At the Centre of Government: The Prime Minister and the Limits on Political Power. McGill-Queens University Press, 2018. 205pp, with index.

Ian Brodie is in an exceptionally rare position to offer thoughts on the burning issue of prime ministerial power. After earning a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Calgary, where he met individuals who would later shape his career, he taught at Western University and published Friends of the Court: The Privileging of Interest Group Litigants in Canada (2002). Brodie was very active in conservative political circles, both in Calgary and in London, Ontario, and rose to become Chief of Staff to Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper. When the Conservatives were asked to form a minority government in 2006, he became the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister and would serve as such for 2.5 years, until June 2008. Based on what he experienced, he tests in this book the prevailing notion that governmental power has become too concentrated in the hands of the prime minister. It is an argument he rejects, taking particular aim at Donald Savoie’s Governing from the Centre (1999) and Democratizing the Constitution: Reforming Responsible Government (2011) by Peter Aucoin, Mark Jarvis and Lori Turnbull.