“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

Like a flower – wonderful, beautiful, perfect.

That’s what a line-up to vote is, too: wonderful, beautiful, perfect. It is democracy, in its very essence: your neighbours, queued up with you at the elementary school down the street, shivering in the cold, stamping their feet, waiting quietly to get inside to get a slip of paper and a stub of pencil. And then, stepping behind a curtain or a cardboard barrier, and making an inconspicuous “X.” 

Democracy is imperfect, of course. It has many critics. Mencken called it “the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.” Thomas Carlyle called it “the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” Lord Acton, as is well-known, called democracy “the tyranny of the majority.” And Churchill, sadly, was just as condescending: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

There is a snide, patronizing thread running through all of that: namely, that your average voter is a fool, an ignoramus, and he or she does not deserve a vote. They lack the brains to make important decisions about governing.

But, as Ronald Reagan and others have pointed out many times, as imperfect as it is, democracy is the best that there is. It is assuredly better than all of the alternatives.

Weirdly enough, the subject of democracy was at the top of the news agenda on a single day, last week, in both Canada and the United States. On a single day, Wednesday, Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump forced us all to consider our respective democracies.

The Liberal Prime Minister was speaking to Le Devoir. His “electoral reform” promise – expressed in seven short sentences in the Liberal platform, just a year ago – may not be needed any more, Trudea suggested.

Said he: “Under Stephen Harper, there were so many people unhappy with the government and their approach that people were saying, ‘It will take electoral reform to no longer have a government we don’t like’. But under the current system, they now have a government they’re more satisfied with and the motivation to change the electoral system is less compelling. 


This statement rendered the Opposition apoplectic, of course. To NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, and others, it was the very pinnacle of Grit arrogance: Trudeau was confirming, in effect, that the promise to eliminate the first-past-the-post system was merely done to eliminate Stephen Harper – not to improve our democracy. Now that Harper was back in Calgary writing his memoirs, therefore, electoral refiorm was no longer needed.

The NDP get outraged about every sparrow that falls from the sky, so we shouldn’t get as hysterical about Trudeau’s statement, likely delivered with that familiar familial shrug. But there is a hint of menace, there. Trudeau – maybe, just maybe – seems to believe that democracy should conform to the desires of the Liberal Party of Canada. And, when it doesn’t, change it.

That was not the only shadow cast over democracy last week. On Wednesday, the very same day, the final presidential debate took place. For the first 30 minutes or so, Donald Trump seem to have been medicated – the insults, the interuptions and the persistent case of the sniffles were gone. But, soon enough, the combed-over, sausage-fingered raging Human Cheeto was back, saying things that would earn him a mouthful of knuckles in any self-respecting bar. Saying shit, in effect.

Here is what he said, near the end, when asked the de rigueur question if he would respect the election result.  

“I will look at it at the time,” Trump said, as Hillary Clinton (and many millions of others) looked on in horror. “I will keep you in suspense.”

That statement was unprecedented in American history, Clinton said, and it was. A candidate representing one of the two major political parties, refusing for the first time to accede to the notion that – in a democracy – a peaceful and orderly transition of power is essential. Refusing to accept the will of the people, democratically expressed.

The major American newspapers, and not a few others around the world, promptly lost it. Of all of Donald Trump’s serial lies and insults, this one was the worst. He was literally placing American democracy in peril.

Someone talked to him. Overnight, he decided to moderate his tone.  

 “I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election — if I win,” Trump said to a mob of his stormtroopers Delaware, Ohio, where he is (regrettably) ahead. Even Alec Baldwin and Saturday Night Live couldn’t properly satirize that one, I told my astonished wife. The only votes that count, the oleaginous groper seemed to be saying, are the ones that favour me.

Like I say: Wednesday was a pretty bad day for democracy. Up here, one guy saying the rules of democracy don’t need to be changed, anymore, because a political adversary has been beaten. And, down there, another guy saying democracy’s rules should only be followed when he is acclaimed the winner.

Democracy, someone else once said, is a flower. It needs to be nurtured and protected. It is not immortal.

Last week, all of us were reminded why.


Canadian Press did a roundup story on it, here. I think mine (with extra Blaney!) is way more interesting.

Still working on it:

  • Lisa Raitt: The former cabinet minister and current MP from the Greater Toronto Area stepped down from her role as finance critic Friday.  I know her and like her, which also almost certainly spells electoral doom (see Chong, above).
  • Chris Alexander. The former immigration minister, who lost his seat in the 2015 election, has made it clear in media reports he intends to run.  Barbaric practices? This guy’s candidacy is a barbaric practice.  Also, I have heard a tape recording of him from 2009 or so, bartering about becoming a Liberal.  Unseemly, among other things.
  • Adrienne Snow. A Toronto-based communications consultant, Snow was previously involved in several policy think-tanks.  Campaigned against same-sex marriage, among other things. Why is she running? We don’t know.  More importantly, we don’t care.

Thinking it over:

  • Kevin O’Leary. The popular TV personality and businessman first mused about running for the leadership earlier this year, but also said he is in no rush to make up his mind.  Please run.  Please, God.
  • Dan Lindsay: The former president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba formed a committee in the spring to explore a possible campaign.  Seriously.  He did that.  Here’s a story about him, directly opposite the comics page.


  • Tony Clement: The former cabinet minister dropped out of the leadership race this week, saying he did not want to expose his family to financial risk after his campaign fell short of fundraising goals he set when he launched his bid in July.  In this, he is smarter than the vast majority of the other candidates.  Full disclosure: I have a soft spot for him, because he likes punk rock.

Could be difficult.

Voters care most about (a) the leader (b) some of a party’s policies, and (sometimes) (c) whether a party or a politician has been there too long. That’s about it. So, can a series of bad nominations – this one comes to mind – torpedo an election campaign, and a political party?

Sure. Of course. And now, in a former leader’s riding, the PCs have a very young man who wants to keep fighting old fights.

This may not end well.

Some do. Some have.

We give you the Guild of Vampires at Postmedia. More cuts, more amazing journalists out of work.

Meanwhile, up in Ottawa, no one offers up a single word of objection.

He needed to look and sound presidential, and somehow walk back his lies about the election being “rigged.” He didn’t do any of that.

She needed to keep her cool, draw him out, and remind people why he is wholly unsuited for the most powerful office on the planet.  She did all of that.

I live-tweeted it, as before.  This is the one that got the biggest reaction – it’s been retweeted about 700 times, favourited twice as much, and seen by 70,000 people.  It represents what I feel, still.

So, here’s the Twitter play-by-play. Comments are welcome.

Before things got going, I did a sketch of the Hateful Human Cheeto.

I was nervous. I shouldn’t have been – although he was better in the first 30 minutes than he’s been in the past 13 months.

When she came out, wow. She looked like a million bucks.

I immediately got to work with highly-scientific analysis.

Fox News? Who would’ve thought it?

At first, Trump was doing better. Hillary wasn’t doing as well as she had done, I felt.

But then, he started rolling out the “illegal aliens” theme. He started to sound unhinged. I noticed. My readers noticed I noticed.

Half an hour in, his meds totally wore off. The mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, sniffling, combed-over, sphincter-mouthed sausage-fingered vulgarian was back, big time. And that’s how he was until the end – his worst performance yet.

She really started to lay into him. She used Sugar Ray’s technique against him – float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. It worked. He became more deranged. Sweaty, angry, disjointed.

As someone said, he even lies about his lies. People noticed.

I’m a democrat and a Democrat. I opposed Meech Lake because it was undemocratic. I don’t like prorogation, closure and whipped votes because they feel undemocratic. I didn’t like Trudeau’s electoral reform stuff because it was undemocratic (turns out he now feels the same way). I believe the will of the people – not the party leader, not the cabinet ministers’ – always comes first.

So, when he said what he said, my mouth literally dropped open. Other folks did likewise.

She therefore said the only thing that could be said, at that point:

He knows, and knew, he is losing. That’s why he is falsely claiming there’s electoral fraud. That’s why he’s a whining piece of crap. And he slipped, with this:

Always listen to your Mom.

I’m humblebragging, but folks seemed to like my selfless devotion to tweeted truth.

And who won? My readers, like me, had no doubt:

The election is over, but the ugliness won’t be. Get ready for lots more of it in the dying days.

And may I say that working on her campaign, with Lisa, has been just about the most rewarding experience of political career. Word.