Cultivate and imitate something

Unkindled

New Member
Turkish
Hello everyone, today i ,while not remembering how, came across an article that includes the following paragrph:
"In happier times, the retail industry was something for politicians to cultivate and imitate — a symbiotic relationship I wrote about in my last book, Shopping For Votes. Now, the shopping business in Canada a constant source of concern and disruption for the political class."

My question is "what does 'cultivate and imitate' mean?" I've looked at their definitions and cultivate seems to be used as in the meaning of to promote or to improve. As for the 'imitate' i didn't quite understand what the writer meant by it, to copy perhaps?

Link to the article if context matters: As Sears goes dark, middle-class votes may be elusive: Delacourt

thanks in advance (and also i'd greatly appreciate it if you'd suggest some other phrases that can subsitute 'as in the meaning of' in my text)
 
  • pachanga7

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Be used with the meaning of
    Be used to mean

    For politicians to imitate the retail industry to me suggests the idea that the relationship between citizenry and government should be like a transactional commercial relationship between customer and business, without the deeper obligations that spring from human and citizen rights. Reading the book reference mentioned should tell us what the author actually means by it.
     

    Unkindled

    New Member
    Turkish
    Be used with the meaning of
    Be used to mean

    For politicians to imitate the retail industry to me suggests the idea that the relationship between citizenry and government should be like a transactional commercial relationship between customer and business, without the deeper obligations that spring from human and citizen rights. Reading the book reference mentioned should tell us what the author actually means by it.
    so both cultivate and imitate are used in their literal meanings?: 'to promote/imrove', 'to copy' respectively.
     
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