“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!”
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?
A nice young fellow from iPolitics got in touch with me this week. Some of my friends in other parties, too: Robin Sears, Will Stewart and Tim Powers. We were all asked what the parties should do post-Duffy and post-Labour Day. Here.
Those guys are smarter than me. Heed what they say. And here’s what they have to say.
Robin Sears: “I think this long campaign was a very foolish mistake by the Tories.”
Will Stewart: With Duffy now adjourned until November, his Conservatives need to “start driving their own message again so they can stop addressing [Duffy] at every campaign stop.”
Tim Powers: “If part of [the NDP and Liberal] narrative is the government is old, it’s crooked, it’s gone against its core raison d’être, you’re going to keep [Duffy] going.”
Me? As you guys know too well, I think the only people who care about scandal stuff work in Ottawa or in the nation’s news rooms. They don’t care about Duffy nearly as much as politicos or journos do. They – living in the real world, as they do – think it’s still only about the economy, stupid. And, so far, no one has come up with the winning economic story, have they? Nope.
The future is here. Lisa gave me an Apple Watch as a present. I have been lusting after one for months. So, I am writing today’s entry entirely on an Apple Watch!
Don’t believe any of the nasty reviews you have read about it. It is totally awesome. I have now fully morphed into a crewmember on the Starship Enterprise. Hopefully not one in the red tunic.
Nanos alert! Today’s big news is Nanos, natch. After clawing and scratching at each other for months, the three main parties are allegedly in a deadlock. What does that mean? It means advertising will intensify after Labor Day, and things are going to get very nasty.
It’s the economy, stupid. The other big news? The economy. The markets went crazy yesterday, and things are looking decidedly dodgy again. Who benefits most from that? From my perch, none of the parties seem to have a handle on the right message.
The debate that needed to happen. The women’s debate isn’t happening. As someone who just married a feminist whose wedding planner was female, whose reception restaurant was owned by a female, whose photographer was female, whose DJ was a female, and who helps me to be a better Dad and son and guy, I think that is a big mistake. Trudeau and May should go ahead anyway. The other two will regret their decision.
There you go! This is probably the first web posting that you have ever read composed entirely on an Apple Watch! Don’t you feel excited? You should. Now, sell your car and go out and buy one.