The winner of the award, administered by the Writers' Trust of Canada, will be announced at a gala in Ottawa on March 11.
The five finalists, chosen by prize jurors Denise Chong, Terry Glavin and Jane Taber, are:
— Joseph Heath for "Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy, and Our Lives" (HarperCollins Publishers)
— Chantal Hebert with Jean Lapierre for "The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and the Day that Almost Was" (Knopf Canada)
— Naomi Klein for "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate" (Knopf Canada)
— John Ralston Saul for "The Comeback: How Aboriginals Are Reclaiming Power and Influence" (Viking Canada)
— Graham Steele for "What I Learned About Politics: Inside the Rise-and Collapse-of Nova Scotia's NDP Government" (Nimbus Publishing)
Each author receives $2,500 for making the final list of contenders.
In its 15th year, the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing is awarded each year to a literary non-fiction book on politics.