“Warren Kinsella's book, ‘Fight the Right: A Manual for Surviving the Coming Conservative Apocalypse,’ is of vital importance for American conservatives and other right-leaning individuals to read, learn and understand.”

- The Washington Times

“One of the best books of the year.”

- The Hill Times

“Justin Trudeau’s speech followed Mr. Kinsella’s playbook on beating conservatives chapter and verse...[He followed] the central theme of the Kinsella narrative: “Take back values. That’s what progressives need to do.”

- National Post

“[Kinsella] is a master when it comes to spinning and political planning...”

- George Stroumboulopoulos, CBC TV

“Kinsella pulls no punches in Fight The Right...Fight the Right accomplishes what it sets out to do – provide readers with a glimpse into the kinds of strategies that have made Conservatives successful and lay out a credible roadmap for progressive forces to regain power.”

- Elizabeth Thompson, iPolitics

“[Kinsella] deserves credit for writing this book, period... he is absolutely on the money...[Fight The Right] is well worth picking up.”

- Huffington Post

“Run, don't walk, to get this amazing book.”

- Mike Duncan, Classical 96 radio

“Fight the Right is very interesting and - for conservatives - very provocative.”

- Former Ontario Conservative leader John Tory

“His new book is great! All of his books are great!”

- Tommy Schnurmacher, CJAD

“I absolutely recommend this book.”

- Paul Wells, Maclean’s

“Kinsella puts the Left on the right track with new book!”

- Calgary Herald


To defeat an opponent, you need to understand him – not hate him

Too many Liberals hate Stephen Harper. I’m not one of them. I oppose many of his policies, to be sure. I get mad at him sometimes, for sure. But I do not regard him as evil, and you shouldn’t either.

To my surprise, my family’s very personal experience with Stephen Harper has showed up in Mark Kennedy’s extraordinary profile of the Conservative leader. A snippet is here, along with the link to his story, which you must, must read.

“…Despite his stiff public image, Beardsley pointed to a warmer side of Harper that Canadians rarely saw. Even before he was prime minister, Harper had once called Liberal political strategist Warren Kinsella and his mother to express condolences on the death of Kinsella’s father.

“It provided a revealing glimpse into Stephen Harper’s character,” Kinsella later wrote. “Because it suggested to my family and me — die-hard Alberta Liberals, which is about as die-hard as a Liberal can get — that Stephen Harper was, at the end of the day, a nice person.”

Opposition New Democrat MP Paul Dewar also got a glimpse at the private Harper.

He and Harper were strong opponents on policy. But at the rink, where their sons played on the same hockey team, they were fathers. They sat in the stands and cheered their boys Ben and Nathaniel, who played on the same line.

“To those who talk about him in extraterrestrial ways, I quietly just say, ‘No, he’s not the devil incarnate,’” said Dewar.

Tom Flanagan, who ran both of Harper’s leadership campaigns and one election, said it took him years to understand the “two Harpers.”

“There’s the one – suspicious, secretive, ruthless, sometimes very temperamental, arbitrary. And then there’s the rational, funny, sometimes kind, thoughtful person. You just sometimes wonder, ‘Who’s showing up today?’”



90 Responses to “To defeat an opponent, you need to understand him – not hate him”

  1. Beth Higginson says:

    The issue Stephen Harper that I have is the following:
    - when he said that Paul Martin supported child pornography http://www.punkottawa.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=20120&sid=d46d0fd24452cf36bb0547fe00db7f40
    - when he said that Maritimers and the unemployed http://buckdogpolitics.blogspot.ca/2012/09/harpers-diatribes-show-that-his.html
    - how he foisted the G20 on Toronto and left the police to clean up the mess
    - how he has wanted to get rid of the Liberal party
    - how he has got rid of funding for NGOs

    etc.etc. etc.

    He is not a likeable person and I have the right to not like him and to work very hard to get rid of his party in the next election

  2. You’re quite right on this. I read this earlier today, wondered if you’d comment or share it. I think it’s really honourable you did. As a very partisan Liberal, I can entirely admit that Stephen Harper is a clever tactician whom I do not think I have ever agreed with on an issue or matter of process. I think he makes mistakes often and I will criticize those, but I’ll never call him “evil.” Good on you Warren.

  3. Attack! says:

    Re: being evidence of his fundamental niceness/ decency, was that an isolated incident, though? Has Harper unexpectedly reached out to any other prominent Libs or NDPers who’ve lost parents, or did he just have a soft spot for you in particular, since you paved the way for his & the CPC’s rise to power by destroying Stockwell Day’s credibility?

  4. patrick says:

    Harper is hardly evil incarnate, he is so much less. A dull, ideological, autocrat attempting to impose some fantasy on the reality that is Canada. He is a corporatist capable of taking Canada over a cliff in service to his owners.

  5. dave says:

    I guess a part of understanding an opponent would be to figure out what s/he thinks about you and your politics It is possible that some Conserves regard the Lib Party and ND’s as evil to be eradicated……and behave accordingly…

    I was once in a bargaining where our bargaining leader wanted to try ‘collaborative bargaining.’ REst of us went along, and the management said ‘OK.’ So we did our understanding of ‘collabarg,’ but management did not; they did the old confrontational,and were beating the bejabbers out of us.

  6. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    I wish I could show your generosity of spirit, Mr. Kinsella……and from your personal experience, its obvious he does have a human side……but there are not many people I despise, and Mr. Harper is one of them. I rue the day I had anything to do with him or his party……I wish him no ill will personally, but the sooner this country(or his own party) punts him from office, the better………

  7. MgS says:

    I understand Harper just fine, thank you very much. He lied, cheated and stole to win power. He has abused Canada’s democracy to consolidate his grip on power.

    Maybe he is a “nice guy” over a beer and hockey game – I don’t know. What I do know is that he has led a party to power by creating an environment where cheating in elections and character assassination are the norm. Even if he himself were not a thug on the public stage, he has surrounded himself with people who are thugs.

    I don’t give a damn what he’s like “outside of parliament” – that is irrelevant. The man is the most destructive PM this country has ever seen.

    Understand him? I think I understand him just fine – about as much as I need to understand any sociopath who seeks power for its own sake. Do I hate the man? Not entirely – although I doubt I would be thrilled to share a beer with him. I HATE what he is doing to Canada, and that takes precedence for me.

    • deb s says:

      totally agree….nicely written!
      the all consuming hate can colour peoples minds…but with harper…this isnt the public hating him out of misguided silly kneejerk emotions…this is hating what he has taken from canadians and what he will continue to take using illegal means.

  8. You need to understand evil to recognize it.. So best that Canada recognizes Stephen Harper

  9. Ridiculosity says:

    So much for nice guys finishing last…

  10. Vankleek Hill says:

    Excellent observation Warren. In the GTA, you can’t even talk to Liberal Or Dipper supporters about Harper. The vitriol, and hatred is way over the top. This hinders, not helps they’re chances of removing Harper. I have my questions about re-electing Harper, but these zealots ruin the debate.

  11. PeggyW says:

    At the end of the day, it’s the one who’s putting his stamp on this country who matters. That’s the one that I don’t like, and ultimately, the one that history will judge. Many thought Richard Nixon was agood person.

  12. Dan says:

    It is foolish to think someone is evil just because you disagree with them.

  13. PeggyW says:

    And I don’t want a Prime Minister who’s capable of waffling back and forth between two pschizoid personalities, thank you very much.

  14. deb s says:

    I would say sociopaths can definitely fake the nice guy persona for a short while or with the odd social nicetie…esp if they have advisors who are skilled at creating the image. I still remember Harper on tv for this last election in sweater vests and his whole persona had been revamped. Politicians learn to be very skilled Chameleons…its how they get votes. Sociopaths too learn a vareity of ways to fit in, within society…but overall their tells show up in the majority of their actions…not the odd quirky nice moment. The list of Harpers victims far outweigh the list of his champions…and unfortunately voters dont always pick the right guy, and can be fooled by the fear campaigns he runs.

  15. Chad says:

    I find conservatives, as a rule, to be kind and thoughtful people, one on one.

    I’ve never met a conservative yet who won’t bend over backwards to help a PERSON in need. Where the disconnect happens, is this ability to dismiss any group of people they can write off with a belittling time.

    When its a person they can put a face to, then that person is no longer a “welfare queen,” or an “illegal.” It becomes helping a friend.

    THAT is the very thing I hate about conservatism. The disconnect and dismissal of people.

  16. Bill Smyth says:

    Warren, the fearmongering started with Harper’s “hidden agenda”, and then the hatemongering took off when he was elected PM of Canada. It seems the opponents cannot summon up any rational arguments and only resort to a hate pile-on. These expressions of hatred by a vocal few will obviously backfire because average Canadians are not as hate-filled as those on public political forums.

    Perhaps the “haters” are sick-minded and their open-ended declarations of hate should be suppressed on public forums because it sounds not only sick but also dangerous. In my long life I have never heard such an unfettered outpouring of hatred. It sickens me; it’s dangerous and breeds extremism leading to terrorism.

    Let’s all cool down the rhetoric and try to be rational in our discussions, please.

    • Jon Adams says:

      “Perhaps the “haters” are sick-minded and their open-ended declarations of hate should be suppressed on public forums because it sounds not only sick but also dangerous. In my long life I have never heard such an unfettered outpouring of hatred. It sickens me; it’s dangerous and breeds extremism leading to terrorism.”

      Not to be trite, but isn’t that the espresso calling the cola caffeinated?

      • Bill Smyth says:

        I did not say I “hated” the haters; I said the haters are dangerous to Canadian democracy. It was a valid judgmental statement. Those who can’t tell the difference between haters and defenders of a civilized democracy deserve the worst. You are quite trite.

  17. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    I was among those who tried to pull his political plug in 2005. The man has infuriated me more than once but in politics, hate is for the stupid.

    Truth be known, with birthdays two days apart, we are a lot more similar than we are different.

  18. Tiger says:

    I think the comments section here kind of demonstrates the point of the headline. :p

  19. Carey says:

    Thanks, Warren, for saying to a larger audience what I have tried to convey for so long. Harper was elected with a majority based on ideas that are antithetical to much of the Liberal Party loyalists. We are doomed to failure if we do not recognize that virulent hatred for the Prime Minister prevents us from understanding why he has been victorious and we have failed.

    When we say Harper is evil, we are also stating that those who decided to vote for him are evil. We are also implying that traditional Liberal stance, that the choice to vote Liberal is obvious and if the voters were not sure idiots, they would vote Liberal every time. Not a message, stated or unstated, which calls converts to the cause.

    • Carey, I agree, but for me the script for the next election has already been written. The NDP and the Liberals will continue to try to eviscerate each other, the Greens will hold at 5 or 6% of the popular vote and Mr. Angry and his gang of ideological puppets will simply skate up the middle to at least a minority win. As long as the Libs and the Dippers keep competing, Harper can keep his job until either his mind or his prostate give out.

      It is so sad to watch what is happening in Toronto Centre. Linda McQuaig vs Chrystia Freeland. Both strong candidates, both very competent, both with good values and very strong resumes, and both should be focusing on defeating Harper, not bloodying each other. They should have run strategically in different ridings. Both should have been able to get to Parliament.

      • Vankleek Hill says:

        “Mr. Angry” “prostate give [sic] out”

        —–> I don’t think you’re getting the point of the post Bill.

        • Vankleek, I get Warren’s point as supported by Carey. And it is an excellent point. Hatred does not beget support for a positive vision of the future. Be this as it may, regardless of our relative hatred or respect for our current prime minister his job is secure unless the NDP and the Liberals can find a way to cooperate. Witness the forthcoming race in Toronto Centre. Both these women should get into Parliament. Not just because they are women but because they are smart and could add a lot to the institution. We (non CPC voters) have to let go of our competitive mindset and embrace cooperation. Otherwise I will stand by my prediction: If nothing changes in terms of cooperation between the non-con parties, PMSH will still be PMSH for a long, long time

  20. Eric Weiss says:

    Harper Derangement Syndrome runs strong among Liberals. The more over the top, hysterical and hyperbolic the opposition sounds, the more they get tuned out.

    Remember “Soldiers. With guns. In our cities.” ?

    • Warren says:

      Yeah. Same guy is now running Wynne’s campaign.

      • Eric Weiss says:

        Partisans need to consider the fact that the average Canadian doesn’t hate Harper as much as they do. They might like him, not like him or not think about him at all. Be critical, be tough, go negative even if the negativity is based on their record. Just stop with the evil incarnate stuff. It doesn’t work anymore and they sound silly and desperate when they do it.

    • Kev says:

      You are now seeing the mirror-image of H.D.S.: Trudeau Derangement Syndrome. Many Tories have the contagion. I couldn’t be happier about it: it means they are on the way down.

      • Vankleek Hill says:

        I have N.S.T.V.B Syndrome. (Not Sure if Trudeau is Very Bright.)

        • Wayne says:

          Let me clear it up for you…he’s dumber than a fence post.

        • Bill Smyth says:

          Trudeau is in an unenviable situation; he must learn to lead not only the fractious Liberal party but also present himself as a viable leader of the country by October 2015.

          He is making over the Liberal party in his image based on his generational change declaration. This means he must replace most of the old MPs in the Liberal caucus which will be a big test for his leadership objectives. His credibility as somebody worthy to be prime minister will depend on his maturation over the next two years, and it’s gonna be a rough and tough ride because both Mulcair and Harper intend to crush him and the remnants of the Liberal party out of existence.

          I don’t envy Trudeau who may well be the last leader of the LPC after October 2015. Merger will not be a choice; it will become an inevitability if they don’t get out of third place. A hatred-driven political campaign will not lift the Liberals and Trudeau into OOP and Stornoway.

          Only a message of “hope” will succeed and a campaign of “hate” will destroy them.

  21. JH says:

    I suspect over the top Liberal haters turn regular folks off as much or more than Stephen Harper.
    Good piece WK

    • Eric Weiss says:

      Agreed

    • Tired of it All says:

      Great proof of this was the Sandra Buckler/Susan Murray talking heads exchanges during the ’06 election. Murray looked, sorry *was*, totally unhinged, and Buckler was the consumate pro. Scott Reid fared no better (he was already sinking under his beer and popcorn). What a brains trust. Just for the sake of a fair fight, I hope JT gets how unpalatable are shrill, conspiracy laden histrionics. There’s enough damaging stuff in the Cons record now to be deployed with strong effect. We shall see.

  22. Cameron Prymak says:

    Your point is all the more important when you look at the outright hatred the Tea Party and many Republicans harbour for Barack Obama.

    • Ottawa Civil servant says:

      True; Obama is changing and knee-capping the US far more than Harper and his tinkering at the edges, yet Tea Partiers have skewed the conversation so badly that concerned Democrats feel they have nowhere to go. If the criticism had been less personal, and the bile kept in check, Republicans would have stood a chance.

      As an earlier poster noted, every time you call him evil, and I find myself in agreement with him on the smallest point, you are branding me, as well. It is like those who claim Albertans are rednecks or Torontonians are socialist: Hardly a way to win a heart or a mind.

      Haters gonna hate.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        OCS,

        I take your point but I think the real name of the game is demographics.

        That is the reality of voting patterns going forward. In short, Republicans will need a perfect candidate to one day win the presidency.

  23. Danny says:

    I would add that in addition to not hating your opponent, you need to stop thinking he is stupid.
    Hate blinds you to what others see in your opponent. If you cannot think like the average voter you are done.
    Similarly, if you think your opponent or his core is stupid, you are not thinking like the average voter. And anytime you think you’re going against a dope, you will never bring your ‘A’ Game.
    You need to admit they were smart enough to win, maybe even smarter than you, and you will need to be smarter yet to beat him.
    This conceit that the left has for the right that right wingers are dumb, kills you. They have policies you don’t like. But don’t handicap yourself by thinking you are smarter than them. That is a one way ticket to disappointment.

  24. Richard Smiley says:

    When someone has their life blighted or is killed by government policy, I submit that that is an evil act. My definition of an evil person is someone who performs evil acts. The fact that Harper does not look like what the comic books of our youth pictured as evil beings is irrelevant. Hitler was also known for being a very charming person. Adolf Eichmann did not have horns and a tail (as per Hanna Arendt)… and so it goes.

    Your problem therefore seems to be that you cannot conceive of someone having a veneer of normality or good manners over a twisted personality or mind. Warren, the stock in trade of any con man is… perceived personality. That is how they con you. They are so “nice”.

    On August 28, the 39th victim of Lac Megantic was identified. She was Alyssa Begnoche, age four. My question, which leaves Conservatives silent, is as follows: How does a four year old girl “make her own decisions and have a less intrusive government” in a manner which allows her to deal with a ball of fire entering her home a few minutes after 1:00 a.m. while she sleeps when the government has systematically and proudly dismantled what they so scornfully refer to as “the Nanny State”? (How would anybody?) How about unsuccessfully trying to outrun a “tsunami of fire”? The PSAC stated that the Conservative government was ‘complicit’ in the murder of these victims. I agree with them, and I further state here and now that anyone complicit in such an act, which was totally foreseeable (not in its exact form, but certainly as a fatal accident at some point, since as anyone who has worked anywhere or understands the economy knows… or should know…safety regulations are written in blood) is evil. He doesn’t appear to care. The ex CEO of MMA doesn’t appear to care. None of them do,and none of them will do the honourable thing. Its just someone else’s problem, see…

    I’m sorry that you appear to feel that them appearing to be nice is more crucial to understanding someone than them being a cold-blooded murderer for hire. Remember the old saws: “Beauty is only skin deep”. Or how about “You can’t tell a book by its cover”.?

    • Bill Smyth says:

      Wasn’t it determined that the train tanker cargo was mislabeled and was a highly volatile substance? If it was simple crude oil it might have only spilled and not detonated. Then there was the human error by the train engineer who did not adequately secure the train on a steep grade. All human errors that you and PSAC attribute to PM Harper and the Conservative government. I question your interpretations and accusations. You have an undisclosed hidden agenda and you are using a 4 y.o. victim for political purposes. You are devious.

    • Les Miller says:

      “When someone has their life blighted or is killed by government policy, I submit that that is an evil act. My definition of an evil person is someone who performs evil acts.”

      So, you would contend that Pierre Trudeau was an evil man? There is, after all, no question that the NEP “blighted” the lives of many Albertans. It was also, at least partially, responsible for the loss Albertan families, businesses, and in some cases, lives.

      I’ve heard Pierre Trudeau called a lot of names here in Alberta, but I don’t recall anyone ever calling him “evil”. Bad policy, worse timing, but evil? I honestly believe he was doing what he thought was best for the country. I also believe Stephen Harper is acting under the same belief.

      I guess the road to hell really is paved with good intentions.

  25. Walter Saxon says:

    Psychologists observe that people in abusive relationships are always off balance, never knowing how the abuser will behave. One moment they can be sweet, caring , loving, the next, a raging, violent monster – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personified. Psychologists point out that this constant instability, uncertainty, weakens the abused person’s psyche by keeping them in a state of energy draining hyper-vigilance.

    Cults use the exact same technique of capricious power mingled with loving praise. Political analysts note that dictators (inevitably sociopaths) exhibit the same traits. While Hitler was sending millions to the death camps, he was genuinely loved by small children and his German shepherd, Blondi. Stalin and Mao, while liquidating millions in the gulag, were recorded to be extremely humble and gentle with peasants they received, even moist-eyed with sentiment. The mingling of sweetness and niceness with pure evil has a long history. In fact, the more draconian and brutal social conditions become, the more precious praise and kindness from the Dear Leader become – indeed, it can literally mean the difference between life and death as the rule of law has been suppressed by the law of the jungle.

    Tactically, this has serious implications: it can make it near impossible for critics to do their work without appearing as mean snakes in the grass. Look at the Dear Leader in the daisies with beautiful blond children (Canada’s child poverty rate is 26 per cent before taxes and transfers.) Look at the lieutenants’ children mingling with the Dear Leader’s children (“he was put on the mailing list of the national Man Boy Love Association for several years.”) Parliament is prorogued. 100% puff pieces as the pseudo-media. All hail the Dear Leader and sacred democratic corporatism!

    • Bill Smyth says:

      So, now that you have equated Harper to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, the law of the jungle, and all verified by “psychologists”, what are your future intentions? How will you sate your hatred, overcome your fears, bring Canada back from the brink? You offer nothing but your abject feelings with no solution, no hope. Tell us what to do?

  26. scot says:

    Is detest the same as hate?

  27. Blair Thomson says:

    Please permit me to recast the “hate/understand” dialectic. We “understand” Stephen Harper though his actions just as I likewise “understand” my father, for example. We can can indeed hate Harper without calling him evil because we “understand” what he does within the context of common sense-based ethics.
    Take the 2008 prorogation of parliament. Harper’s prorogation of parliament to avoid a confidence vote was simply dishonourable. My father (and I suspect yours, too, Mr. Kinsella, based on your past writings about him) would have done the right thing, the honourable thing–yes, the conservative thing–and accept the vote like “a man’s man.” Hence, we “understand,” Harper as a devious, cowardly man lacking a sense of fair play (itself a true conservative value, worth upholding).
    Moreover, as regards the “art” of politics, it does not logically follow that during campaigns you may freely treat people like shit (Stéphane Dion), distort words from their contexts and expect people to not hate you simply because the rules of the game permit such egregious behaviour. Worse, how can Harper, with any seriousness of mind look at his son and say: “look at the way I conduct myself, dear son. Aren’t you proud of me? Aren’t I a model of piety, honesty and human decency?”
    I have followed Canadian politics closely for 35 years and have never seen a lower level of discourse than during the Harper years. Its immaturity and dishonesty is unprecedented because it comes from a truly cynical political mind who knows how significant language is as a window into the mind. Harpers’ excessive and shocking lies reveal a devious man who is clearly only really interested in maintaining power and beating up enemies. Most of all, he is a hypocrite, whose actions have betrayed his promises time after time. So, yes I hate Harper because I understand him though his actions, which are well documented. And spare me the warm and fuzzy hockey Dad bullshit. Even Genghis Khan doubtless shared a few laughs with adversaries.

  28. Bill Smyth says:

    “I have followed Canadian politics closely for 35 years and have never seen a lower level of discourse than during the Harper years.”

    I am amazed by your selective memory! What is your recollection of the pre-Harper years and going back to PET and his invoking the War Measures Act?

    What you “hate” is your inability to convince Canadians to reject Harper so you resort to self-centred feelings of rage. You are not worthy to debate any alternative because your mind is made up, hatefully. You will never be able to convince Canadians at large that your opinions about Harper are sound; they are quite unsound and unbalanced.

    I hope the Liberal and NDP strategists and candidates in the next election are not soaked in a hatred that blinds them to reality.

    • Bill Smyth says:

      Oops… posting intended to reply to Blair Thomson above.

      • scot says:

        Calling out opponents for hating is a slimy right wing bible-thumper tactic.

        • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

          I wish I thought you were joking, Scot. :)

        • Bill Smyth says:

          After reading and listening to liberals and leftists heaping hate on right wingers for the last 10 years, one must conclude that the haters are not only poor losers, they are also nasty people.

          Canadians elected the Harper Conservatives because they will not engage in hatemongering they reject the fearmongering too….. but smearmongering seems to work in negative, ridiculing attack ads. Go figure!

          • scot says:

            It’s called projection. From my point of view the vast majority of hate comes from the right. The right wing in the States tried to turn liberal into a dirty word. You folks up here on the right are usually only a step behind these wankers.

          • Bill Smyth says:

            Sorry, Scot, but it’s the social engineering liberals backed up by the leftist rabble turned “liberal” into a dirty word….. and Canadians agreed several times at the election polls. Are you suggesting that Canadians at large are wrong in their democratic expression giving Harper their stamp of approval? I thought that the majority ruled in democracies and the losers must gracefully accept that judgment. And please, don’t retreat back into that flawed and tired argument that a majority didn’t vote for a Conservative government.

          • scot says:

            It’s always old and tired when it doesn’t suit you righties. See you in 2015.

  29. Arnold Murphy says:

    Hate is such an over rated emotion, contempt is a much more subtle emotion the Harper brings up for the average Canadian. Contempt, I say! As in Harper is contemptible some will have to look it up. The sort of feeling you get when somebody pisses on your front lawn, or does not pick up their doggie poo. Harper is contemptible, but hate that is best left to deep emotional attachments, like I hate turnips.

    • Bill Smyth says:

      Try selling that to dozey Canadians in 2015 and see how far that takes you. Harper has been the PM of Canada for many years and has established himself as a competent leader. Okay, so his reputation has been marred by human failings of others in whom he trusted, reversing himself to make difficult decisions, implementing austerity measures that gore a vocal few, and other insignificant gaffes common in politics.

      So, on what can you build on a “contempt” strategy that will drag him down and out…. by dipping him below the Quebec-compromised leaderships of Trudeau and Mulcair? Please remember that it was Canadians in the RoC that gave his Conservatives a clear majority without Quebec support and the likelihood of a repeat result is good.

      Both Trudeau and Mulcair cannot be currently envisaged as national leaders who are deserving to be Prime Minister of all of Canada. Perhaps that’s why the opposition is left to the weapons of last resort — hatred, contempt, (violence?). If the Harper haters want to defeat him they must elevate Trudeau or Mulcair because hatemongering is a losing, unhinged, emotional strategy!

      • scot says:

        So, are you the new resident christian soldier Bill, or just another right wink keyboard warrior?

        • Bill Smyth says:

          How unfortunate for you that you have no sensible response to my comments. Your personal attack on moi only reinforces the validity of my comments. You lose, Scot, again.

  30. Blair Thomson says:

    My recollection of the pre-Harper years is as clear as the fact that I have not spent a second “trying to convince Canadians to reject Harper.” People have to convince themselves of their own beliefs, just as I have convinced myself that you are a feeble debater who invents facts about me.

    Political advertising, insipid extemporaneous speech by politicians, and Orwellian titles for bills are just a few examples of the debasement of language. Scripted answers in Question Period, which are nothing more than textbook examples of a non sequitur, embarrass not only those pathetic enough to obey the partys’ lackeys who write them, but all of us who interpret this farce with any degree of seriousness. Of course the grotesque rhetorical spectacle that is Question Period is a deliberate effort to turn off Canadians from voting so that the Conservative party can split the vote and win with enough votes coming from those still committed to the political process. This is very, very cynical, and is, moreover, a strategy mentioned often by Mr. Kinsella and others.

    I can assure you, Mr. Smyth that my “mind” is very flexible as regards political thought. I also laugh a lot which surely is the real reason why I am not “worthy to debate” such a stern and rigorous thinker like you.

    • Bill Smyth says:

      Mr. Thomson…. Please inform us if you have any objections to the behaviour of Liberal and NDP politicians or are they too saintly to criticize? I have a valid response to each of your complaints but I will refrain from exposing your fallacies because it will serve no purpose; since your beliefs are cast in concrete.

      Thank God most Canadians don’t share your warped views. You should turn off your tv and not watch QP because it must be too aggravating to listen to the opposition party MPs lambasting the government with partisan, ad hominem harangues that serve no purpose other than winning political brownie points and playing up to the spectators in the peanut galleries.

  31. Blair Thomson says:

    I am not partisan, which means that I certainly do object to “the behaviour of Liberal or NDP politicians.” If I didn’t I would be ashamed of myself. It may surprise you but I have this weird personality trait that doesn’t filter actions through partisan political lenses. Everyone is fair game. As for logical fallacies and ad hominem harangues, one need not go to Question Period (which I largely avoid but do observe occasionally on a computer, not a tv). With respect, sir, your comments contain both logical fallacies and ad hominem attacks at a rate that would be embarrass a first year philosophy student. You write like like a “warped” Liberal or NDP spin doctor speaks: full of heat but short on logic!

    One last thing. My views are no different than those of any other reasonable, normal person. At a minimum, I would expect an elected representative to follow even the simplest ethical principles, such as telling the truth and, respecting rules, and playing “the game” with a sense of fair play. If we cannot agree that by this reasonable standard Mr. Harpers’ actions have been those of an ethical outlier, then we have reached an impasse.

  32. Bill Smyth says:

    So, do you condemn all politicians because they don’t meet your ethical standards? Really, Blair, nobody is as perfect as you, and politicians are very flawed individuals who must cover up their faults to be accepted by the ignorant voting masses. Your standards for “any other reasonable, normal person” are solely based on your puffed up standards. Blair, you are a saintly non-partisan person who lives in a morally sanitized existence. Politics is, and always has been, a blood sport akin to guerrilla warfare. Your mindset is one of naive delusion, I hate to say. Please forgive me for shattering your delusions.

    I would welcome your critique of any one of the points I presented in my original comment. Instead you use QP as your measure of political ethics/morality. Please rise above my “first year philosophy student” and broach my “fallacies”… I dare you!

    BTW… if you hit the “Reply” button under my comments, we will avoid your disjointed thread of replies. Thanks.

    • Blair Thomson says:

      If telling the truth and playing fairly are “puffed up standards,” for being a reasonably person–and I assume we agree that politicians are people– then I really don’t know why we are discussing this. But you are insistent, so I will go on. Once again, you hang yourself by your own words. You think that I am a person of “naive delusion” because I judge Harper by apparently “naive” standards. I though it went without saying, but it is your man Stephen Harpers’ own standards for governing, expressed by himself for years in writing and in speech before he formed his government that I am using to evaluate what is ethical. Guess what? They happen to conform to mine, since what he said about the “moral right to govern” was eminently reasonable and based on nothing more than common sense. By his own standards, therefore, he can only be judged a hypocrite.

      As for exempting politicians from ethical judgements because of the necessity of conforming to the apparently unethical “ignorant voting masses,” then we have really entered the realm of farce. You, sir, are a condescending snob if you believe that the masses are ignorant and must therefore be lied to as they nod their heads in approval of the reprehensible behaviour of the people they pay to represent them.

      If politics really is “a blood sport akin to guerrilla warfare” then we must infer that there are no rules to be followed. Anything goes. Great. Why have any rules and codes of conduct at all? It’s kind of like the free speech debates. You either have it or you don’t.

      Finally, you should stop telling me what I am (one with a “mindset . . . of naive delusion”) and start using the standards you apply to your enemies to evaluate your own side. We can then have a discussion.

      • Scot says:

        You can’t win with these guys Blair. It’s like talking to a wall, unmovable and unshakable. They are true believers. I gave up a long time ago. Now I just like to poke them like a grouchy old bear for my own amusement. Sounds childish, I know, but fun nonetheless.

        • Blair Thomson says:

          Lol. What I find amusing are logical inconsistencies committed by those who claim to uphold and desire rational discourse. What grates me about blind partisanship is that, by definition, it precludes applying a consistent set of standards to everyone, especially to one’s favoured side. If you can’t you do that then you may as well give up, which is why, among other reasons, so many people don’t vote anymore. However, that is too cynical for me and thus I remind Mr. Smyth of Harper’s minimum code of ethics he proclaimed he would uphold, the same code of ethics Mr. Smyth suggests are “puffed up” and born of a “naive” mindset. As you say, it’s kind of like talking to a wall or even Lewis Carroll’s condescending Humpty Dumpty.

    • davidray says:

      Bill…
      Whom the Gods would destroy they first oversell.
      Now then… the worst thing about Harper is his willful incompetence. He just seems to screw up everything he touches. What make him evil are his direct attacks on citizens heretofore unseen, whether against groups (G20) or individuals who don’t agree with him by sicking Revenue Canada on them or cutting their funding or outright muzzling them. Sometimes he’s the smartest guy in the room except when he actually believes he’s the smartest guy in the room then he’s dumb as a post. Sort of like Walter White. And you.

  33. .. Mmnn .. were you born pompous & overbearing ? Mr Smyth .. ?
    .. Or do you work at it every single day .. :?

    Your derogatory little bo peep psycho analysis was amusing.. tho shallow
    OK .. it made me laugh.. & jumped out from the entire page of comments
    even to a dull witted inexperienced reader like myself
    ‘You are not worthy to debate any alternative because your mind is made up, hatefully’
    .. ‘not worthy’ … that was rich .. catty too, n’est ce pas ?
    I think I heard that in a movie once ..

    Have a nice day..

    and By The Way ..
    I’ve taken heed of your exalted advice and hit the reply button under one of your comments
    .. hoping to avoid jarring your delicate sensibilities or challenging you to follow disjointed threads

  34. Warren says:

    “Evil”? Are you actually serious?

  35. Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    David, you say his policies are slowly killing Canada. There enough Canadians out there that think that the policies are slowly re-building Canada to keep re-electing him.

    And that`s the way this country rolls. :)

  36. Nic Coivert says:

    What the CPC do and continue to do IS evil. They are plain fucking wrong about humanitarian issues, environmental issues, social issues, fiscal issues… and they don’t give a rat’s ass about the working poor. CPC ought to stand for Corporate Party of Canada.

  37. J.W. says:

    He openly, blatantly, purposefully cheats in elections.
    The implications of this should strike a chord with you Warren, given your election campaign background and experience. Where does it lead?
    Of course he hates HIS opponents and that style has worked so far.

  38. davidray says:

    Nic
    I said more or less the same thing as you but Warren censored my comment so I expect he’ll call me an idiot and tell me to fuck off not that there’s anything wrong with that. Harper IS evil and hides in the dirt beneath the shine but some people are easily fooled by their own reflection.

  39. Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    And you see Nic? That right there is why haters like you are looked upon as, unfortunately, total nutbars representing the Liberal Party??

  40. Ottawa Civil servant says:

    Story was, Trudeau was in the parliamentary dining room and Joe Clark was there. Little Justin said he hated him and was castigated by his papa, then the PM, who explained that Clark was just a man with a family seeking ti improve the country as best he could. There was no hate.

    I do not hate JT or McGuinty, I just think them foolish and incompetent.

  41. PeggyW says:

    The trouble is, he is NOT being re-elected by the majority of Canadians because of vote-splitting on the left. The majority has actually consistently voted against him.

  42. Les Miller says:

    Why is that “trouble”?

  43. Bill Smyth says:

    Another way to look at it is since only 60% of eligible voters voted then the 40% who didn’t vote must be satisfied with the final result.

    Conservatives won 40% of the 60% who voted or 24% of the eligible voters. Add to that the 40% who didn’t vote you must conclude that the Conservatives directly won 24% of the vote and indirectly received 40% acceptance of the non-voters …… or 64% approval of Canadians.

    Ironically, the opposition parties cannot claim to democratically represent the 40% who did not vote; only the winning party can do that!

  44. Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    As I said, Peggy, ENOUGH Canadians. With four or five parties running in each election, there is no way to a majority.

    Maybe you could convince the left to unite?

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