“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


Brand this

When you think about Stephen Harper, do you also think “taxes”?

When you consider Michael Ignatieff, does the word “corruption” spring to mind?

How about Jack Layton — “in touch”? Me, neither.

None of those words apply to any of those political leaders. The Conservative leader is associated with taxes? The Grit boss — who has never held power — is somehow corrupt? The Dippers are “in touch” — with what, exactly? Sheesh.

But, according to Abacus Data, those are just some of the words Canadians associate with Harper, Ignatieff and Layton.

A national poll Abacus did in early December asked nearly 1,400 respondents the following: “When you think about the [political party], what three things first come to mind?”

You’ll be surprised by what they found. I was. If Harper has a “brand,” it sure ain’t taxes. Ditto Ignatieff — he may be branded with lots of words, but “corruption” isn’t among them.

Now, brand analysis — that is, the identity of a product or company, represented by a logo or slogan — is nothing new in politics. Long ago, some cynic likened selling politicians to the way in which we hawk soap, so there have always been those who believe that politicians have a “brand.”

Thus, Abacus claims, Harper is associated with the words responsible, business, arrogant, honest and “taxes.”

Ignatieff, meanwhile, is tagged with “corruption, arrogance and dishonesty,” insists the polling firm — which also notes the Liberal brand is seen as having “weak leadership.”

The NDP leader, however, does comparatively better, and — like Harper — dominates his party’s “brand.” Layton’s regarded as “honest, a good leader.”

Personally, I’m always a bit suspicious of this political branding analysis stuff — and not just because some of Abacus’ findings are so weird. To me, this preoccupation with branding — putting ephemeral “values” before substance — does citizens a disservice. They’re smarter than that.

Take Apple, for example. With its wildly successful iPhones, iPods, iPads and iTunes, it’s one of the most successful companies on the planet. It has an instantly-recognizable logo and company name, to be sure. But I’d argue it is Apple’s products — not some ad agency’s touchy-feely look or feel — that has built its great reputation.

Another example: Classic Coke. Remember that? Back in 1985, Coca-Cola decided to change the taste of the beverage that is sold more than a billion times daily around the world. It also decided to call the resulting beverage “New Coke,” with a different logo.

A massive consumer backlash ensued, but not about the name — cola-drinkers didn’t like what was in the can, not what was on it. The company reverted to the old formula.

Voters, too, are much more preoccupied with what a politician does than what he looks like.

In 1993, the governing Conservative Party thought otherwise — they mocked Jean Chretien’s facial paralysis in TV ads, but were thereafter reduced to two seats. More recently, Toronto’s Rob Ford didn’t look much like a matinee idol — but his record was what ultimately won him a massive mayoralty landslide.

Ask Chretien or Ford: How you look or sound matters to some, sure.

But what you say, and what you do, is what matters most.

– Kinsella is a lawyer, consultant and Liberal

Party spin-doctor. He blogs at warrenkinsella.com



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