“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

Reach for Topp

It’s reach for the Topp!

Monday’s news wasn’t really news — veteran NDP backroom guy Brian Topp has finally revealed what pretty much everyone already knew: He covets the New Democrat leadership, and will formally seek it. Around Ottawa, it’s been an open secret almost from the moment of Jack Layton’s sad passing.

While not news, Topp’s ambition does provide us all with an unprecedented opportunity to have fun with words.

When we meet his family, will the event be hailed as “Pop of the Topps”? Is Brian at the Topp of the leadership pack? Will he now claim to be a Topp-drawer candidate?

Anyway, you get the idea. It’ll be fun for headline-writers, but possibly not Brian Topp.

That said, the longtime NDP adviser popped by the National Press Theatre on Monday, with his surprise supporter — none other than former leader Ed Broadbent. Topp spoke (and spoke, and spoke) in impressive French and English, and he modeled a neatly barbered head.

He dissed the idea of a Liberal-NDP merger (“We don’t need to be Liberals to win,” he said) and he put Prime Minister Stephen Harper on notice (“I will fight Stephen Harper, I will focus on his failures and his shortcomings,” he huffed).

I rather doubt Harper lost a lot of sleep over that Monday night because, let’s face it, guys like Brian Topp haven’t had a stellar record in moving from the relative calm of backrooms to the unscripted chaos of all-candidates meetings. Jim Coutts, Hugh Segal, John Tory, Tom Long and a host of other backroomers you’ve (understandably) never heard of ran for office, and suffered some kind of ignominious defeat. (And when it comes to ignominious defeat, I know whereof I speak: in 1997, I — a former Jean Chretien adviser — got my keester kicked by a Reform Party MP The Canadian Press described as “elfin.”)

So can Brian Topp do what few, if any, Canadian political hacks ever get to do — win the, er, Topp job?

For starters, he needs to stop being a campaign manager, and let others manage his campaign for him. For backroom types, this usually represents the biggest challenge of all.

Even as young children, my species are a breed apart: For us, a shiny new poll is always much more exciting than a joint visit by both Santa and the Easter Bunny.

Secondly, there’s a reason why backroom people reside in the backroom — they are mostly unelectable. Topp, who I know and like a great deal, would be the first to admit that he lacks many of the things that made Jack Layton so successful. Can Topp achieve the kind of appeal, in a few weeks, that it took Layton many years to achieve? Doubtful.

Finally, Topp needs a better story. Monday, he said he’s against the Libs and the Dippers getting together. But, back in 2009, Topp was the NDP strategist who crafted the NDP-Liberal coalition government plan — and he even wrote a fascinating book in support of the idea. How he can now be against the very thing that brought him to everyone’s attention in the first place?

That all said, he’s a smart cat, and eminently likable, too. For NDP leader, he’s my Topp choice!

One Response to “Reach for Topp”

  1. Colin says:

    Gardner’s article reads like it’s not like Harper alctaluy did anything that can’t be undone, the guy is inconsequential, a mere blip in Canadian history’I guess that’s where the Libluvin media goes to take solace when they have exhausted their evil Harper will destroy Canada’ garbage journalism.Imo, inconsequential describes the Chretien/Martin era.3 majorities, 6 back to back surplus’,what did they do?-Kyoto, promises promises, didn’t get it done.-Child poverty was supposed to end in 2000 (the dastardly duo of Chretien/Broadbent promised) didn’t get it done.-Every election campaign since the 1993 Red Book promised National Day Care, so where is it? 13 years with ample resources and Dipper support, didn’t get it done.Now that Canadian taxpayers are looking at 4 more years of deficit, from the opposition benches the Iffy Liberals are re-promising programs they didn’t get done’ when they had the power and money to do so.the Chretien/Martin legacy They Didn’t Get It done’

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