“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
Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category
Friday, October 2nd, 2015
- Understand the polls? Me neither. Let me elucidate my fuzzification.
- Ekos: Their latest poll said Conservatives had “swung into the lead,” with a ten-point gap favouring Stephen Harper. Here.
- Forum: Their latest “poll” has Harper at 34 per cent, and the Messrs. Trudeau and Mulcair tied at 27 per cent. Here.
- ARG: Reid released one yesterday that validated Ekos/Forum, apparently, and even found exactly the same thing as Forum. Here.
- But. But, along comes Nanos this chilly morn, with their buckets and power index and other stuff no one understands, and they have the Liberals two points over the Conservatives, and the New Democrats way back. Here. Ditto Leger, who should stick to Quebec, found here.
- What’s it all mean, Virginia? Well, they are media polls, being presented to you free of charge. They are generally worth what you pay for them – which is nothing. In a tight race, freebie horserace/topline polls with a sample size of six close relatives are wildly inaccurate, 21 times out of 20. Give or take. Blame Blue Rodeo – I certainly do.
- So, the only thing they suggest, for sure, is that the New Democrats are in a spot of trouble. And, yes, the Dippers have dipped in Quebec. But if you look at their overall TROC numbers, they’re mostly where they were in 2011. What should interest (and concern) everyone is the rapid growth of the Bloc, seen fleetingly in that aforementioned Leger, here.
- What should the New Democrats do about that? Well, as a public service, I solve the puzzle for them in next week’s Hill Times column. But one thing they might consider is this. And, of course, an effective final debate by Mulcair tonight, as several others have recommended. (Would that work? Let’s put it this way: would you watch another political debate on a Friday night? Exactly.)
- Until tomorrow, and until I am drafted to run for the Rhino Party, I offer this blanket statement. Good night and God bless.
Thursday, October 1st, 2015
Researching next week’s Hill Times column, it occurred to me that I should look at one of my old books, The War Room. I think I found a passage there that the play-it-safe Mulcair NDP should have heeded, but didn’t.
To the meek goes no reward.
“God gave us all necks so we can stick them out. Voters — and consumers, and citizens, and the news media, and just about any sentient being — are astute. They know when you are playing it safe. They know when you are being timid. When they sense you are being deliberately boring, they tune you out, sometimes permanently. Or, even worse, they will conclude that you are hiding something, that you have the much-feared “hidden agenda,” and that you are accordingly dishonest. In politics, at least, it’s a paradox: taking no risks is in itself risky. So, in your campaign for votes or sales or support, it’s okay to occasionally take a few risks. Be a bit louder, be a bit faster, be a bit funny, be a bit more aggressive. Most of all, be more creative. You won’t always win, but one thing is for sure. You’ll never win if you don’t try.”
Thursday, October 1st, 2015
A friend of mine has been strenuously advocating for Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Funds – to help veterans with Post Tramautic Stress Injury, and to get them a specially-trained therapeutic service dog. You can read all about it, and help him, here.
Thursday, October 1st, 2015
- Frank Robinson said that. “Close don’t count in baseball. Only counts in horseshoes and grenades.” But what about politics? Does close count in the political game?
- Well, how close are they? Ekos, which I take seriously, said a few days ago that the Conservatives had “swung into the lead,” with nearly ten-points over the Liberals and the New Democrats. Forum, which I don’t take seriously, said substantially the same thing this morning, on the Star’s front page: the CPC has “a clear lead” in the race, now, with Stephen Harper’s party at 34 per cent support, and the other two guys enthusiastically ripping at each other, seven points back. Other media polls, like Nanos, say the Tories and the Grits are tied. But forget about all that: let me continue with my baseball-based analysis, because God knows politics wouldn’t be politics if we didn’t try to explain it all the time with mostly-irrelevant sports analogies.
- What impact does the Jay’s pennant win have on the proceedings? I ask this question as a Red Sox fan, too: do the surging Blue Jays make everyone feel good, and want to vote a certain way? God knows the country is gripped with B.J. fever, as it were: I saw countless Jays’ caps in recent days, even up in the Yukon.
- One sharp-eyed reader, James Calhoun, offered a theory. I present it to you in full, below.
- Hello all, I’m a lurker here, (and a Tory voter in the suburbs of BC) and I’ve really enjoyed reading the vast majority of the comments on this blog: they’re literate, literary and astute. I wish all political discussions were as interesting as what appears here. Okay…enough smoke blowing….I have a question/premise I wanted your collective opinion on – does the success of the Jays have a potential effect on the election? If they get through the first round there is going to be wall to wall coverage of them across the country. I’m already seeing way more baseball in my twitter/facebook feeds, and I imagine it will seriously bump the election from the front pages (or whatever the online equivalent is) as we all jump on the bandwagon. If the first opponent were New York, and the Jays managed to beat them the nation will be thrilled. And not as engaged with the election as they might otherwise be.Round two of the playoffs would then see the Jays play on Saturday the 17th and the day of the election, being games two and three of the series. I think this scenario has got to drive down the turnout, as extremely casual voters will be rushing home to watch the game, not queue at polling stations.This would seem to make the organization to get out the vote to the early ballots even more critical than usual. Is that fair? I’d also suggest this will skew the voting patterns even more in favour of older voters, as younger ones who aren’t especially engaged skip the vote for the game. I’m trying to think of other cultural/sporting events that captured/distracted the entire nation’s attention for (potentially) the last two weeks of an election. I’m flummoxed. Any precedents? Thoughts? Cheers,James (Oh, and I wish you lot had picked the astronaut. You’d have had my vote.)
- So, what about James’ theory, folks? Now, I don’t like that James used the “blog” appellation, but I will forgive him this once. What do you think? Is it possible that a bunch of grown men playing a little kids’ game could somehow affect the election outcome?
- While you think about that, here’s one from the aforementioned Star archives. I love the juxtaposition of a political campaign and baseball. And how did that one turn out, after September 1993? I remember well.
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015
- Sorry I’m late with KCCCC today! Got in late, slept a bit. Maybe it’s old age, too.
- Speaking of old age, check this out. Quote: “For the first time ever, there are now more people in Canada age 65 and over than there are under age 15, according to Statistics Canada.“
- Wow. In political terms, that is huge. And for the Conservatives, it’s very good news. Their biggest constituency is older Canadians. And older Canadians vote more than any other segment. Younger Canadians increasingly don’t.
- It matches the intel I got from a senior (reputable) pollster last night. Said he: “Underlying numbers on best PM improving. Mood softening on PM. The other guys under more scrutiny. Choice on some key values issues becoming clearer. Choice on taxes and economy becoming clearer.”
- I don’t see a CPC majority yet. But I don’t see how they can’t get a minority, at this stage. And what, dear reader, happens then? Gotta sleep more on that.
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015
WHITEHORSE, YUKON – Larry Bagnell spent the entire afternoon knocking on doors. He got to 14.
“Four weren’t home, but we did okay with the other ten,” says Larry, the much-liked former Liberal MP for Yukon. “That’s pretty good.”
Welcome to Yukon. There’s a population of just over 35,000 people here, and about 22,000 of them can vote. When you consider that Yukon comprises just about half a million square kilometres, you can understand Larry Bagnell’s day a bit better.
Do the math, if you like: there are 0.06 people per square kilometre in Yukon. Which means campaigning here is a lot harder than it is anywhere else. A lot.
Larry’s not complaining, though, and neither is his main opponent, Conservative Ryan Leef. Leef, a diminutive former Mountie, is (for now) the incumbent. Both – like the people they represent – are genial, plain-talking folks, and not too partisan. That’s the Yukon way. Not too aggressive, up here.
They know what getting elected in Yukon is like: it’s a lot of hard work. It’s spending an entire afternoon knocking on only 14 doors. And finding out that just ten of them have someone at home.
Jason Kenney swept into town on Thursday, all neatly barbered, dark suit and tie, shiny shoes. He stood out like a moose playing a fiddle at the luggage carousel at Whitehorse’s modest airport. Among other things, he wasn’t dressed right for the weather. It may be Fall up here, but it sure feels like Winter.
Kenney was in Whitehorse, Yukon’s biggest city and therefore its main electoral prize, to assist Leef in getting re-elected. But it won’t be easy. Last time around, Leef beat Bagnell by a whisker, assisted by the unpopularity of the Liberal gun registry, the unpopularity of Michael Ignatieff, and the popularity of the Green candidate.
The Green guy took more than 3,000 votes, which is mainly what did in Larry Bagnell. On election night, Ryan Leef won Yukon electoral district with an extra one per cent. Just 132 votes.
So, that’s why Jason Kenney is here, to make a mid-afternoon pledge about funding military cadets. Later on, the Minister of Everything was the star of a $125-a-plate fundraising dinner.
Leef needs all the help he can get. The latest poll has Larry Bagnell ahead of him by 11 points. Among other things, Ryan Leef needs some good publicity.
Leef got some publicity a few weeks back, but the jury is out on how good it was. A “hippy-dippy type,” as one resident described her to us, decided that Leef’s campaign signs were blocking her view of the environment. So, at night, she went out to cut holes in them.
Leef made news when he and a supporter caught the young woman, made a citizen’s arrest, and put her in handcuffs. That incident attracted attention from far away, including no less than the New York Times. So, whenever Ryan Leef’s name comes up, this week, so does the handcuffing incident. “She was 120 pounds, soaking wet,” one fellow said of the hippy-dippy sign-cutter. “They didn’t need to handcuff her.”
Polls and handcuffs notwithstanding, Larry Bagnell and Ryan Leef aren’t taking any chances. And they seemingly aren’t depending on Ottawa-based campaigners to do them any favours, either. Up here, Justin Trudeau is regarded by male voters as he is by male voters pretty much everywhere else – that he just isn’t ready. Too big city, too unfamiliar with rural life. That’s Larry Bagnell’s cross to bear – so Justin Trudeau’s name doesn’t get mentioned much, as we gather over beers at the Coal Miner’s Daughter on Main Street in Whitehorse.
But neither is there a lot of Stephen Harper in evidence at Leef’s big campaign office up on the Alaska Highway, across from the airport. It’s as neat as a pin, and Ryan Leef is what is on offer, not Stephen Harper. After ten years, folks in Yukon – like folks elsewhere – wonder if ten years are enough.
It’s been a long, tough campaign, and in Yukon, it feels a lot longer and a lot tougher than it is anywhere else. When you have voters as spread out as much as they are here, that’s just the way it is.
What’s going to happen next, we ask the table of Liberals, Conservatives and non-committeds gathered at the Coal Miner’s Daughter. One draws on a beer, considering.
“It’s been weeks, and they’re all still tied,” he says. “It’s gonna get really nasty in the last few weeks.” Heads around the table nod.
”Not up here, though,” someone says, brightening. “Not the Yukon way.”
It isn’t, it isn’t. So, with that, we adjourn. And Larry Bagnell heads out into the still-light day, looking for more doors to knock on.
Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
Without boring you with the details, I may be returning to the public airwaves soon.
Horrifying, I know. But when and if it becomes official, I will officially have details to share.
Lala, too. She’s smarter and better looking than me.
Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
- We are in Vancouver, heading East soon. So, as before, here are comments on the Munk Debate from all of you. For the most part, I personally agree with most of you: the debate was well-organized, the moderator was outstanding, and Trudeau and Harper won for different reasons. Mulcair lost. Now, youse guys.
- Ann Jarnet: It was a good debate. I barely cringed. Surprised to see Trudeau do as well as he did; a bit of redemption! I still see Harper as lame, but apparently over 30% want someone that lame to lead us. Mulcair showed meanness which is never good in the long term.
- Krago: rudeau and his handlers recognize the truth about modern political debates: the only thing that matters is the clip that makes it onto the news afterward. All his clipworthy moments are scripted and rehearsed in advance, and all his interruptions are intended to specifically ‘step on’ his opponents clips. Mulcair hasn’t learned this yet, and that is how Trudeau keeps ‘winning’ debates.
- Steve: I one of the best parts of the debate was when Justin defended his fathers record. While Trudeau Sr was not perfect he was a good PM. Harper was off his game and it really showed that he did not want to be at this debate. Tommy boy came across as phony with his answers. So if anybody won the debate it would be Trudeau as he came across as a leader and his responses to the questions seemed very sincere.
- Bryan Kelloway: Was there a debate? I was busy watching the Blue Jay’s game.
- Michael Clifton: Performances all good. Lots of good zingers by all. Neither Mulcair or Trudeau held a candle to Harper for appearing to have a thoughtful perspective on every situation, regardless of whether you agree with him. Harper’s failings are not in this arena. And, the reality is, there is always room for disagreement about what should have been done, and no one can predict with perfection the impact of today’s choices. I have doubts that Mulcair would necessarily do any better. I am certain Trudeau woudl not. Trudeau is a hollow shell and has no shame. He made a more disgraceful use of his father’s memory than anyone else. He’d obviously been planning that one, because he jumped at the first opportunity, and it wasn’t even a good one.
- Sean Cummings: I think the bigger issue is who lost. And that would be Mulcair. Remember when everyone thought because of his lawyerly background that he would kick ass in the debates? Good times.
- Brent Crofts: As for the debate, Trudeau and Mulcair beat the tar out of each other and Harper left relatively unscathed. Random observation 1: whoever told Mulcair to take a shot at PET should be fired. Ugly cheap shot that Trudeau reversed nicely. Random observation 2: the moderator asked Trudeau how he’d deal with Putin and the audience immediately laughed. Ouch. Random observation 3: Harper and Trudeau received consistent applause and Mulcair received virtually none. Minute resting. Just my $.02.
- Al in Cranbrook: Best debate, no contest. Hope everyone else involved in setting up these events took some notes. Harper was the only one to answer questions and speak directly to the topic, and with authority.
- Maps Onburt: I don’t know how you were watching it but the translator speaking English at volume 10 when the leaders were speaking English at volume 2 behind her drove me to distraction. I was screaming at the tube for her just to STFU. I agree the format was very good.
- George: JT has about as much conviction as his speech-writers can generate for him on a given day. He may win, but if he does it will only be because of two things: 1) an appetite for change and 2) the left lining up behind Trudeau’s new NDP as part of an anybody-but-Harper movement – but traditionally strategic voting has never worked. Interesting times ahead. I thought JT did alright in the debate, Harper appeared the most knowledgeable and Mulcair was the big loser.
- Jack D.: I was disgusted by Mulcair’s performance tonight. He was pompous, dismissive, rude and incredibly acrimonious. His snarky quips against Trudeau were witty at first, until he decided to go full-on asshole and call him stupid in front a 3000 member audience and everyone watching on TV. It was cringe-worthy and despicable to see that sort of resentment manifest itself in such an ugly manner. Despite all of the TV ads, I haven’t even heard Harper go so far as to directly insult Trudeau’s intelligence to his face in the way Mulcair did. His attempts to make fun of Trudeau got some laughs but ate up what precious time he had to pitch his plan. His dig at Bob Rae was so ironic that I almost fell over in complete shock at his lack of self-awareness.Everything Tom did or said tonight was tragic. He was supposed to come to this debate and make his case as an agent of change but ended up painting himself and NDP as a party travelling backwards in time. He spent more time on the defensive and looking angry as hell.
Monday, September 28th, 2015
Who won? Who lost? Personally, I think Rudyard and the Munk people did. Best debate yet.
Will do a roundup of your views in KCCCC tomorrow. Comment away!
Monday, September 28th, 2015
What a giant this man was. He is missed.