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“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

AT GATE B41, PEARSON AIRPORT- In politics, you know, the main task is getting folks to pay attention. Most of the time, they don’t.

T‎hey don’t like politics, they don’t like politicians. So they don’t vote as much as we’d like.

‎Political parties spend lots of money trying to figure out how to deal with that. Backroomers huddle in backrooms, hour after hour, trying to cook up clever ways to get people to vote for them, or against the other guys. 
TV is still the best way to reach folks. Newspapers are dying; the Internet has too many channels. So TV is it. Sometimes, as much as 90 per cent of a national campaign’s budget is spent on TV spots. 
Sometimes, the ads are funny. Sometimes, they’re serious. Some of them have visuals of stunning vistas and endless ‎skies and focus-grouped soft-ethnic-mixes, all atop a stirring score. Some of the spots are subtle. Some are LOUD.

All of them, however, fall into one of two categories: hope and fear. Hope and fear are the tried-and-true methods, because hope and fear work.

The Trudeau Liberals were all about the hope thing for a while, there. They even said so. “Hope and hard work,” they chirped in their ads, sounding all Obama-esque hopey and changey.

‎Now they’re onto something else, because – we suspect – they’ve lost about ten points, and they’re in third place. Their new slogan thing is “real change,” or something like that.

It’s worse than “hope and hard work,” because it’s truer of the New Democrats than it is of them – I mean, if you want CHANGE that is REAL, the socialists are safe bet, aren’t they? – but it’s still a hope-style formulation. Hope, hope, hope.

Watching a WestJet waiting area TV screen, there was the Prime Minister of the Dominion, giving a short speech on Canada Day. In it, he crisply reminded the revelers about the terror threat and whatnot – just before the skies opened up, and delivered a near-Biblical flood, as if to affirm what he had to say – and there thusly could be no doubt about the sub rosa messaging: fear. This guy knows where our fear button is, and he’s punching it like we’re all in a hot elevator stuck between floors.

He didn’t say any of the following, but – watching him in a WestJet airport lounge, delayed for interminable hours – this is what I heard: “You want someone to go hug Iran’s despotic Ayatollah Ali Khameni, now humiliating that sissy Obama at the nuclear talks in Vienna? Go vote for the bearded Bolshevik or trust fund Zoolander kid, okay? I’m not interested in being door mat to some bearded mass murderer who lives in a cave. I’d kill those guys with my bare hands if I had half a chance, and you all bloody well know it.”

This, I suspect, is what the Conservative war room was trying to say in their latest ad, but with arguably less subtlety.

I don’t have to describe the ad. You’ve heard all about it already: ISIS footage, drownings, decapitations, burnings, Justin Trudeau, blah blah blah.

The commentariat went ape about it. They were in a spit-flecked fury about the ad, naturally. “How dare you trade in such horrific images,” they howled, before heading off to binge-watch episodes of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, about which they would tweet.

Personally, ‎sitting there in the WestJet waiting area, I wasn’t that upset about the Justin-ISIS bromance ad.

Firstly, I smelled a rat. I don’t know about you, but the only place I had actually seen that ad was online‎. All the news stories about the thing said that – and the unusual 45-second length of the spot‎ made me wonder if it could be effectively broadcast, too.

There was an excellent chance, therefore, it was all a classic political bait-and-switch – drive some critical attention to a story that is unhelpful to your opponent, but do it without spending a cent.‎ And the suckers in the punditocracy will fall for it every time.

Second thing about the ad, truth be told: it wasn’t very effective, because it overstated its case. It’s like those toxic abortion leaflets landing in mailboxes all over Canada in recent days – to make their point, they rely on horrific images of the very thing (fetuses) they profess to be concerned about (fetuses). A better design of the ad could have made the same point without using ISIS’ own imagery, I reckoned.

But that criticism aside, the spot reminded me of Willie Horton. That 1988 Lee Atwater gem enraged the chattering classes plenty, too. But those weren’t the folks Willie Horton was aimed at – and, in the end, Willie Horton ‎worked with the American voters the GOP were courting, didn’t it? Yep.

Bottom line, as noted above: most of the job in politics, now, is simply getting people to pay attention. My hunch is that the hue and cry about that CPC/ISIS/JT ad has helped to achieve the mission’s key objective: i.e., to get the electorate to pay attention in the sleepy Summer months and agree, yet again, that Justin Trudeau “just isn’t ready” to deal with the Satanic horrors that seemingly occur daily in this world.

That may make you mad. That may leave you outraged. But it’s unlikely you were ever part of the audience the CPC had in mind when they did the thing up on some staffer’s computer, for about ten bucks.‎

Oh, and why was I stuck in the WestJet waiting area, for hour after hour?

Because the airline had been targeted by a bunch of bomb threats in recent days, that’s why. ‎People getting hurt jumping out of planes, planes getting grounded so the cops can search for bombs.

Hope and fear: they work.

Fear works particularly well when, you know, it corresponds with reality.

Big, big changes coming on the band front in coming days. I’m not going to spill the beans, as it were, but a sort-of hint is found here. And it doesn’t kinda suck! Catchier than a drawer full of fish hooks.


One of the ads mocked Trudeau for having been a camp counselor, rafting instructor, drama teacher and boasting one of the worst attendance records in the House of Commons. “Now he thinks he can run Canada’s economy?” – it sneered over footage of Trudeau undressing and prancing around on a stage wearing a tank top.

Trudeau had run smack into the buzzsaw of the Conservative Party’s election machine — an entity that’s always on “permanent campaign” mode. To the Tories, electioneering is a year-round operation – not just started when the writ is dropped – that’s allowed Stephen Harper to win three elections in a row while mauling and belittling his opponents.

Trudeau, for example, has been a constant target of Conservative ads over the past two years, with the latest portraying fake job interviewers listing all the reasons why “He’s Just Not Ready.” And it seems to be working: the Liberals are currently languishing in the 25 per cent range.

For election consultants, the Conservatives’ success at the polls is no accident. “Harper is going to win (the next election),” predicts Warren Kinsella, former campaign strategist for Jean Chrétien and a well-known Toronto-based election consultant.

“He’s got a very efficient vote, he has a whole bunch of new seats in the British Columbia and Ontario and Alberta, and those are in ridings where he’s highly competitive. And he’s going to have the ability to motivate those voters because the quality of his research is better than the other two parties.”

On one hand, it’s no mystery why Harper has ruled the roost since 2006 despite lacking charisma or popularity: the progressive vote is split between the Liberals, NDP, Green Party and Bloc. Due to Canada’s first-past-the post electoral system, a politician can become prime minister with a mere 34 per cent of the vote – and garner a majority with just 38 per cent (the Conservatives won a majority in 2011 with less than 40 per cent).

Indeed, the Chrétien Liberals won three back-to-back majorities between 1993 and 2000 largely because the right-wing vote was split between Reform, the PC and Canadian Alliance parties. Now the same problem is bedeviling the left.

“Until the progressive side gets its act together, Harper is going to win because (the progressives) are splitting the vote,” observes Kinsella. “It’s a perfect cleavage.”

Read the whole article, which is expertly written. Do you agree or disagree?

Comment away!

UPDATE: Someone else is quoted in the article. I will not name him, but I remain immensely grateful to him for funding a large addition to one of my properties for this. That said, I have received an email from a rather extremely super senior Liberal, who says: “1. Who were the people around Ignatieff that talked about a new paradigm that suggested Ignatieff was invulnerable to attacks? 2. Who – other than Ignatieff – said he lost simply because of the attacks? 3. How does a [REDACTED] like [REDACTED] ever get taken seriously? I have nothing but contempt for Paul Martin’s minions.”

Because – as frightened Greeks line up, right now, for basics like food – it isn’t a success. It is an abject failure. It is, as they say, a failed state.

A sampling of things you may not know about Greece, from a newspaper not noted for its fondness for austerity measures:

  • Tens of thousands of unmarried or divorced daughters of civil servants collect their dead parents’ pensions, weighing on a social security system that experts say will collapse in 15 years unless it is overhauled.
  • [Greek] law protects civil servants from dismissal, [and] it allows them to retire with a pension in their 40s.
  • Greek pension spending is expected to rise by 12 per cent of gross domestic product by 2050, according to European Union data. That compares with an EU average of less than 3 per cent of GDP.
  • Some civil servants are paid extra for using a computer. Some get a bonus for speaking a foreign language and others for arriving at work on time, while many foresters get a bonus for working outdoors.
  • Half a month’s extra salary is paid at Easter and another half during the summer. The 14th salary is paid to civil servants at Christmas when the whole economy is geared to consuming it. Taxis, restaurants and hairdressers are legally allowed to charge extra as a “Christmas present.”
  • The state owns 74 companies, mainly utilities and transport firms, many of which are overstaffed and loss-making, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The main rail company employs about 9,000 people and reported losses of 800 million euros ($1.06 billion) in 2008.
  • Hundreds of state-appointed committees employ staff though it is not clear what they all do. Greece has a committee to manage Lake Kopais, which dried out in the 1930s. One Greek newspaper estimated that committees employ more than 10,000 people and cost over 220 million euros ($292.6 million) a year.

Are you starting to see why the other Eurozone countries aren’t enthusiastic about propping up a state that has been so reckless, for so long? Are you wondering how any sane person could hold up Greece as some sort of a democratic success story?

Not Canada’s New Democrats, apparently.  They think Greece has been run well.  And they applaud the saturnalian current Greek government, which has made a bad situation much worse.

To wit:

Ashton, who is no mere anonymous backbench MP, is not alone. Others in the NDP – including someone who should know better – have been similarly foolish.

Democracy, of course, is always a good thing. But what is happening in Greece is going to lead – inevitably, inexorably – to less democracy, not more. In the next few days, the Greek government will start to impose further measures that will limit how (and if) Greeks can house and feed themselves, and provide for the future. By any standard, callously restricting the ability of millions of panicked citizens to put food on the table is not democracy, Team NDP.

It is the absence of it.

This is long overdue. 

The media went after him because he didn’t kiss their ass. The Martin folks went after him because he had been loyal to Chretien. So they got together to end him. 

My experience was that he was as fearless as he was honest. Elsewhere, those attributes are rewarded. Not in Ottawa. 

All that said, I agree: Dingwall is owed an apology. 


And I mean it in the nicest possible way. 


By this: 

HuffPo doesn’t like what my former boss did. Poor babies. 

The above image, from February 1996, is of one Jean Chretien throttling a protester, natch, who had gotten too close at a Flag Day celebration. 

When that image – the fabled Shawinigan Handshake – started to circulate, the tall foreheads in the press gallery (and, much later, HuffPo) started to write Chretien’s political obituary. Former Conservative leader Joe Clark demanded Chretien apologize, as I recall, and Reform Party MPs denounced him. The crypto-separatist media attacked him, too, and Amnesty International even condemned him. I’m not making this up. 

So Chretien called an aide to ask what pollsters had to say about the effect the Shawinigan Handshake had on public opinion. “We won’t tell you,” the aide told Chretien. “We’re worried that, when you see how positive the effect was, you’ll go out and strangle someone else.”

What do you think, Dear Reader? I think it was awesome.  You?


Jennifer Hollett, the former MuchMusic VJ and now digital strategist, and Linda McQuaig, journalist and author, are the NDP candidates in the two federal ridings located in the heart of downtown Toronto – and right now, they are basking in an orange glow emanating from Rachel Notley’s Alberta.  

Canvassing in their ridings of Toronto Centre and University-Rosedale, both women have noticed a change in the reception at the door since the New Democrats’ upset win in the Prairie province in May.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Jen during the (rather unpleasurable) Chow campaign a year ago. She was smart, classy and professional. As such, some of our Daisy colleagues have been working hard on her campaign.  

I don’t know her Liberal opponent, at all, but I found it revealing that she regards her regular “international” opinion pieces in U.S. newsoaoers as what her constituents want. I think she’s wrong about that. Like Tip O’Neill, I believe that all politics are still local.

That aside, the good people of Toronto could do a lot worse than Jen Hollett. She would make a terrific Member of Parliament.