04.19.2011 07:02 AM

KCCC Day 25: Change of plan

  • So, er, what happened? Lots of big changes of course/plan in the past 24 hours for a lot of folks, me included.  Here’s a summary, which may leave you as bewildered as I tend to be most days.
  • Kinsella Kolumn Killed: If you are one of the two or three people who read it, you will notice that my usual Tuesday Sun column ain’t there.  Why isn’t, you ask?  Beats me, says I.  I filed it, my editor got it, and the rest is a mystery.  My suspicion is that the launch of the new Sun TV network, the launch of the new Sun web site, and the paper redesign all had something to do that.  That, or I’ve been canned, and no one’s told me yet. Here’s a snippet of it, in the unlikely event you are curious about the subject matter: “Stephen Harper’s Reformatories, you see, are heading to victory on May 2. And, barring some big upset in the next few days, it may be a big victory, too.  Now, it’s not like that the Conservative leader deserves a majority, let alone re-election. He’s run up a historically-big deficit, he’s run a lousy campaign, and he’s run his promise to clean up government straight into the ditch – with so many ethical lapses taking place, you need a program to keep track.  (My personal favourite? He fires Helena Guergis for cavorting with hookers, when she didn’t – and he then gives a big patronage job to convicted fraud artist Bruce Carson.  Who, er, brought a real hooker to a party at 24 Sussex.)  So if I’m right, and Harper’s done such a crummy job, why is he cruising to victory? Mainly, it’s because those of us on the Left have done a lousier job.”
  • Sun TV rises: Speaking of the TV thing, I wasn’t on the launch show yesterday, either.  I will be on there tomorrow, I think, perhaps as an out-of-work columnist.  Some of the commentary on the new network is here and here.  I watched a bit of the launch with my staff, and I can tell you the following:  (i) I will not be wearing a short skirt, unless you want to pay me scads of money, in which case I will; (ii) I like free speech, too, but you won’t see me yelling “fire” in a crowded Sun TV studio anytime soon; (iii) I have noticed that “political correctness” is usually code for “I want to say whatever pops into my head without getting sued/fired;” and (iv) “Controversy,” is my middle name, so I should fit right in, however much I am a Bolshevik when compared to the rest of the gang.
  • Libs change gears?: So says Ms. Hebert:  “The lines may be different but the basic script is eerily familiar.  For the third time in as many federal elections, the Liberals are switching horses at the mid-way point in the hope of resuscitating a flagging campaign.” Well, not quite.  Reporters may not have noticed it, but the Libs and the NDP have been talking about the subject for quite some time – it’s just that some media outlets find talking about strategy and tactics a lot more interesting than writing about, you know, issues.  And, on health care:  the Libs deftly turned a potential negative (the Harper misquote in that hard-hitting health care ad) into a positive (a fun contest to find the quote with which to replace it). Brilliant.
  • Reformatories target NDP: As Jane points out in her daily take on the daily Nanos:  “Stephen Harper will lose seats in Quebec, is dropping support in British Columbia and will not form a majority government on May 2, according to a new Nanos Research poll.” That’s a lot of bad news for the Con leader – so he’s now changing course, and starting to aim at the surging NDP and Jack Layton. Will it work?  Dunno.  But expect a lot more critical scrutiny of Wacko Jacko by both the Grits and Tories in coming days.
  • Poll changes: Sort of.  You Daily Nanos Crack™ suggests that the Liberal-Conservative gap remains what it has been for weeks (about 8 or 9 points), and that the NDP’s national support is still about half the Liberals’ (30 to 17, respectively).  So one thing hasn’t yet changed – vindication for those of us who were predicting this election will get us more or less what we had when Parliament dissolved: a minority Tory government.
  • Pic of the day: Caption contest!


“Whee! Look at me! Look at me! I’m a contender!”



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    Cat says:


    Harper 95.9 +4.3
    Layton 58.1 +1.2
    Ignatieff 40.5 -11.4
    Duceppe 17.4 -2.1
    May 12.5 +2.3


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    Mark Kalzer says:

    The column is on page 22 of a complimentary issue at a chev dealer here in Stouffville.

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    Lance says:

    WK, do you think that maybe they hired you to help keep you moderated for the election campaign and that now that the election campaign is almost over and SUN NEWS is actually up and running, your services are no longer required?

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      Warren says:

      You wish

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        Lance says:

        Actually, no, I don’t wish. You are one of the first people I read in the morning. Just because you might not have a newspaper column, desn’t mean I don’t enjoy reading and learning from what you have to say here.

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          Warren says:

          Just kidding

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            Lance says:

            Oh okay, sorry, lol, I didn’t think you were being facetious. Your sarcasm is just that good.

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          cat says:

          odd indeed – maybe you’ve just rec’d a company transfer to a new branch? Ditto to what Lance wrote. If SunTV’s looking for straight talk you’re a good fit there too. Must be a transition from print to television involved? Instead of a column you know are writing manuscripts?
          You’d think that someone would have let you know what’s going on.

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            Ron says:

            yeah, agree with those above and below
            you will balance out the program which is good
            and I as many look for your column in the Sun
            sometimes I shake my head in disagreement
            and other times I say he nailed it
            look forward to seeing you on air
            don’t forget to give a shout out to your peeps
            p.s. push the envelope and make it fun

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    MontrealElite says:

    Jack is doing hmiself in with coalition talk.

    Keep up the good work Jack.

    Caption “This is how many seats we’re going to win!”

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      Lance says:

      Jack knows that Ignatieff isn’t going to be PM without his help if there is a Tory minority. All Jack is doing is acknowledging the coalition/co-opeartion boogyman in the room, and thus will be hoping to parley his gaining strength for a stronger hand in such an arrangement.

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        Ron says:

        I’m just throwing this out there for discussion
        In the off chance the NDP were to have equal or more seats than the Liberals
        in a minority situation
        and if they do form a coalition and accord an agreement whatever it will be called
        Does Jack get to be PM
        I’m not joking in asking this question
        Does he have a right or claim to the position


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          Lance says:

          I realize that some polling companies are saying that Layton is more popular personally than Ignatieff, but being more popular according to some polls is not as important as who actually has more seats, which is the ultimate benchmark. Layton may be more popular, but I can’t see him winning more seats than Ignatieff. But IF he does, I’d imagine his case becomes air-tight.

          What I think would be more interesting in that case is wether the Liberals can submerge party ego to form some sort of arrangement to let Layton be PM, or would they just let Harper run with another minority with Layton as Opposition Leader. I think the Liberal taking a backseat in any arrangement would be too much to swallow. But I think it is all moot, a I don’t see that ever happening.

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            tofkw says:

            Ed Broadbent was polling over John Turner and Brian Mulroney in the popular leader category back in the day. Didn’t really help them did it? People may like the NDP leader, but then they remember it’s still the same old NDP behind them.

            Jack may be enjoying some new found popularity in Quebec right now, and may even pick up a seat or two there if this holds up on May 2nd. Problem is all the pollsters are showing the NDP below their 2008 levels in Ontario, BC and the Atlantic …you know, where they actually win seats. This election will not be kind to them, just watch.

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    Dr.J says:

    I didn’t even see your name on the Sun website anywhere sir, but then again the site screwed me up as I was half dead this morning and it was revamped. I did watch Sun TV last night and with it going after the CBC, so to me that is a good thing, overall nice change from the normal crap on TV. Seeing JT out there in the GTA I can not help to think that he did the exact same thing for Smitterman and Genco and how did that work out? What is more surpirsing is that Iggy isn’t there but a backbencher with a famous last name….. To me this election looks like the Liberals are a little bi-polar, jumping around on every topic just trying to get traction….Whatever happened to the G20 report or the Detainee reports? Those topics were front and centre just last week and described as “Game Chnagers”….. and then simply went away, I don’t get it. Caption Contest: “I dressed myself today, Mr. Kotter”!!

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    Sean Cummings says:

    I watched two hours of Sun News Network yesterday. It was unbelievably clunky and I thought Theo Caldwell reminded me of a car salesman I met at Farmer Clem’s Used Carz in Calgary back in the day. There was a general oiliness to Caldwell. Adler was okay except for the part about Cuba and his guest seemed to admit that his expertise on Cuba was limited to his few vacations there. SUN News has a long way to go if it intends to compete with Newsworld or CTV Newsnet – I’ll continue watching out of general curiosity, but my thoughts at this point are that pronouncements suggesting that SUN News would suddenly become Fox News North greatly over estimate the fledgling networks capacity to deliver something that people will actually want to watch. Programming needs to look and sound like it was produced by something well beyond a Grade Eleven class assignment in media studies.

    It didn’t suck per se, it just came off as terribly amateur.

    Fascinated, though, by all the Liberal Party ads on that network. Not exactly the LPC’s base constituency.

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      Ron says:

      It sure wasn’t smooth and they readily admit that
      I remember when (crap that makes me sound old(er)
      TSN came on air in 84…same kind of thing
      shaky but after a while they adjusted and got better

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        Mike_02 says:

        Wow, can’t believe I’m agreeing with you. Bound to improve. Doesn’t mean I’ll watch, but hey, freedom to choose is a good thing.

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      Michael Reintjes says:

      I guess amateur is what happens when you are operating on a 20 million dollar budget and the other guy is getting over a billion dalloars of taxpayer money.

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        Robin says:

        And the best arguments against ever, ever privatizing health care, or education, or any other social service for that matter!!!

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    fritz says:

    Here are some things I’ve concluded from the glut of recent polls.
    1) The national horserace hasn’t changed since the start of the campaign and it is unlikely too change in the next 10 days.
    2) In the Atlantic region some seats will change but the overall numbers will remain about the same.
    3) If the BQ continue to decline in Quebec there vote will mostly go to the NDP (2nd. choice vote for BQ is: NDP 55%, Green 18%, Lib 9%, CPC 5% -source Abacus poll). The question is will the BQ continue to decline.
    4) The Tories are starting to show real growth in Ontario. Their only chance for a majority is if this growth continues. The NDP are declining here and the best opportunity for Liberals to win here is to hope this trend continues.
    5) In the Prairies the CPC will win all but 4 or 5 seats. The huge Tory vote in this region skews the national numbers and there is a ton of wasted votes in this region.
    6) The Tory vote in BC is collapsing; down about 15% in 9 days. BC, along with Ontario, is where the race will be won or lost. If the Tory slide continues in BC what the CPC does in Ontario won’t matter.
    7) The Tory national vote is between 33% & 38%, is rock solid and it will be cast in this election. There is no room for growth past 38%, as 60% of Canadians will never vote for Harper. The question is whether or not the Tories can do what Chretien did and get a majority with 37% of the national vote.
    8) Unlike the CW the undecided vote is likely to vote for one of the opposition parties because the Tory vote is set and those left as undecided are choosing between the Libs & NDP or the BQ & NDP/Greens/Libs in Quebec. If your a Tory supporter you already know who you will vote for and it ain’t an opposition party. How these opposition choices are made will decide the outcome.

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    Mike L says:

    Hi Warren,

    If they really did pull your column, could you still publish it on your blog here? Thanks.

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    Tiger says:

    If you do get canned, Warren, please post the column in full, if you don’t mind.

    I’d been looking forward to reading it.

    Or maybe I have to go buy the dead tree version now.

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    Cow says:

    Agreed on the health care ad. I love how, once proof was shown, they immediately said ‘our bad’ and started fixing it. And did so with humour, too.

    The Tories could learn lessons. If this had gone the other way, they would have yelled about how reality has a Liberal bias for six days and then quietly scuttled the ad.

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    Paul R Martin says:

    The music and tone latest Liberal ads remind me of the infamous “Soldiers in the streets with guns” ad. I suspect that they will not work for the Liberals.

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    kitt says:

    And that is why last week I canceled the 15 daily Sun papers that use to be delivered to my place of business…………….

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      Namesake says:

      you should know

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    Scott Bowman says:

    Caption Contest: “Onwards Comrades! To Victory!”

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    Joe Krakauskas says:

    If it makes you feel better your column is in the Calgary Sun

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    Al in Cranbrook says:

    Reality check from BC…

    There is no way in hell that the LPC will ever pull 34% of the vote out here. They’ll be very lucky to hold onto the few seats they have in Vancouver…very lucky. I deeply suspect there’s a tad bit of mixing amongst those being polled here between provincial and federal politics, given the prominence of the provincial Libs recent leadership race in the news…none which translates into actual federal Lib support. I suspect NDP polling numbers also are being affected in the same way, due to the provincial party’s leadership race just completed.

    Here in Kootenay Columbia I can tell you that the next Liberal sign I see of any kind, anywhere, will be the first.

    Sorry, but it’s gonna take a helluva lot more than the likes of Iggy to win back general support out here that has been absent for decades.

    The CPC should pick up a few seats out here, including quite likely Keith Martin’s and Ujal’s Dosanjh’s. And NDP MP’s in rural ridings could be in danger of payback over the gun registry thing. On this issue, a “rural” means the rest of the province outside of Vancouver and downtown Victoria.

    CPC will capture their usual 42% to 45% of the vote out here, give or take a few points.

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    Ottlib says:

    I find that Ms. Hebert and most of her ilk want to be like Warren Kinsella. That is the political strategists on the inside of their particular political party.

    I do not know why.

    Maybe, as journalists, they just would like to have unfettered access to the movers and shakers of the Canadian political scene, instead of having to deal with “anonymous sources” all of the time.

    Maybe they just want to be as close the levers of power as they can get without actually putting themselves out there and running for public office.

    Maybe they would just like to gain some material to write a book.

    Whatever the reason I have found that many of their columns seem to be “job interviews” to become these political strategists.

    The problem with all of them however is they invariably suck at it. The advice they give is terrible. If the target of their advice were to actually follow it they would be wiped off the of the Canadian political map.

    At first it was amusing to see this but it got old very quickly for me and since these folks just seem to insist on continuing with giving this bad advice to the various parties instead of actually talking about the issues that are really important to Canadians I have stopped reading or listening to them. True, I sometimes glance at what they are saying to see if they have finally bought a clue of how terrible they are as strategists but none of them seemed to have learned so I go back to ignoring them again.

    Thank you Mr. Kinsella for confirming that I can still ignore Ms. Hebert without actually missing anything important.

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    Bitter says:

    I detect, in your Sun Rises comments, the faintest whiff that Sun TV might not meet the high standards of the Kinsella organization after all.

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    James says:

    If Toronto’s mayoral race last fall is any guide, the outcome of this election may prove all pollsters and pundits egregiously wrong. Just before the Big Day, polls were showing Ford and Smitherman neck and neck at 32% and 31% respectively, with 18% undecided. Ford ended up winning with 47% in supposedly “Liberal Fortress” Toronto. It goes to show that the only real poll is voting day!

    Now that we’re in the final stretch, Canadians will be tuning into the federal election a lot more closely. I think there will be a lot of political discussion around Easter tables across the country this weekend.

    I believe that Canadians will decide to give a Conservative majority a chance.

    Iggy is clearly an earnest, decent and likeable fellow but he has lacks what I will vaguely call a “Mojo Factor”. He just doesn’t seem to be able to arouse and excite people. Harper may seem stolid on the surface but there is an underlying passion and vision; he can be serious in one context and then he can hop on a piano to play and sing an Elton John tune. Layton has that man-in-the-street, I-get-you confidence and swagger that appeals to young voters. He’s actually vacuuming up support from young, francophone voters in Quebec. (This should actually alarm Duceppe and the rest of the BlocHeads – it shows that they are not attracting a new generation of support and reinforces the impression that Bloc supporters are mainly older, white francophones concentrated in the regions). Iggy still has the air of someone you’d meet at a sherry reception at the University of Toronto or at a Rosedale dinner party.

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      Al in Cranbrook says:

      James, I think you’re right on the money! Pollsters were so far off the mark in Toronto, had to wonder what planet they were making calls to.

      I think the underlying and real issue of this campaign is a very real fatigue with constant 24/7/365 campaigning, literal “bickering”, and this fourth election in seven years that is the result of it all. I suspect the great “silent” majority are keeping their powder dry, and cards close to themselves, in order to take care of this endless nonsense once and for all on May 2nd, and thus put federal politics out of our collective misery.

      It’s very hard to argue, let alone rationalize, that things were going so wrong in this country…when clearly they are not, and when the rest of the world too obviously would absolutely love to have our problems to deal with…that we had to have yet another election.

      If I’m right about this, May 2 could turn out to be payback time for some pretty shocked opposition parties.

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      Ottlib says:

      Totally different situation. Torontonians wanted change from Mr. Miller and they chose Mr. Ford. Torontonians were pissed. It had nothing to do with ideology or any other consideration. They were pissed and Mr. Ford managed to tap into that sentiment.

      Canadians are not really pissed right now. Indeed, the Conservatives are probably thanking their lucky stars that all of the scandals and controversies they have been dogged with for the past two years have not seemingly caused a widespread negative reaction. It will come eventually. It always does but it does not appear as if it is happening now.

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    dave says:

    Nifty trick…
    Caught Ignatieff in Wiinipeg this morn on CPAC. (Will Suntv go after them too?) One of the items that came up was that in a Winnipeg riding (St Boniface – currently held by Glover) the Lib candidate says that when door knocking, they are being told that phone calls from people saying that they are the local Lib Party are coming late at night, and in early morning hours. The callers are quite aggressive, even rude.
    The Lib candidate says that they are not coming from his campaign, or from any Lib campaign.

    Tricks like this are effective because, by the time anyone gets to the bottom of it, the (vote suppressed) election is over.

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    Michael Behiels says:

    Wheee! Look at me. I’am a laid back Lucien Bouchard! On with the Revolution!

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    Charles does not surf says:

    I don’t think Jack understands the concept of “talk to the hand”.

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    Pete says:

    WK one of your Ontario war room buddies was out in the 905 area today and says the polls are not right about this election and are missing key data points. maybe you won’t be a lonely leftie

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