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Warren Kinsella - SCANDAL

"...[Kinsella is] a modern-day Machiavelli, the mastermind who ran war rooms for Jean Chretien and Dalton McGuinty... He's the ultimate political insider... [The War Room] has plenty of fascinating insights and is a must-read for political junkies."

- The Toronto Sun

"The top Canadian spin doctor...tells all!"

- The National Post

"Warren Kinsellas new book is a must-read for anyone interested in political campaigning in Canada. And not just political campaigning.I wish Id had the chance to read The War Room before I became Stephen Harpers campaign manager; it might have saved me from many mistakes and months of painful learning on the job."

- Tom Flanagan, The Literary Review of Canada

"The War Room is a rich, detailed, and substantive primer on how to run a winning war room - warts, pizza boxes, smelly couches and all - from a master war roomer."

- The Hill Times

"Kinsella has crafted a handy little guide for politicos and non-politicos alike. Just keep it away from the kids."

- The Winnipeg Free Press

"... a great read ... full of fascinating stories..."

- John Moore, CFRB

"...I don't want to say [he's a] genius...but there's valuable insights here..."

- John Oakley, AM640

"I just got one copy, but I plan to get more!"

- John Wright, Ipsos, CFRB

"I do recommend [The War Room] to everyone."

- Charles Adler, Adler Online

"He's Canada's James Carville...a must-read...If you really want to win, you need this book!"

- Tommy Schnurmacher, CJAD

"A fascinating book...full of great stories."

- Ken Rockburn, CPAC


You want scandal?

This is a scandal.

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It's over. And - if this is even remotely true - so is David Miller.

Toronto needs a mayor? After this - after going through a month-long strike for no reason - Toronto is going to get one.

He's done.


City dropped all concessions, union says

If true, Miller has explaining to do, councillor says after settlements are reached with two striking locals

July 27, 2009


CUPE Local 416 president Mark Ferguson said today that the union fought back all of the concessions the city had sought - but one councillor says that if that is true, Mayor David Miller has some explaining to do.

Ferguson wouldn't give specifics of the tentative deal reached with the city early today, but said that the support of his members gave the "bargaining committee the ability to fight back all of the concessions," the city sought.

"As I have said from the beginning, we will end this strike like we began," he told a news conference this morning at the Scarborough hotel where his local's negotiation took place.

Pat Daley, a spokesperson for Local 416, backed up Ferguson's statement that the union had managed to "fight back all of the concessions the city sought from us."

All 118 pages of concessions? she was asked."Yes," she said.

Councillor Doug Holyday said this afternoon that the union must be putting a positive spin on the deal. And if they aren't, Mayor David Miller would have a lot of explaining to do.

Holyday, a member of the city's labour relations committee that gives direction to the bargaining officials, said he spoke to the mayor early today and the impression left was that the deal was done "within the parameters set by the labour relations committee.

"Those parameters clearly included an end to the sick bank provisions that was a big sticking point in the talks.
They couldn't have settled something contrary without coming back to the labour relations committee," said Holyday.

"If we were to take all the concessions off the table, let them keep sick bank and pay higher than we want to, the show would be over. The mayor would walk the plank. The mayor would be done."

True enough.

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It's now confirmed. Very sad. He was one of the great ones.


Ottawa The Globe and Mail Monday, Jul. 27, 2009 10:38AM EDT

Jerry Yanover, parliamentary strategist to a legion of Liberal leaders, has died suddenly. He was 62.

He was found by neighbours in his downtown Ottawa apartment yesterday, not far from his other home, Parliament Hill.

Mr. Yanover, who served every Liberal whip and House leader since Donald Macdonald in 1969, had been strategizing with Paul Zed, Michael Ignatieff's chief of staff, just hours before he was found. His beloved dog, Opie, a one-year-old Norwich terrier, was with him.

"He in many ways was the institution of Parliament," Mr. Zed said today. "Because whether it was the strategy of the opposition or the challenges of government, he knew every move and every rule."

His death will be a big loss to the Liberal leadership in the House of Commons. In addition to losing Mr. Yanover's expertise, his colleague, Richard Wackid, another procedural mastermind, has been sidelined by a serious illness.

Last week, Mr. Yanover had gone into the hospital to have a procedure done on his heart. He spent several days in hospital before being released. He was to return in September for surgery. Liberal House leader and good friend Ralph Goodale had visited him in hospital.

Mr. Yanover was quirky and brilliant. He had two passions: parliamentary procedure and the Cleveland Indians baseball team.

He had been a fan of Parliament since his elementary school days, becoming interested in government and procedure when he heard on the radio that as part of their promises in the 1957 election campaign, the Liberals would drop the tax on Fleers Dubble Bubble gum. His young mind figured that meant cheaper bubble gum because in Kingston, where he grew up, it cost two cents. Across the river in New York State, it cost one cent. But the Diefenbaker Tories won.

"That's when I decided politics needed attention in this country," Mr. Yanover said in an interview in 2007 with The Globe and Mail.

Since then, his career has been full of ups and downs. One friend recalled that as a young staffer he had to consult Pierre Trudeau on election night in 1972 about whether he could retain power.

Mr. Yanover retired from Parliament Hill several years ago but remained a consultant to the Liberal caucus and leadership.

Mr. Yanover's friend and long-time neighbour, Dena Gosewich, alerted police yesterday after Mr. Yanover's Sunday New York Times was still lying outside his apartment door late in the afternoon. She said she could hear Opie whining and scratching at the door. It was unlike Mr. Yanover to leave Opie alone, she said.

She is now looking after the little terrier. Mrs. Gosewich said a number of neighbours gathered last night at Mr. Yanover's favourite bistro. People were upset, she said, because Mr. Yanover and Opie were such a big part of the neighbourhood.

A funeral service is tentatively planned for Wednesday.?

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Today a number of us went to courtroom 111 at Old City Hall in Toronto to show our support for David Chen, the Toronto man wrongly accused by local police. When David's hearing was done, more than half of the spectator gallery stood up and left. I would hope that the Crown, the police - and the politicians who have been largely silent in this case - carefully consider what that means.

My daughter and I were there to cheer on David, as were many other citizens. If you object to what is being done to David, please take a minute to sign our petition, found here.

He's a good man and he deserves our support in this terrible ordeal.

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Seen arriving at the Reformatory "campaign college" this afternoon. Yeah, right.

I wonder if you get an "F" at the college for wrecking the economy?

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From Darren K., circa 1976. That's a John Lennon shirt I'm wearing, I think.

Some things never change. That, or everything has been done before, including whatever it is you are doing right now.

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...and, without belabouring the point made below, here are the news media Michael Ignatieff met with just this morning.

Global TV
Le Droit
Globe and Mail
CTV National
Radio Canada
West Quebec Post
Toronto Star
Canadian Press
Le Revue Transcontinental

Mr. Angry, meanwhile, is up at Harrington Lake, plotting his next Death Star attack on a Pride Parade or a refugee or something.

Who's "invisible" now, boys?

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I swear to God, you can set your watch by this kind of stuff. Its Summertime! Yay! The [INSERT NAME OF LEGISLATIVE BODY] isn't sitting, and people have completely and totally had their fill of politicians and will in fact get really mad at any politician who interferes with barbecue season, but I think Ill still be the first to type up that hoary old chestnut, The Annual Where Is The Opposition Leader Column! Its boring, its predictable, and its even sort-of dishonest, but Ill be the first, dammit!

Sorry, Scott. Adam beat you to it. Paul noticed.

Think Im kidding? Take a look at these beauts, located after 60 seconds of research.

There's plenty more of this crap from other years, in case any real person cares.

Which, um, they don't.


You must not hide, Mr. Harper
881 words
3 August 2002
The Globe and Mail

Where is Stephen Harper? What is he up to? Is in on retreat?

I don't think it's necessary, yet, to remind Canadians that Mr. Harper is Leader of the Official Opposition. Although, if he maintains his stealth approach to the job, it may be necessary to do so very soon.

Has he some absolutely new, never-before-tried plan to land himself into 24 Sussex Dr.? Is he planning to sneak into the job of prime minister? Ever since the House of Commons closed down, Mr. Harper has had less presence on the political scene than the most indolent backbencher. There are CSIS operatives in this country who have had more profile in the past few months than Mr. Harper.

The Invisible Man of Canadian politics: It's a novel approach, and it might have worked for his predecessor, Stockwell Day, but it is almost desperately wrong for Mr. Harper and his Canadian Alliance.


With Harper, it's no wonder Opposition disappears
410 words
31 July 2002
The Toronto Star

Re Summer of discontent for federal leaders, Opinion, July 26.

Chantal Hebert underscores that the lack of support for the opposition parties in poll after poll is not because of the government's well-documented shortcomings, but a failure by the opposition parties to tell voters what makes them viable alternatives to the Liberals.

Having been an active member of the Reform-Alliance movement for 13 years, most recently as a candidate in the last federal election and having worked for various MPs since they came to Parliament in 1993, it is clear that in matters of policy the party has become that which it endeavoured to replace: a top-down political movement that views policies generated by its members as polemic.

Nowhere is the failure to promote the policies of change more evident than where Canadian Alliance Leader Stephen Harper and his disappearing act is concerned. Though this should come as no surprise, given that he won the party leadership not because of any sweeping pronouncement or commitment to Alliance policy made by him before or since the victory but because his predecessor had become so completely discredited.

having successfully employed the "say nothing, but wait until your opponent is so loathed they'll vote for anyone" strategy to win the Alliance leadership, Harper now appears content to follow the same course in appealing to Canadian voters. Of course, the problem is that so, too, are the other opposition parties.

It's no wonder, then, that the pretenders to the throne are rightly perceived as invisible, a fact born out by their dismal numbers in poll after poll, and a failure or refusal to distinguish themselves from each other.

Mike Green, Parliamentary Assistant, Office of Jim Pankiw, MP


It could be like Stanfield all over again
462 words
7 August 2002
The Toronto Star

Is Stephen Harper another Robert Stanfield, doomed by the Liberal party's uncanny skill to trump attractive new leaders with even fresher new blood of their own?

It's impossible not to wonder, in a summer in which the official Opposition leader has been invisible, and a former Liberal finance minister has seemingly taken over as the alternative head of government in the public imagination.

Barry Cooper, a political scientist at the University of Calgary and no fan of the Liberals, puts it even more bluntly: right now, the "real leader of the opposition is Paul Martin."

One might ask: What can Stephen Harper do this summer to wrest public attention from the Liberal battle?

Cooper argues that instead of skipping the Calgary Stampede, he should exploit such "photo ops" to talk policy on the many issues facing the country, and to underscore the contrast with Liberals' focus on personalities and vague generalities.

It's hard to imagine that Harper's doing his party a favour by spending the honeymoon months of his leadership virtually invisible. Just because his title is Leader of the Official Opposition, he can't assume voters will automatically look at him that way.

This is an edited excerpt from an editorial that appeared in the Edmonton Journal.


Harper, Alliance to set game plan for the fall --- Caucus meeting must find way to improve standing
Tonda MacCharles
Toronto Star
887 words
3 September 2002

Canadian Alliance Leader Stephen Harper's "to do" list is shorter now than it was last spring when he was elected leader, thanks to a summer of internal party housekeeping.

Mend party fences? Check. Put the books back in shape? Check. Reorganize the leader's office? Check.

But other big items on the list are going to be a lot tougher to check off.

Set priorities for fall session. Hmmm - should it be farm aid or Kyoto? Corruption or the economy?

Bump up polling numbers. Hmmm - how to crack Ontario, where the Alliance wallows at 8 per cent, or woo those "defeatist" Atlantic Canadians, as Harper called them?

Grab some positive headlines, for a change. Hmmm. There's a stumper.

The Liberals are likely to keep dominating the news as Prime Minister Jean Chretien governs in search of a legacy, and Paul Martin lurks in search of a government.

For Harper, 43, a summer of low-key housekeeping may have reassured party members, but it did little more than earn him the moniker of invisible leader from pundits.


POST-SCRIPT: Stephen Harper, alleged to be Prime Minister, has not had a public event in Canada since July 7. That's, like, almost a month! I therefore vote for declaring him legally deceased, so that his loved ones can start divvying up his comfy sweaters. What say?

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