“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!”
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“Kinsella puts the Left on the right track with new book!”
In 1988, an entire election was fought on trade. In 2015, I’d be willing to bet that a majority of Canadians didn’t even know the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks were taking place.
As of this hour, that is about to change, I think. And – barring any niqab/citizenship/barbaric practices shiny balls being rolled across the public agenda again – I think TPP is going to be the big story for the final two weeks. Thus, the party talking points, helpfully rendered with colour-coded bolding:
Conservatives:The Harper government fought hard for this deal, which will open up markets to Canadian goods and services, and create jobs and prosperity for generations. A vote for CPC is a vote for TPP.
New Democrats: This deal was negotiated in secret, in the middle of an election campaign, and will sell out Canadian jobs and sovereignty on a historic scale. A vote for NDP is a vote to kill TPP.
Liberals:TPP was negotiated in secret, without transparency or a mandate, and we therefore don’t know what’s in it. A Liberal government won’t sign on until we have a chance to evaluate it. A vote for LPC is a vote to slow down on TPP.
It is in the interests of both the Cons and the Dippers to make TPP a big deal. As with ISIS, C-51, etc., their parties offer clear and diametrically-opposed positions. They will want to use TPP to force Grits into the mushy middle, so that no one really knows where they stand on a critically-important issue.
Do you know what confirmation bias is? I’m certain you do, because all of my readers are smart. But here it is again, for those who need a refresher: “In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias (or confirmatory bias) is a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions, leading to statistical errors.”
If there has ever been an election where confirmation bias is a pandemic, Election 42 is it. Just take a gander at the comments below every post on this web site, for the past 64 days – in which otherwise-sane people succumb to HDS (Harper Derangement Syndrome) or THD (Trudeau Hater Disease) or TPMSHBC (The Prime Ministers Shouldn’t Have Beards Consensus) and see only what they want to see, and shut out all information/opinion to the country.
Here’s an example. Nano boss Nick Nanos tweeted last night that he had some “interesting” numbers to share at 6 a.m. today. So, I bet some folks actually got up bright and early to see them. Lo and behold! What Nick found “interesting” was identical to his previous poll, 24 hours before. Liberals 35, Conservatives 31.
Nick and CTV/Globe can decide whether it was appropriate to sell that as “interesting.” But what was interesting to me is how, yet again, partisans selected only those factoids that supported their view of the universe. And discarded the rest.
Maybe because it’s Monday morning, or whatever, but I’m fed up to the teeth with Election 42 confirmation bias. So, I implore you to come out and see and hear something that is real – and that is this event, tomorrow night, involving two people I’m privileged to know. I can confirm you will be glad you did. No bias.
Threw a surprise birthday party for the missus last night. Lots of amazing folks in attendance, including our impressive local Liberal candidate. Lots of politics discussed. Here’s what I had to say, as said by others.
My take? Once again, we are all looking at top line/horse race numbers with ridiculously small sample sizes. We should be looking at what has been happening in the “best Prime Minister” trendline. And those numbers – from every single pollster – show the same thing: the electorate may not like Harper, but they again think that he is a better choice for Prime Minister than the other two fellows. For a few weeks now, I have felt this election was a referendum on the leaders. If I’m right, Harper is slowly, incrementally winning that referendum.
Based on the number of comments, and based on the amount of coverage, I don’t think a lot of people paid attention to that final debate last night. My hunch? Joe and Jane Frontporch are sick of this election. They want it to be over. They started paying attention after Labour Day, and now they think they’ve seen more than enough to make a decision. And what have they decided? See below, following my roundup of some of your (very few) comments on Face à face.
Nicole: At a debate where four men and no woman spent a lot of time talking about how a woman should dress, reminding the public of [Trudeau's] clear support of a woman’s right to control her body will attract votes, especially from women. That is, in addition to those who would already support him because he has nice hair.
Dean: Mulcair’s “all the leaders are against women wearing the niqab” did it for me. i’m done with the ndp forever. i was frustrated at trudeau for suggesting it was only immigrated women who wore the niqab, but mulcair’s complete disrespect and inability to see it as a choice did me in…maybe i am unique in that i have female friends who took to the niqab later in life and are very vocal about how much of a choice it was…but – giving him the benefit of the doubt that he does not truly believe what he says, i’ve conlcluded mulcair will say anything to win.
Vancouverois: I somehow blanked out the most annoying moment of all — when Mulcair had the gall to talk about how you shouldn’t target a particular group, when as a Quebec Liberal he’s spent HIS ENTIRE POLITICAL CAREER helping the slow separatists (oh, sorry: Quebec nationalists) target the anglophone community of Quebec. The hypocrisy of it left me speechless with rage.
Luke: I can’t have been bothered to watch this. From the Com’s synopsis, sounds to me like Harper must be a happy man. Trudeau and Mulcair pounding on the stupid niqab debate allows to Conservatives to continue to frame the debate around a topic they judge to be to their benefit. NDP and Liberals need to stop letter the Conservatives set the agenda and do so themselves. If they keep letting this happen, Harper wins. Again. Goddamnit.
Fan590: JT continues to steam roll Harper and Mulcair. He’s ready for the job.
Al in Cranbrook: Why is it so hard for moderators to simply ask a question without editorializing? And why is it that just about every segment ends with Harper being cut off before he can answer some outlandish accusation? Really getting tired of this crap.
Mike: My ears are starting to hurt from all the dog whistling going on.
The result? Check out Ekos this morning. I personally trust Frank Graves more than Nanos or many of the others. Frank is no CPC shill – he is a progressive in his heart; he isn’t out to do the CPC any favours, believe me. And, thusly, look what he has come up with, here and below. Key takeaways:
The Conservatives have been in the Number One spot for 15 consecutive days.
The Conservatives lead in every part of the country, save Quebec and the Atlantic. And they are surprisingly strong in Quebec.
The Conservatives are now in the same range that they were at this point in 2011.And we all know how all that turned out.
This slide tells the story. Read it and weep, progressive friends. Harper’s guys are smart. They threw out some values bait – niqab, barbaric practices, stripping citizenship – and progressives fell for it, hook line and sinker. Like the great Romeo LeBlanc once memorably said to me: When hunting bear, don’t get distracted by rabbit tracks.
Progressives got distracted by rabbit tracks. Again.
Look, I’m sorry. I’ve reached Maximum Niqab Debate™ and so the Missus and Daughter Two and me are going to go cheer for the marooning of Matt Damon on Mars. (It’s his punishment for inflicting Ben Affleck on an undeserving world.)
So, as before, open thread. Add your comments and some of the best will form tomorrow’s KCCCC!
The inclusion of ‘Ceremony’ surprised me. It was played the first time by Joy Division, just days before Ian Curtis killed himself. When New Order returned to it, it was a risk, but it paid off. It is – in my humble estimation – one of the greatest songs ever written. As Harold, Chris, Ryan et al. will tell you, it was a big, big deal to me, back in those days.
Here they are playing it in 1981, with Bernard singing like Ian would, but not quite pulling it off. A more raucous version, when they were older, is here. Ian’s, here.
Here it is. Sends me right back, man oh man. Lyrics below.
This is why events unnerve me, They find it all, a different story, Notice whom for wheels are turning, Turn again and turn towards this time, All she ask’s the strength to hold me, Then again the same old story, Word will travel, oh so quickly, Travel first and lean towards this time.
Oh, I’ll break them down, no mercy shown, Heaven knows, it’s got to be this time, Watching her, these things she said, The times she cried, Too frail to wake this time.
Oh, I’ll break them down, no mercy shown, Heaven knows, it’s got to be this time, Avenues all lined with trees, Picture me and then you start watching, Watching forever, forever, Watching love grow, forever, Letting me know, forever.
Understand the polls? Me neither. Let me elucidate my fuzzification.
Ekos: Their latest poll said Conservatives had “swung into the lead,” with a ten-point gap favouring Stephen Harper. Here.
Forum: Their latest “poll” has Harper at 34 per cent, and the Messrs. Trudeau and Mulcair tied at 27 per cent. Here.
ARG: Reid released one yesterday that validated Ekos/Forum, apparently, and even found exactly the same thing as Forum. Here.
But. But, along comes Nanos this chilly morn, with their buckets and power index and other stuff no one understands, and they have the Liberals two points over the Conservatives, and the New Democrats way back. Here. Ditto Leger, who should stick to Quebec, found here.
What’s it all mean, Virginia? Well, they are media polls, being presented to you free of charge. They are generally worth what you pay for them – which is nothing. In a tight race, freebie horserace/topline polls with a sample size of six close relatives are wildly inaccurate, 21 times out of 20. Give or take. Blame Blue Rodeo – I certainly do.
So, the only thing they suggest, for sure, is that the New Democrats are in a spot of trouble. And, yes, the Dippers have dipped in Quebec. But if you look at their overall TROC numbers, they’re mostly where they were in 2011. What should interest (and concern) everyone is the rapid growth of the Bloc, seen fleetingly in that aforementioned Leger, here.
What should the New Democrats do about that? Well, as a public service, I solve the puzzle for them in next week’s Hill Times column. But one thing they might consider is this. And, of course, an effective final debate by Mulcair tonight, as several others have recommended. (Would that work? Let’s put it this way: would you watch another political debate on a Friday night? Exactly.)
Until tomorrow, and until I am drafted to run for the Rhino Party, I offer this blanket statement. Good night and God bless.
In the event anyone ever lets me run for them, I apologize. For everything ever said, anywhere, by everyone. Especially me. Ever. #cdnpoli
Researching next week’s Hill Times column, it occurred to me that I should look at one of my old books, The War Room. I think I found a passage there that the play-it-safe Mulcair NDP should have heeded, but didn’t.
To the meek goes no reward.
“God gave us all necks so we can stick them out. Voters — and consumers, and citizens, and the news media, and just about any sentient being — are astute. They know when you are playing it safe. They know when you are being timid. When they sense you are being deliberately boring, they tune you out, sometimes permanently. Or, even worse, they will conclude that you are hiding something, that you have the much-feared “hidden agenda,” and that you are accordingly dishonest. In politics, at least, it’s a paradox: taking no risks is in itself risky. So, in your campaign for votes or sales or support, it’s okay to occasionally take a few risks. Be a bit louder, be a bit faster, be a bit funny, be a bit more aggressive. Most of all, be more creative. You won’t always win, but one thing is for sure. You’ll never win if you don’t try.”