legislators promote the party brand. The franchise-franchisee relationship causes representatives to relinquish individual expression in exchange for centralized party messaging. This article looks at how a strategic desire for party unity co...
Article
This article outlines how the advent of digital-communications technology, particularly social media, has contributed to an increased wariness by political elites to grant interviews to researchers. Errant remarks, misquotes, and comments taken out of context can exact a heavy price. Thus, politicians and their gatekeepers are far more cautious and...
Article
Scholars are unable to rationalise the number of elected representatives in legislative assemblies. This study offers some insights into the political arithmetic by examining the rare event of reducing seats in a legislature. It is hypothesised that a policy of cutting electoral districts occurs during a search for cost efficiencies and a burst of...
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This article tackles the puzzle of the best practices to acquire an interview with a politician. It seeks to assist researchers who must persuade gatekeepers in busy political offices to present an elected representative with an interview request. Our research is based on a copious review of the literature and is punctuated by fresh insights collec...
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This policy commentary outlines the components of a political brand and explores the brand attributes of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the international stage. It is difficult for any Canadian leader to attract sustained, positive international media attention as Trudeau has done. It is argued that his image is anchored in the brand of...
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This research note examines “below the line” media relations planning templates that are used to coordinate the release of government information, such as communications plans, event proposals and social media calendars. Methodological pathways to collect data through access to information are discussed. Templates and guidelines obtained from Canad...
Book
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Permanent Campaigning in Canada examines the growth and democratic implications of political parties’ relentless search for votes and popularity and what a constant state of electioneering means for governance. With the emergence of fixed-date elections and digital media, each day is a battle to win mini-contests: the news cycle, public opinion pol...
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The politicization of government communications requires intense control. Centralization of government power accompanies advances in information and communications technology, as political elites use branding strategy in an attempt to impose discipline on their messengers and on media coverage. The strategic appeal of public sector branding is that...
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This article exposes the strategic planning of government personnel as they prepare to engage in media management and spin. It presents the findings of in-depth interviews with 17 Conservative-era insiders and more than 100 internal planning instruments obtained during the nascent period of Liberal governance under Justin Trudeau. Inward-facing med...
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This review essay identifies major monographs about the study of government and political institutions in Canada published in English over the past 50 years. Our review is woven around a general argument that key books about Canadian political life have mirrored the evolution of the discipline in the country as a whole. For instance, important book...
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Worldwide, the publishing industry has been compelled to change with digital media technology, and some traditional academic journals are struggling to adapt. This article examines the marketing and publicity actions available to the Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique and similar flagship journals in an envi...
Book
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The Democracy Cookbook: Recipes to Renew Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador is an innovative multi-disciplinary citizen engagement project. The 392 page book is a peer-reviewed collection of short and snappy, non-partisan opinion pieces authored by a cross-section of 89 academics, students, journalists, opinion leaders, and other citizens. It...
Data
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This paper begins with a literature review exploring why image management matters in politics, what branding and brand extensions entail, and what political branding is. The case study reviews the public image of Canadian Liberal leaders Pierre Trudeau and Justin Trudeau, his son. Marketing theory is applied to identify insights about the Trudeau b...
Book
Full-text available
The pursuit of political power is strategic as never before. Ministers, MPs, and candidates parrot the same catchphrases. The public service has become politicized. Decision making is increasingly concentrated in the Prime Minister’s Office. And a top-down chain of command has eroded public involvement in policy creation. What is happening to our d...
Book
This contemporary and accessible introduction to Canadian politics provides a modern perspective on the institutions and issues at the heart of our political system. Promising an "insider's" take on the discipline, the text provides in-depth coverage of essential topics-from federalism, regionalism, and diversity to the party system, activism, and...
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has insisted that he would be the one to reverse the trend of power centralization in Canadian politics. It is early days, but still useful to ask whether we are living a repetition of the evolution of Trudeau’s predecessors: campaign for change, make some progress early in their term, but gradually the thorny...
Article
Whatever Happened to the Music Teacher? How Government Decides and Why, Donald J. Savoie , Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 2013, pp. 324. - Volume 48 Issue 4 - Alex Marland
Book
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Canadian Election Analysis 2015: Communication, Strategy, and Democracy offers timely and insightful reflections on the 2015 Canadian Federal Election from Canada's leading academics and political commentators. Published just days after the election, these short pieces cover a wide-variety of interconnected themes, including strategic communication...
Article
Little is known about how elected representatives attempt to manipulate public opinion and news media through their participation on regional open line radio or media straw polls. This article examines the systematic attempts by political actors to engage these media in the small polity of Newfoundland, Canada, where politics is characterized by th...
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Little has been written about the use of branding by Canadian political parties. We draw on interviews with 30 party elites to document the branding of the Conservative party of Canada from 2003 to 2006. We disclose that preparations to re-brand the Canadian Alliance party were subsumed into the new party and that the colour of the maple leaf in th...
Book
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Never before has the two-way flow of information between the public and elected officials been easier and, paradoxically, more complex than it is now. Changes in technology and media consumption are transforming the way people communicate about politics. Are they also changing the way politicians communicate to the public? In the era of the perman...
Article
Political advisors to heads of government occupy such a privileged sphere of influence that their role is a source of consternation among democratic idealists. Interviews with advisors to prime ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK inform a small body of comparative literature about political advising in the Commonwealth. The autho...
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The provocative debate over the Canadian seal hunt features emotional imagery, selective use of facts, a media relations battle, and political lobbying. This paper explores different forms of propaganda employed in the sealing controversy by animal rights groups and by the governments of Canada and of Newfoundland. It argues that Newfoundland natio...
Book
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Canadians are told that provincial premiers wield considerable sway. Critics decry premiers as autocrats and dictators, while supporters label them as altruists and great leaders. In Newfoundland and Labrador the premier is expected to be the province's overlord, a patriotic defender of provincial interests, and the decision-maker who brokers compe...
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This article advances an argument that within small polities local political talk radio may be treated as a barometer of public opinion. Survey research and media monitoring spending data were collected from provincial government departments across Canada. The data indicate that larger provinces turn to opinion polls, that the Quebec government is...
Article
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This article is a response to calls for new research methods in the study of political marketing. We submit that the mixed method approach to studying how political parties use opinion research and political communication is underused. More specifically we believe that campaign spending data, which are commonly analyzed in electoral studies, can be...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The word brand is now commonly used in political discourse and popular vernacular. In political science, it tends to be used as a surrogate for party labels, packaging, personalities and valence issues in a manner that does not suggest academic familiarity with the brand construct. A brand is a fuller concept than image. An image is the evoked impr...
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Little is known about the negotiations behind closed doors that culminate in the fusion of political parties. This detailed study of the creation of the Conservative Party of Canada draws on data collected through depth interviews with 32 merger participants, including party negotiators. The findings are organised around four notional stages: the w...
Article
An ongoing theme in the study of elected representatives is how they present themselves to their constituents in order to enhance their re-election prospects, but there are few examples of studies exploring how elected officials present themselves online. This paper addresses this gap by comparing presentation of self by Canadian Members of Parliam...
Book
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Political candidates, parties, and governments worldwide are using marketing tools and concepts such as profiling, targeting, segmentation, branding, and delivery management to win elections and retain their hold on power. Are these strategies making politicians more responsive to voters’ needs, or do they pose a threat to democracy? Political Mar...
Article
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This research in brief explores Canadian political consultants' practices in political marketing, exploring whether they are, as democratic critiques of marketing often argue, encouraging politics to become poll-driven, and whether they fit into previous international studies on consultants in other countries, especially the United States. Drawing...
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In the digital age, journalists are becoming more susceptible to the packaged visuals of politicians that image handlers are pushing electronically in an attempt to circumvent and influence the mainstream media. These managed photos and videos communicate officialdom, voyeurism, and pseudo-events, ranging from routine government business to a perso...
Article
Studies of talk radio programming tend to focus on effects on its citizen audience. This study differs by focusing on the potential impact that callers to political talk radio can have on political actors. Drawing upon data from elite interviews in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, we touch upon such tactics as media monitoring an...
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This article describes the types of goods and services purchased by Bloc Québécois, Conservative, Green, Liberal and NDP candidates in the 2006 Canadian federal election campaign. Observations are made on thousands of spending declarations included in election returns filed with Elections Canada, such as newspaper advertising, signs, telemarketing,...
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This paper examines three common political expressions and ideas from a marketing perspective. First, the origins of the ‘selling candidates like soap’ expression are traced and it is argued that, rather than being ‘sold’ like a product, candidates are instead ‘marketed’ like a service provider such as a real estate agent. Traditional campaign ritu...
Article
Since 2003, the audience participation television series CanadianIdol has featured young karaoke singers from across Canada being removed one-by-one from competition based on viewer televoting each week. The hugely popular show is one of many local versions based on a franchise that began in the UK as PopIdol and achieved success in the USA as Amer...
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The recent Liberal sponsorship scandal was a reminder that Canadians ought to be concerned about political parties' ties with communications professionals. It is a longstanding practice that public relations, advertising, and now marketing experts assist office-seekers during elections. In return better opportunities to receive more lucrative contr...
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In 2006 Newfoundland and Labrador was rocked by news of a spending scandal in the provincial legislature. Dozens of Members of the House of Assembly (MHAs)—sitting, retired, leaders, ministers, critics, backbenchers—from all three political parties had spent money in a dubious manner for more than a decade. This article looks at the details of the...
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This study describes the history and operations of the House of Assembly in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Canadian Politics is intended to offer a comprehensive introduction to Canadian government and politics by a highly respected group of political scientists. The editors have organized the book into six parts. Part I examines Canadian citizenship and political identities, while Parts II and III deal with Canadian political institutions, including Aboriginal governments, and contain new chapters on the public service and Quebec. Parts IV and V shift the focus to the political process, discussing issues pertaining to culture and values, parties and elections, media, groups, movements, gender, and diversity. The chapters on Parliament, bureaucracy, political culture, political communications, social movements, and media are new to this edition. Finally, three chapters in the last section of the book analyze components of Canadian politics that have been gaining prominence during the last decade: the effects of globalization, the shifting ground of Canadian-American relations, and the place of Canada in the changing world order. Of the 21 chapters in this edition, 9 are new and the remainder have been thoroughly revised and updated.
Project
Canadian Parties in Transition examines the transformation of party politics in Canada and the possible shape the party system might take in the near future. With chapters written by a team of political scientists, this project intend to present = a multi-faceted image of party dynamics, electoral behaviour, political marketing, and representative democracy.