Q&A with Peter F. Trent, author of The Merger Delusion

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 View Count = 1054

Q&A with Peter F. Trent, author of The Merger Delusion

Our fifth and final  Shaughnessy Cohen Prize Q&A  is with Peter F. Trent, author of The Merger Delusion: How Swallowing Its Suburbs Made an Even Bigger Mess of Montreal. Trent is the current mayor of the City of Westmount, Quebec. This is his first book.

Remember: Now that you've read about all five nominess - go vote for the book that you think will win on March 6! Just for guessing you'll be entered in a draw to win all five nominated books!

And now....Peter F. Trent:

Can you describe the genesis of The Merger Delusion: How Swallowing Its Suburbs Made an Even Bigger Mess of Montreal? What brought you to the subject?

Anger brought me to the subject. As a mayor, I had lived through Quebec’s mass municipal amalgamations. This gross error of public policy, this abuse of power, this blithe denial of democracy just demanded to be documented. Writing the book was a way of sublimating my anger into something more constructive and reflective. And, while it’s much about ideas, the book is also about people. I try to examine the political hubris that led to such an error and to present a story of politicians as people, not automatons. Some politicians seem to be driven chiefly by emotions, not logic. And morally, a few politicians are partial to justifying means by invoking ends; whereas morality has much more to do with how you go about doing things and not what you actually succeed in doing. To make things worse, our often irrational and sometimes mendacious political process is abetted by media that find themselves in the entertainment, not the information, business.


Read the rest here

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