“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

On Joe Cressy, party politics and me

Ordinary people usually say that the candidate or the leader matters more than the party. Young people, in particular, say that: they dislike political parties, and partisanship is one of the main reasons they cite for not voting or getting involved.

Partisan political people, on the other hand, always put the party before the person. Always. A candidate could be a mean-spirited, self-absorbed SOB – but they’d still support him and work for him.

The younger me used to be like that. If you were the Liberal candidate or leader, that was good enough for me.

That all started to change in the brief Paul Martin era. In the beginning, I was ready to help him out. I even wrote to him and told him that. But then the people around Paul Martin – for reasons known only to themselves – decided to use the power of the state to destroy lives and reputations. They ripped the Liberal Party to shreds, and no one in the party lifted a finger to stop them.

Their machinations cost me and other Chrétien folks tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and untold amounts of hassle. We didn’t ever forget it.

After that, I came to accept – reluctantly – that progressives (which I am) needed to come together to fight conservatives (which I’m not). As long as progressives split the vote, conservatives – with a smaller, but highly-motivated core vote – would win, I figured. I even wrote a book about it.

Finally, I became like most Canadians: I became pretty suspicious about political parties – all of them. Political parties are too cultish, I felt. So I started focusing on candidates, and not parties. People first, party affiliation last.

In the recent provincial election, then, I endorsed candidates in all of the main political parties. I supported people because of who they are. Not because of the membership card in their pocket.

So, Joe Cressy. I met him on the Olivia Chow campaign, whose campaign manager is a lifelong Conservative, and whose top fundraiser is a lifelong Liberal, and whose candidate was an NDP MP.

He was, and is, one of the most extraordinary and decent people I have ever met in politics. He was, and is, kind and caring and smart. He was everything that political parties lack, basically.

I’m (mainly) a Liberal, and I’m (entirely) a guy who believes in the importance of public life. But – as God is my witness – there will never be a greater tragedy if Joe Cressy does not win in Trinity-Spadina tomorrow night. This guy shouldn’t just be a Member of Parliament – he should be the frigging Prime Minister.

Don’t believe me, partisans? I don’t care.

And for the rest of you – read my Sun colleague Chris Blizzard. She’s as conservative as they get, and she agrees with me about Joe. Right here.

Vote for Joe Cressy. If there is any justice – if there is any common sense left – he will be the next MP for Trinity-Spadina.


34 Responses to “On Joe Cressy, party politics and me”

  1. Paul O says:

    I can’t speak to Cressy’s credentials but I do hope the tide turns away from those in the back rooms who seek power for its own sake and will do anything to achieve it. Principles are important. Serving is what Public Service should be about.

  2. Dan says:

    Very well put. I’ve never seen a candidate work as hard as Cressy. Cressy strikes me as the kind of politician Justin Trudeau’s believers think he is. I like Adam Vaughan enough, but I have no doubt that he wouldn’t work one-tenth as hard or as selflessly as an MP as Cressy would.

  3. James M says:

    My Mum tended to favour the PC party for the most part but my dad always espoused the concept that you do not vote for the party but rather you vote for the man, ( it was almost always men in those days) party was secondary. What would the individual do for you and the riding.

    It sounds like you have come around to that way of thinking Mr. Kinsella.

    Personally I voted NDP through most of the seventies, due to a really good constituency man in my riding, and lately I have voted mostly Liberal. I also confess I once in a moment of weakness or just the least of the bad options voted PC in an Ontario provincial election, to my everlasting regret the guy was a real dork as it turned out.

    I think all voters should look at all candidates and vote accordingly eschewing party as such.

    Just my two cents worth.

  4. terence Quinn says:

    The fact that JT leads the Libs should be good enough for the voters in that riding because leadership does matter and Mulcair is no leader. If Joe Cressy is riding the wrong horse in terms of a party (which he is) then he should NEXT run with someone who has character and ethics>>>>JT and the Libs is his political home if he does it right next time.

    • doris says:

      “The fact that JT leads the Libs should be good enough for the voters in that riding because leadership does matter and Mulcair is no leader.”

      please explain to us all, after all you did say this without qualification, how JT is the leader and Mulcair isn’t. Maybe the reason that Cressy is not a Liberal is because he doesn’t agree with the way that liberals behave or the way they think. So why would he change horses just to win – he believes in something because of what it is not where he can be taken – sort of makes Warren’s arguments about the Libs.

      • scot says:

        Says you.we all have an opinion Doris and your is no better than anyone else’s. My personal opinion of a partisan is voting for your party when it’s led by an incompetent or radical type. Not the case with JT.

        • domenico says:

          Totally agree.

          If, hypothetically, an excellent candidate like Cressy was running for the Cons, I would not vote for him for obvious reasons involving supporting our current PM. Frankly I would be reticent to vote for any excellent candidate in the NDP, because I do not like their leader, and they beholden to outdated ideologues like Judy Rebick, Gerald Caplan, and Michele Landsberg.
          And at the end of the day individual MP’s have very little actual power. Our system, as currently structured makes voting for the party the primary consideration.

    • scot says:

      Exactly what I was going to say. He should be a Liberal. I wouldn’t dream of voting for anyone that didn’t contribute to Harpers exit. Way to big an issue to be concerned with local politics.

  5. Cameron Prymak says:

    Yes – as the saying goes, ‘All politics are local.’

  6. james Smith says:

    Interesting that Mr V was successful getting onto Toronto City Council due, in no small measure, to a similar sentiment that you speak about when Ms C left for Ottawa and her hand picked successor turned people off.
    I note that both candidates are against the island airport expansion. Meaningless now, but for most residents of Trinity Spadina this is a big issue and they may weight who best has a chance to be an MP on the Government side of the house in a year and a half.
    I suspect Mr V has better a better chance of that happening & better name recognition on this file but GoTV will be what wins the day.

  7. RonO'N says:

    What if a Con candidate wins in one of the TO ridings because of the centre-left vote split? That would force the Libs and Dips to consider some kind of pre-election coalition for strategic voting to stop Harper. I still think a merger is a necessity even if Justin and Mulcair don’t.

    • Matt says:

      The CPC could have a shot in Scarborough Agincourt. I know a lot of people who voted Liberal there because they really liked Jim Karagianis, not necessarily the Liberal party.

      Trinity Spadina? The CPC has zero chance. Make that a less than zero chance.

    • Coelocanth_Jones says:

      There are many ridings in toronto where that can, and has happened, but I don’t believe Trinity-Spadina and Scarborough-Agincourt are two such ridings

  8. doconnor says:

    Everything I’ve read suggests that individual MPs have very little influence of government or party policy and who the leader is far more important, as we have seen provincially, often more important then the party.

  9. Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    Sometimes the Party picks a jerk to run in your riding. I always vote for the person I think is in politics for the right reason regardless of party.

  10. Steve T says:

    This is yet again proof that the Canadian political system needs changing. I have no doubt that you are right about Mr. Cressy, WK. It sounds like he truly deserves the vote.

    The problem, as doconnor above notes, is that indivdual MPs (or MLAs) are virtually irrelevant. The party, and the party’s leader, are really who you are voting for. Most MPs fade into the woodwork after being elected, and just act like trained monkeys when it comes to voting in Parliament, or rising to speak about this or that.

    We need a system where all MPs have free votes, all the time. No more “whipping the vote”. The U.S. system isn’t perfect, but at least down there the federal vote isn’t always straight down party lines.

    I wish it were possible to vote for a candidate, rather than a party, but until the Canadian system changes, I just can’t see it that way.

    • Coelocanth_Jones says:

      A more functional example coult be found in the British House of Commons. The enfranchising individual MPs bandwagon has been picking up steam there for at least the past parliament

  11. Coelocanth_Jones says:

    Any comment, Warren, on who the sign slashing desparados are?

  12. sezme says:

    If ever there was a time to vote for the candidate rather than the party, it’s in a by-election which this is, because the stakes are particularly low. This isn’t like the provincial election where Trinity-Spadina elected a Liberal mainly (in my opinion) to keep Hudak out of power. And it worked! This time, the only long term effect might be the momentum of incumbency. But that’s no sure thing – see Holyday in Etobicoke.

    I haven’t done a good survey of Trinity-Spadina, but in my part of it at least, the Cressy sign outnumber the Vaughan signs by a wide margin. And the other day in the Annex, I saw a big Christine Innes sign right next to a Joe Cressy sign.

    I’ll vote for Cressy partly based on Warren’s recommendation and partly because I get Mulcair much more than I get Trudeau.

  13. Les Miller says:

    The forgotten ridings, rural Alberta. Not that there’s really any chance that the Conservatives won’t win both, but it sure would be sweet if someone. Particularly from Fort McMurray, it would be really nice to see them send the Conservatives a message.

  14. Les Miller says:

    Should have been “…if someone else could win one”.

  15. Reality.Bites says:

    Blizzard is supporting Cressy because the Conservative candidate may as well have saved himself the trouble of filing his papers and she hates Liberals. While there are many valid reasons for supporting Cressy, let’s not insult our intelligence by pretending she cares about any of them.

  16. james curran says:

    As you know W., I know nothing about politics. I do know that someone that writes for your blogpost touted Adam Vaughan quite highly in the past. I also know that Adam will win this battle regardless of what all of feel about the overall goodness of Cressy. And – bearing in mind I’m a nobody with no knowledge of such things pollingwise – it prolly wont be a close fight. I could be wrong. Would be the first time.

  17. Realist says:

    The result in T-S will depend on turnout, which has so far today (from what I can tell) been minimal. If Vaughan wins, it would be nice if Cressy would run for the vacant council seat, assuming he’s willing to subject himself to that clown show.

    It will also be interesting to see if the Greens (who have a good candidate in Camille Labchuk) will relegate the Tories to 4th place.

  18. Matt says:

    Whatever the outcome tonight in these 4 by-elections, we just saw in the Ontario provincial election that by-election results don’t necessarily transfer over to general elections.

    Take the PC’s Doug Holyday winning the by-election in Etobicoke last year. It went right back to the Liberals on June 12th.

  19. Bobby says:

    Watching the results come in and the story for me in the Toronto ridings is not that the Liberals won them both, it’s that we appear to be watching a slow motion free fall of the NDP. THAT is the story IMO.

    When an NDPer like Vaughan can be lured to the Liberals, it seems that left leaning voters can as well.

    It appears that the Liberals are swallowing up the NDP.

  20. DJ says:

    Christine who? I really wonder if the lawsuit will continue? Trudeau clearly won the political battle against Christine Innes through the election of Adam Vaughan. Innes’s husband Tony Ianno was a notoriously disloyal Martinite MP against Jean Chrétien, so Trudeau should be pleased Vaughan won the day. Christian Freeland is another big winner, as Innes and her campaign were organizing against her too.

  21. terence Quinn says:

    Adam Vaughan will fit nicely into the left wing of JT’s party and bring urban smarts to the team. Joe Cressy maybe a nice young guy but like my nephew in Montreal they have chosen ideology over pragmatic leadership. The Harpercons are going to learn that lesson as well. I hope the results from all four ridings drive Harper to better understand he cannot win next year.

  22. What I would say on this – the people of Trinity Spadina as I went door-to-door voted for “Adam” the person that has represented them for the past 8 years and has worked hard for them. A couple of comments that I heard from Trinity Spadina residents was that the Cressy campaign ran a “dirty campaign” and that Joe Cressy was a privileged son and didn’t know the riding.

  23. Ryan Spinney says:

    Remind me again what makes Justin a great leader? Is it his honesty? Or wait he lied about free nominations, he lied about no negative ads, he flipped flopped on the Long Gun Registery, I could call call continue.

    Or maybe its his international diplomatic skills, like when he complimented Chinese Dictatorship or offended the Ukraine.

    Perhaps its his commitment to the environment and jobs, oh wait no he supports keystone.

    Oh I know he support pot, oh wait not if you believe his voting record where in voted in favor of high mandatory minimums.

    Maybe its how good he is at his job, oh wait he’d actually have to go to it to do it.

    I know its his dedication to his riding, oh wait he doesn’t even live in the same province.

    So what exactly makes Justin a great leader? he’s a list, bad on the economy, disloyal, bad to his riding and his province, doesn’t show up to work, is a international embarrassment, a hypocrite on pot, bad for the economy and the environment, is a mean spirited person and I forgot the worst ones of all, he’s a thief and a cheat, he’s helping Hasper to steal 1.17 million dollars from the NDP.

  24. BrianK says:

    My impression of Cressy is that he’s a good guy who wants to do well for his constituents. And that’s exactly why he should run for Toronto city council this fall. He’d have a greater opportunity to help constituents directly in municipal politics than as an opposition MP in Ottawa. I live in Trinity-Spadina, and Adam Vaughan’s now-former ward. I didn’t vote for Cressy because I don’t support the NDP, but if he ran under his own banner municipally I’d probably knock on a few doors for him.

Leave a Reply