"...[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 National Post
- Tom Flanagan, The Literary Review of Canada
- The Hill Times
- The Winnipeg Free Press
- John Moore, CFRB
- John Oakley, AM640
- John Wright, Ipsos, CFRB
- Charles Adler, Adler Online
- Tommy Schnurmacher, CJAD
- Ken Rockburn, CPAC
..."[100 per cent of the human rights] targets to date have been conservative, white or Christian."
Conservative spokesman Ezra Levant, as quoted on Norman's Spectator...and as expected to be seen in a Liberal ad sometime in the next few months...
Toronto Star, October 24, 2008:
"[In his book], Paul Martin blames Jean Chrétien for the sponsorship mess that ultimately cut short his time in power and Stephen Harper – "the most right-wing prime minister in Canadian history" – for unravelling his legacy."
Globe and Mail, February 17, 2004:
"One of the key planks in Mr. Martin's strategy is to insist that he was not aware of wrongdoing in the sponsorship scheme before the matter became public in the spring of 2002.
Two-thirds of respondents [in the Ipsos Reid survey], however, said Mr. Martin had to know “something” or “a lot” about the scandal, including who was responsible for the mismanagement of public funds."
The people, as John Turner memorably said, are always right.
He's a fish, she's not.
He's sane, she's not.
He's Bart the Fish, she's the Alaska Disasta!
• On the Liberal caucus meeting taking place this morning – some important observations herein.
• On a Québec snap election – I hope it isn’t too late, but fear it is…why not wait until the economy settles?
• On the Tories “shift the blame” gambit – you’re the government, fellas. And you’re the ones who said you’d never do what you are now doing.
• On Martin Cauchon – an amazing guy, and a good friend. Will he? Dunno. I suspect the field will be way smaller than the media are predicting.
• On CanWest, down to a buck and change - worth reading. And I second the motion about the concern for the families who are going to be affected by this. Astonishing.
• On Obama’s lead – forget about the topline, look at the electoral college. That’s what counts. Bart the Fish will weigh in on this later today!
HOLY SHIT UPDATE: Here.
Hiya! I'm on the set at CTV, waiting to go on Mike Duffy's 'Strategists' thing. Haven't done that in a while.
Later, a speech about the election to a group of lawyers. My bottom line on both occasions: the Liberal Party is down, but not out. Stay tuned!
(Send me good lines if you've got any!)
A lot of Liberal friends are angry with CTV for the stunt they pulled with Stéphane Dion at the end of the campaign, and for their apparent enthusiasm for the likes of Messrs. LeDrew and Heard et al. And things like that.
They should be: CTV broke their journalistic word with the Dion interview, and their reliance on the likes of LeDrew and Heard doesn't serve their audience very well (although I suppose it's entertaining). But to fulminate and froth about CTV, as assorted Grits are now doing, makes you sound like crazy Blogging Tory fringe people, going on and on about mainstream media conspiracies.
Here's what I know:
• the head of CTV, Ivan Fecan, headed a major fundraiser for Jean Chrétien
• one of his senior Vice Presidents, Paul Sparkes, was Chrétien's Director of Operations
• the network's pollster, Peter Donolo, was Chrétien's Director of Communications
• Craig Oliver was one of the closest people to Pierre Trudeau, and used to go on annual canoe trips with him
• Jane Taber used to be regularly mocked by Frank magazine for being a Liberal shill
• Roger Smith's wife was a senior aide to Trudeau
• Jim Munson, a Liberal Senator, became a Chrétien aide after leaving a senior spot at CTV
• Mike Duffy is a creampuff, and has loyal friends in every party
• Seamus O'Regan hangs out with Justin Trudeau and Dalton McGuinty's former Principal Secretary
• Rosemary Thompson is a sweetheart, and used to date Liberals at Carleton (the shame!)
• Bob Fife would take down anyone, if they deserved it, regardless of party affiliation
And so on, and so on. Get the picture? CTV makes mistakes, like any big organization does. But to attack them all the time - like marginal Conservatives do - is dumb.
They do their job, you do yours. Get on with it, and stop the whining. It’s silly.
I let folks know at the end of the election campaign that I planned to get active as a federal Liberal again, if they would have me.
My reasons for this decision were twofold: one, the Conservative government's appeal of the Federal Court decision that found John Gomery grossly biased against Jean Chrétien and Jean Pelletier. Given that Mr. Pelletier is dying, and is unlikely to be here for the conclusion of his ordeal, I was appalled and disgusted by the Conservatives' cowardly move. It was a disgrace.
Two, in the dying days of the campaign, the Conservatives issued a release effectively calling Mr. Chrétien the "father" of a criminal enterprise. That was the final straw, for me.
Conservative readers who have been posting comments about how "saddened" they are about my renewed federal partisanship need to know three other things.
The first is that, even at the worst of the 2004-2005 era, I did not ever disguise the fact that I was a federal Liberal in my heart.
Two, I have always sought to be fair, and to - when it was warranted - even critique my own side, in my own name. You all know that.
I'm amused that "saddened" Tory commenters want me to do what they almost always decline to do themselves - that is, criticize their side of the aisle, using their own name. On the day they make that transition, I will applaud them. But I won't hold my breath.
Three, get used to it. I'm now looking forward to doing to the federal Tories what we did to the Ontario ones, with all that means. If you don't like it, there's lots of other websites out there.
I was talking about this very subject with no less than Peter C. Newman at the John Turner thing last night - but I didn't realize how bad things were. I thought CanWest were in better shape than this.
No wonder the Conservatives quietly announced, as they did during the election campaign, that the "threshhold" for foreign investment is going to be changed in some heretofore undefined way. With Lord Behind Bars behind bars - and no gullible Canadian Conservative millionaires on the horizon - a deal needed to be cooked up, I suppose.
The irony is that no one will care, if and when a CanWest deal happens. As voters in the U.S. are about to make crystal clear, the editorial musings of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal don't matter jackshit anymore. People know who tanked the economy.
It's what conservatives do, after all: you give 'em the keys to the family car, and they aim it straight at the ditch. Happens every time.
Questions, questions. I am filled with questions.
One: why does Canada AM insist on seeking the "insight" of a tax-evading headcase who no one in the Liberal Party of Canada - precisely no one - speaks to?
Two: why are the Tories paying for headlines on Bork Newsbought to diss Michael Ignatieff? Doesn't that suggest something? More particularly, why is a prominent Bob Rae supporter seemingly assisting in that exercise?
I am confused, as always. Anyone wishing to elucidate on this one is welcome, and bowtie jokes are particularly valued.
Unlike the small army of anonymous senior Liberal strategists/sources/insiders, I always endeavour to do things on the record. Call me crazy, but I do.
In the Warren At Arm’s Length bit below – shot by colleague Rob in a startling cinema verité kind of style, while CITY-TV’s Farah Nasser questioned me – I comment on Stéphane Dion’s decency and devotion, assorted marginal people sniping at him, and what are the qualifications for the next Liberal leader.
(Those are, by the way: no debt, and a demonstrated ability to fundraise; economic cred, and a record of balancing the books; an ability to unite and inspire Grits and Canadians alike; and a plan to take the Liberal Party back to the centre. That's it. A fondness for Bart the Fish, and old school punk rock, also wouldn't hurt.)
Saw this last week over at Calgree Grit, laughed so hard I needed hospitalization, forgot to post. So here it is.
Myself, I've done other media on this, and I'll be doing interviews with about a dozen CBC radio stations right after Mr. Dion's presser. Here's what I have and will say:
1. Dion's a good and decent man, and deserves to be treated in a good and decent manner.
2. The Regal Constellation get-together proved one thing above all: if you try and humiliate a person, you will almost always get the exact opposite of what you seek.
3. In a recession or near-recession, the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada needs to be someone who can, one, balance the books and talk credibly about the economy; two, inspire people, raise funds, and show a life-long commitment to Liberal values; and, three, have the look and sound of a winner.
Oh, and to those wishing to take me up on the bet? It's for $1,000, cash in advance. I don't want to putz around.
Latest: he's on Canada AM.
Why does AM - where many people read this web site - provide a platform for this bowtied Joe Lieberman wannabe? After recent events, you'd think CTV would be interested in a slightly different approach.
Levi Stubbs, the lead singer of the Four Tops, died a few days ago. That voice - that perfect voice!
This is very, very sad. Today, go and find some of his music. And, in the meantime, here is Billy's song about him, which just about says it all.