“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!”
The one Maine Sessions Hot Nasties video that wasn’t posted – the song that Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham wants played at his funeral. As no less than Damian has noted, the notion that a couple of sixteen-year-olds (me and Pierre) actually attempted to define life and death in a three-minute punk song is what makes this one different. Weird, but different.
Words below. And Hot Nasties full-on Calgary reunion coming soon.
I think that I know why I don’t give up, I’ll never die: forever doesn’t go beyond next week.
There are things that are inside my head – things I don’t know, things left best unsaid. ‘Cause I am my one and only weakness.
I know that my God is not a white wafer – they must’ve forgot. And I’m not worthy, so I won’t receive.
THIS IS THE SECRET OF IMMORTALITY.
I know that people hate me; they don’t want to die. They never see: life isn’t a Norman Rockwell painting.
No one likes that. I don’t care! I won’t die – dying’s nowhere! They started to the second that they were born.
Did you know that the grass is blue? That the sky is green? They lied to you. This is the secret of immortality.
It’s September. It’s day 30 (by my count, anyway). And that means all of the parties are going to get really edgy, starting today. As the departed Rod Love once said to me: “When the water starts to drying up, all the animals start looking at each other funny.”
In a national political campaign, certain things are ubiquitous. You have a leader. You have a campaign manager and campaign staff. You have fundraisers. You have advertising. You have a war room. You have policy. You have a tour team. You have speech writers. You have security and tech types and loads of other stuff. But the one thing you don’t have is this: unlimited time.
As of today, time is becoming much more precious. As of today, staffers can say: “The vote is taking place next month.” As of today, staffers will peer up at that big campaign calendar on the war room wall, the one with 30 days X’d out, and shake their sleep-deprived heads, knowing that things are about to get really bumpy.
The campaign grid is shrinking, baby. In any winning campaign I’ve worked on – under Jean Chretien/John Rae in Ottawa, or Dalton McGuinty/Don Guy in Toronto – we have had a campaign grid on the wall, indicating when we are having a health care announcement, or a jobs roundtable, or a big rally somewhere, or the launch of our policy book, or whatever. In a winning campaign, what you are doing (and when, and where, and with whom) is always on the grid. (And, naturally, the principal job of any of the war rooms I led for Messrs. Chretien, Rae, McGuinty, Guy was to find out what was on the other side’s campaign grid, and then blow it up.)
As I told one commenter yesterday, I am like most Canadians in this regard.“I’m feeling like most Canadians, to tell you the truth: usually vote Liberal, but wonder if their leader is ready; think Conservatives haven’t been as radical as some predicted, but wonder if they’ve been there too long; can’t warm up to Mulcair if I tried, but appreciate the fact that the Dippers have abandoned a lot of their past radicalism. Oh, and I think the Greens are okay, but I don’t know a lot about them.”
So, all the politicos are going to start looking at each other differently. And – mark my words – with things this tight, and the clock running out, it is going to get vicious. Which, naturally, I (and the much-missed Rod Love) love.
It’s the last day of August…and survey says the electorate don’t really want anyone to be government.
Check out that Abacus slide – all three parties are within three points of each other!
What’s that mean? That means the New Democrats have suffered an (inevitable) drop, the Conservatives and Liberals have benefitted (a little bit). And it means that no one has (yet) captured the support of a plurality of voters. Perpetual minority government, here we come!
The economy is the issue, as seen here and here. The CBC’s Don Pittis has a smart analysis, here. It’s logical, Watson: if (a) none of the parties is generating enough enthusiasm to break out of the pack and (b) voters believe the economy is the issue, then (c) that means none of the parties has crafted a winning narrative on the economy yet.
What is a winning narrative? Well, for starters, coming up with one is always easier to say than to do. Ask God, a.k.a. James Carville. In 2010, in similar circumstances – coming out of a recession, some sectors/demographics still hurting badly – Carville said this: “The hardest thing to do in all of political communication is deal with a bad, but somewhat improving, economy.”Often, Carville (and others) note, it isn’t about coming up with “the Holy Grail” of economic plans in a confusing communications environment. If such a quick fix existed, it would have been implemented long ago.
No, what we have here is a failure to communicate. “You don’t have to change anything, just repackage it as a plan,” Carville advised President Obama back in 2010. Voters are smart: they know that – for the big-ticket problems, and particularly the economic ones – the problems are myriad, and the range of solutions are myriad-er. Ipso facto, Keep It Simple Stupid: keep talking, over and over, about two or three easy-to-understand ideas about making the economy better. Harper did that in 2006, 2008 and 2011. I don’t really see him doing it in 2015.
People look at the economy through the prism of three things. To wit: jobs, spending and the well-being of their families. To put together a winning economic story (because facts tell, but stories sell), you need to show folks how you will protect the jobs they’ve got, and how you’ll grow new ones. You need to help them find a bit of extra cash to spend on something they think they need or want. And you need to make them feel – make them know – that you can achieve all of that stuff without jeopardizing their future, or their kids’ immediate future.
Has any of the parties done that? Nope, not from what I can see from my armchair. Thus, their current predicament. None of them has a winning narrative on the economy. And – not surprisingly – none of them is therefore winning.
Took 12 straight hours but I made it home with Sons 1, 2 and 3 last night. Drove through four states and two countries, made three pee stops, was greeted with a pleasant border services guy at the Niagara Falls crossing, and…took two hours to cross Toronto. Traffic was insane. So we went through many TO neighbourhoods.
Anecdotal, non-scientific impression? Dippers are winning the sign war, but Grits aren’t doing too badly, either. Conservatives are nowhere. Greens exist, but barely.
Signs probably don’t mean a whole lot, but politicos spend a lot of time talking about ‘em. When I ran in North Van in ’97, I had more signs up than the Reform Party gremlin I was challenging. That made me and my team feel good. But I still lost in the end, and decisively, too.
So signs are useful for forming impressions, but not much else. And the impression me and my very-political sons got is that the Liberal fortress of Toronto isn’t as Liberal as it once was. The New Democrats clearly have momentum. You can see it.
You can feel it, too. They are organized and they look and sound confident. There’s a danger in looking too confident, however: you start to appear arrogant. Thus, their anti-C51 campaign. If I’d been running against ‘em in Danforth, I would’ve said: “We, like every other democracy, have laws criminalizing hate and genocide. Why does the NDP oppose criminalizing – as every other democracy has done – hate and genocide’s bastard sibling, terror?”
But that’s just me. The Libs are acting like they are on the defensive on security, and they don’t seem terribly confident about the deficit-financing promise, either.
What’s your take? Who is winning the sign war in your ‘hood? Who has momentum in your riding? Oh, and here’s what greeted us at the end of that long, long drive. Was great to see.
First, Trudeau’s deficit pledge requires a fundamental reordering of our thinking on what the parties believe. It was always simple: Conservatuves on the right, New Democrats on the left, and Liberals in the pragmatic middle. Can the ideological underpinnings of a political party change? Of course. But only over a long period of time, with careful reflection and lots of consultation, and certainly not during the middle of an election campaign.
Second, it helps Trudeau’s opponents. The Conservatives have repeatedly attacked Trudeau for saying that budgets “take care of themselves.” The NDP has been frantically attempting to shift towards the economic middle. With one swift and decisive move, Trudeau has provided clear evidence in support of the Tory criticism – and has opened up a ton of centrist ideological breathing room for the Dippers.
Thirdly, Trudeau himself is not the guy to push for budgetary deficits. One, it rekindles among older voters unhelpful memories about his father’s fiscal legacy. Two, it validates another NDP and Con attack: namely, he is a rich trust fund kid who has never had to worry about paying a Hydro bill, or defaulting on a mortgage payment, or riding economy class. Ipso facto, people with lots of money never seem to worry too much about money. The rest of us, however, do.
Could his deficit gambit work? Maybe. Perhaps. But at this point, it looks a bit desperate and is potentially reckless. It feels like he’s “done a Hudak,” as one of my readers put it.
Justin Trudeau has rolled the dice – and only time will tell if he’s rolled snake eyes.
As PE say, don’t believe the hype. In this case, that ridiculous Forum poll, which the Star has published and which you can find here. Repeat after me: IT’S FORUM.
Polling has become somewhat less-than-reliable, as you may have heard. I have written about the phenomenon here. And Forum is noteworthy for getting stuff wrong, often. So – as Dipper pals who came to our wedding on the weekend said – the race is tight, and the real campaign doesn’t start until after Labour Day. Also, read this.
Sexism was therefore a big theme on the campaign trail yesterday. The “men only” Conservative event was just as dumb as the now-notorious “women only” Liberal event that got Justin Trudeau in a world of trouble. Best take on it all came from my feminist partner, here. [INSERT DEMOGRAPHIC]-only events are dumb dumb dumb. IT’S 2015, PEOPLE.
Snap! Not sure how I ended up in this CTV process story, here - or how it’s in any way relevant which political parties follow which folks. I mean, who cares?