“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
Look, I like Michael Chong, too. In fact, I’ve probably liked the Conservative MP longer than anyone else.
Way back in November 2006, when we were being urged by elites to recognize Quebec as a “nation,” Chong objected, and resigned his cabinet seat. In another newspaper, I called him an “anti-nationalist hero.”
A bit later, in December 2008, I ran into Chong at the Sikh wedding of a mutual friend. I opined that he was still “very impressive.”
In recent days, lots of other folks have been lauding him as a hero, too. They like him. In particular, they like his democratic reform bill.
Chong wants elected party leaders to have less power. He wants leaders to lose the power to approve candidates in elections. He wants committee bosses elected by MPs. And he wants leaders to hold their jobs at the pleasure of MPs, not party members. There are some other things in there, but you get the drift.
Essentially, he wants to denude party leaders of their ability to be, you know, leaders.
So, to reiterate: Michael Chong is likeable. But his bill is not.
It is, instead, a prescription for precisely the sort of undemocratic chaos he professes to oppose.
We know whereof we speak. In 2000, after several million registered voters gave him a bigger majority government than he had previously enjoyed, Jean Chretien was the target of a caucus mutiny led by his defeated leadership rival, Paul Martin.
Depending who you are talking to, Martin was fired or resigned from cabinet in June 2002. What is not in dispute, though, was what happened next: Martin’s supporters — who had previously contented themselves with wearing black armbands to protest Chretien’s leadership, hissing “Judas” at him in public, or passing around rumours that he was dying — dramatically accelerated their campaign to dispose of the duly elected Liberal prime minister.
To them, it did not matter that Liberal party members had overwhelmingly voted to make Chretien leader in 1990, and more than 90% of them had ratified his leadership twice thereafter. It did not matter that more than five million voters had re-elected him in 2000. It did not matter that about 60% of Canadians approved of Chretien’s leadership in serial public opinion polls.
No, what mattered to Martin’s mutineers was getting “P.C.” appended to their name. That is, they all wanted to be in cabinet, and get ferried about in limousines.
Led by luminaries like Joe Fontana — the mayor now facing fraud charges in London, Ont. — Martin’s people agitated to drive Chretien out. Peace, order and good government effectively went by the wayside.
With Chong’s bill, this sort of constitutional chaos will be rendered permanent. It will render garden-variety MPs — who most Canadians could not identify in a police lineup — as the bosses. And it will render the bosses eunuchs.
Whether Michael Chong and his editorial board cheerleader squad approve or not, the fact is this: Most Canadians make important political choices based upon who the leader is.
Not policy, and certainly not backbench nobodies. The leader.
Some will argue the position of prime minister is not referred to in the Constitution, and that is true. Some will say party leaders are not elected directly by the people, and that is also true.
But leadership, and leaders, are the things that mostly determine how they vote.
So, if Michael Chong doesn’t have confidence in Stephen Harper, there is nothing stopping him from getting up in caucus next Wednesday — nothing — and asking for a leadership confidence vote. He won’t.
Like the Martinites, Chong wants to do indirectly what he apparently lacks the nerve to do directly.
That makes his bill eminently dislikeable.
And (sadly) it makes Michael Chong a little less likeable, too.
My God, my God, I love reading interviews with the Gallaghers. Here’s Noel:
How about Miley Cyrus? Are you a fan?
I think there’s a trend, unfortunately, in the game, at the minute, of girls desperately trying to be provocative or desperately trying to – in inverted commas – “start the debate” about some old shit or other. Because, really, they’re not very good. Do you know what I mean? We have it in England regularly, and you have it in the States. I feel bad for ‘em. It’s like, “Write a good song. Don’t make a provocative video – write a good fucking song. That’ll serve you better, I think.” She was on TV recently, Miley Ray Cyrus, and it was just like, “What the fuck is all this about?” I don’t know. It’s a shame, because it puts all the other female artists back about fucking five years. Now, Adele and Emili Sande – that music, to me, is like music for fucking grannies, but at least it’s got some kind of credibility.
It’s just embarrassing. Be good. Don’t be outrageous. Anybody can be outrageous! I could go to the Rolling Stone office and fucking shit on top of a boiled egg, right? And people would go, “Wow, fucking hell, that’s outrageous!” But is it any good? No, because, essentially, it’s just a shit on top of a boiled egg. That’s all it is. If I was to go to your office and play you a song that I’d just written that was amazing, that would be better, wouldn’t it?
I think that would be the preferable option there, yeah.
Right. So, you know, I feel bad for the girls. The sisters are not doing it for themselves.
Did you see that [Arcade Fire] have asked people to wear formal wear or costumes at their shows?
[Sighs] Well, what’s the point of that? Do you know what the point of that is? That is to take away from the shit disco that’s coming out of the speakers. Because everybody’s dressed as one of the Three Musketeers on acid. “What was the gig like?” “I don’t know, everyone was dressed as a teddy bear in the Seventies.” “Yeah, but what was the gig like?” “Ah, fuck knows, man, I have no idea. I was dressed as a flying saucer.” “Yeah, but what was the gig like?” “Fuck knows. I don’t know. Seen Cheech and Chong, there, though.” Not for me.
What a genius he is. I must interview him before I die. It’s on my writing bucket list.
…we should never give up on eliminating violence against women:
• Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
• Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
• Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
• Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
• Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
• Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
• Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
• Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
• Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
• Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
• Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
• Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
• Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
• Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student
Many moving tributes to Nelson Mandela this morning, and many of them describing how he was their spark: to oppose racism, to oppose oppression, to oppose totalitarianism.
I was involved in anti-racism stuff before I had ever heard Mandela’s name – in the Calgary punk scene, with movements like Rock Against Racism. I detested nationalism and separatism, and I helped to organize many gigs to express that.
It was later, during my time in law school in Calgary, that a single song persuaded us to learn more about the ANC leader and South Africa’s apartheid. It was the Special AKA’s ‘Free Nelson Mandela,’ and it was all about what the song’s title suggests. Jerry Dammers’ little song was so catchy, and so powerful, that I daily walked around in 1983 and 1984 wearing a FREE NELSON MANDELA t-shirt. (It’s long lost, and I would give plenty to replace it.)
Can music change the world? Not really, no – but sometimes, yes. ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ woke up a lot of white, suburban punk kids in faraway Calgary, Alberta to something important. Music has the power to do remarkable things like that. So, this morning, I offer it to you here.
Dance in your office. Make everyone else do likewise!
Well, it always is until it isn’t.
Not much else Jason can say, really.
…well, okay, their ‘Gallery of Songs Inspired by Rob Ford’ chart, that is. But we’re SFH, and we’ll take whatever we can get.
Click on the image to see what else they’ve got on their chart! And buy our Ugly Pop 45 when it’s out!
(And yes, single girls, that’s Steve Deceive off to the left. Sorry to break your hearts, but he’s taken. Davey Snot, however, wants me to tell you that he isn’t)
Also located in last night’s rummaging through a closet. From a gig we played at Calgary’s Union Hall, opening for DOA. Here it is. Download, fold, spindle or mutilate, as you desire.
Oh, and the swearing is by, er, Ras Pierre. Shame on him.
Above: the teenaged lead singer of the Hot Nasties, circa 1977-78.
Photo located last night under a pile of old records. Note the rasta handle.
SFH’s fate seems inextricably linked, in myriad ways, to Toronto “mayor” Rob Ford. We can’t shake him, as hard as we try. He’s like herpes – once you get him, he goes away for a while, but he never fully disappears.
So, two big SFH and Rob Ford related developments:
If you’re in K-W, c’mon by and say hi. If you’re not, get ready for the release of Mayor On Crack. It’s gonna be huge.
Dear Chief Blair:
Other folks want to canonize you as a saint. I’ve never felt that way, for various reasons.
Another reason: your guys had the goods on Rob Ford six ways to Sunday. Schedule One narcotic use and possession (as he’s admitted); extortion (threatening the power of his office to get back the cell phone with drug connections on it); participation in a criminal organization (the new offence created, ironically enough, by his pal Stephen Harper).
As others have said, correctly, if a poor non-white kid had been implicated in just one of the above-noted crimes, they’d still be in jail.
But Rob Ford? Again: you had him, and you let him go. Why is that?
When Toronto gets a new mayor – and if you’re still around, which I increasingly tend to doubt – get ready for some tough questions, Chief. There’ll be plenty of them.
Warren Kinsella, LL.B
P.S. The questions will be directed at the Crown Attorney’s Office, too. They’ve been as negligent as you, perhaps more so. Kathleen Wynne’s maladroit Attorney-General will need to answer for that, I think.