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"...[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 Kinsella’s new book is a must-read for anyone interested in political campaigning in Canada. And not just political campaigning.…I wish I’d had the chance to read The War Room before I became Stephen Harper’s 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


My friend Paul at Canada's best and most honest news aggregator, National Newswatch, has reminded me it is unseemly to boast about one's soothsaying powers. Or that some of us predicted this would happen, mere hours ago.

So we won't, um, do those things.

Now, perhaps, Monsieur Dion will reconsider his party's stubborn preoccupation with climate change during Question Period (a) the day after Herr Schreiber drops yet more bombshells and (b) when Canada is experiencing one of its coldest winters since the Ice Age.

Or, perhaps not.

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I miss the campaign. Sigh.

This one was my favourite.

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Some months ago, Liberal Niagara Falls candidate, Facebook friend and SFH fan (go figure) Jim Curran was arrested. For months, he kept positive, he kept cool. This week - after a long ordeal for Jim and his family - he won. The Crown withdrew the charges against him.

My new book is about how to win. But it's Jim Curran who should be writing a book about that subject, now.

Congrats, man.

And another Liberal has been exonerated, here. And the NDP looks like jerks, yet again. (And the Martin thugs, too. But they were never really Liberals, so who cares about them.)
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Anyone who thinks the Muldoon-Schreiber Airbusted™ Scandal isn't muddying the Conservative brand is on crack. If you get your news from Bourque Newsbought - with purchased headlines like "CANADIANS TUNE OUT SCHREIBER" highlighted - sure, you might believe that everything is tickety-boo in Toryland.

But my Spidey Sense© tells me that things are not all that they seem. You can mock me if I am wrong, but I don't think I am.

Airbusted™ is hurting them.

[Airbusted™ is copyright Andrew Coyne Enterprises, Inc.]

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This is unfair. These two miss the point, I think. This is pretty unsurprising, considering the paper's well-documented antipathy to this story.

With the greatest of respect, as lawyers are wont to say, some of you folks North of the Queensway need to give your head a shake.

First off, not one of the MPs on that Ethics Committee claimed to be a trial judge, ever. Not one of them asserted that the Parliamentary Committee process was superior to a judicial inquiry or some other type of probe. It is merely one of the steps that real or perceived scandals - sponsorship, al-Mashat, you name it - goes through in a democracy like ours. And, in this lawyer's view, the MPs all did as well as a Parliamentary Committee can do, in the circumstances.

Two, declarations that "we learned nothing new" are patently false. Personally, as a citizen, I learned plenty. For example, I did not know a few months ago that Brian Mulroney received $100,000 in cash while he was still a Member of Parliament. If true, that is against the law. That's news, from the perspective of this citizen. But what did some scribes expect? Schreiber to produce the contents of the 18-minute gap in the Watergate tape? What really happened at Chappaquiddick? The secret of the Bermuda Triangle? Not me.

Because some people on Parliament Hill tend to only chase after the shiny ball, they miss significant developments in this sordid tale - like this. The widely-respected gentleman overseeing the Prime Minister's review has now decided to hire experienced legal counsel. That means this thing is about to get bigger, not smaller.

Count on it.

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I can tell you that the response on "yes to comments/no to comments" has been unanimous - with one, one-word exception - so far.

No one wants it.

A sampling:

Scott Searle:
I say leave the comments out, most people are stupid. I read your website because I think you are smart and I want a divergent opinion. Most comment sections turn into wars between pyjama wearing idiots.

Greg Betts: I'm one of the anti-comments people -- I had a blog that got out of hand because of comments, The site just blew apart. At the same time, heavily moderated comments sections can be useful and fruitful. Most trolls skip back to their bridge if they know that they need a name and have to make it past a filter to spew vitriol...I read your blog regularly and enjoy it thoroughly, but there are a number of times I would have liked to add to the discussion -- for instance about Chretien's secretive support for the Iraq war through debt forgiveness, Gulf patrols, and his covert membership in the Skull and Bones illuminati. Just kidding.

Mark Radke: I read your blog with some degree of regularity and I notice that you have now posed the question of whether you should accept comments on it. My vote is 'no'. I wish it were otherwise but, unfortunately, the nasty, vitriolic and, may I say, asinine, comments on the Globe and Mail site (on each and every story), are such that I can't bear to read more of them. In one sense, the joke is on me as I keep returning to them - hoping for an intelligent voice. I rarely find one. Incidentally, my leanings are quite a bit to the right of yours and I frequently disagree with you. That doesn't mean that I want to call you names (usually) and, in my view, that is what 'comments' sections usually become - name-calling. We're beyond the school-yard. I hope.

E. Heron: Just tried to send a comment to stick to your old policy. However, it didn't go because of the anti-spam tag. What's that about? Anyway, you have my vote herewith.

Rob Gilmour: Not that my opinion matters, but I vote with a resounding no re: allowing comments on your site. (Not that adding the word "resounding" really adds any weight to a single vote either...) I don't check your site 2 - 3 times a day to read what other people think. The problem with opinions (mine included) is that everybody has one. Please keep up the great work. To me, your site is named warrenkinsella.com, not "warrenkinsella.com and a bunch of thoughts from people I don't care about and probably haven't fought in one trench or done much other than sit in front of their screen at 3 am thinking about their next moral outrage."

The Christian Conservative: Don't bother with a comments section... it will only increase your risk of a coronary, after which we won't have any of your commentary to comment on... which would be kinda self defeating, no? ;-)

Neil Middleton: I too vote against comments. I come to your site to read your opinion. I think you do a good job of acknowledging opinions counter to yours by linking to outside sites. I visit them if I am interested. I do not think that comments will add much depth or quality to the site. There are plenty of forums for political discussion elsewhere.

Michael Slavitch: Comments are what did in [NAME DELETED TO AVOID HURT FEELINGS]. 'nuff said.
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Here's what I posted about comments in the old version of this web site:


[This web site] doesn’t have a comments section: Warren doesn’t have a comments section – like Paul Wells, like Adam Radwanski and plenty of smarter other folks don’t – not because he doesn’t value intelligent feedback, pro or con. He does, he does. Warren doesn’t have comments because he is too busy to start policing the inevitable orgy of hatred and libel. Life is too short, etc. Besides, as an alleged lawyer, Warren’s reading of the law is that he would be sued, along with the defaming commenter, for permitting [CENSORED] to be called a [CENSORED]. If you want to comment, Warren welcomes your emails, at wkinsella@hotmail.com. If he likes what you send, and if it won’t result in both of you getting sued, he’ll ask your permission to post ‘em. But comments sections are out. Warren gets sued often enough for his own words. He doesn’t need to get sued for your words.


That's one side of the argument. Here's the other side, abbreviated:

1. The new version of this web site permits comments moderation.
2. Lots of you, for years, have said you'd welcome the opportunity to make a comment or two, and you don't think it would be abused.
3. If comments get out of hand, I can shut them down.

We can get into a lengthy discourse on what the law is, and my views on why “innocent dissemination” may or may not be applicable, and so on. But I won't, not yet anyway.

Instead, I invite regular readers to vote, here. Should we give comments on entries a try, or not? Let me know what you think.

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Clinton is a regular correspondent, and has rethought his Iraq view. Here's his blog.

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Sue, win, then donate the money to some BC women’s shelters.
• If Mr. Mulroney was still in public office, he could declare these press releases as an election expense!
• Travesty sure didn’t mind it when a certain outside firm was doing it for Paul Martin!
“Kick ass.” I like that, for some reason. But will it work? Again, who knows. Who cares. We’ll work hard to beat whomever they come up with.
It's an improvement on bringing in the army to shovel snow, but not by much.
Good story. Myopic Mathyssen, who only won down in London by 800 or so votes after trying about 100 times unsuccessfully, is likely done like dinner. London folks don’t go for this kind of crap.
Remember Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.
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Knowing the MP in question a little bit, the allegation struck me as bullshit. Not others, apparently.

Turns out it was:


Tory MP falsely accused of viewing soft porn in Parliament amid duel for female votes (Politics-Women)
Source: The Canadian Press
Dec 5, 2007 20:02

By Joan Bryden


OTTAWA _ Conservatives and Liberals duelled Wednesday for the favour of women voters but it was the NDP that fired the most sensational shot.

However, it eventually turned out that Irene Mathyssen, a New Democrat MP from London, Ont., was firing blanks.

Mathyssen stunned all sides by complaining that she'd seen Tory MP James Moore checking out a ``scantily clad'' woman on his laptop computer in Parliament.

Moore, a parliamentary secretary from British Columbia, vehemently denied the claim. And late Wednesday, Mathyssen apologized to Moore.

NDP spokesman Ian Capstick said Mathyssen phoned Moore and he explained to her that the photos she'd seen on his laptop were of his girlfriend.

``Ms. Mathyssen has accepted the explanation and offered her apology to Mr. Moore,'' Capstick said.

``Ms. Mathyssen will be making a formal statement in the House of Commons at her earliest opportunity.''

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Minister David Dingwall, assisted by his Exceutive Assistant - whatsisname - did the same thing in Ottawa, about 12 years ago. It was a hit right from the start.


Ont. politicians pushing for shorter hours, more family friendly legislature (Legislature-Family-Fr)
Source: The Canadian Press
Dec 5, 2007 18:43

By Chinta Puxley


TORONTO _ No one should have to choose between raising their children or pursuing a career, and politicians are no exception, said the youngest politician in the Ontario legislature, who is trying to convince members on all sides of the house to change the way they do business.

Lisa MacLeod, who convinced the legislature cafeteria to buy a high chair to accommodate young mothers like herself, has been lobbying politicians of all stripes to bring the legislature into the 21st century.

The 32-year-old Ottawa-area mom is bringing forward a resolution Thursday to form a committee that would look at ways to make the legislature more family-friendly, from having an on-site daycare to eliminating nighttime sittings.

``We know that we have chosen this life,'' said MacLeod, who was elected in a byelection last year and re-elected in the fall. ``It is a calling. ... But we should never have to make a choice between being effective representatives and being good parents. Unfortunately, this institution has been set up to do that.''

The traditions of the Ontario legislature were set more than 200 years ago _ long before women sat in the chamber, she added.

``It was a time when women didn't have the right to vote, a time when men with small children were probably not sitting in the legislature, and it was a time when the composition of the legislature looked entirely different,'' MacLeod said.

``How do we change this legislature to be more reflective of the people we represent?''

It's a question Liberal house leader Michael Bryant said the government is ready to debate.

``It's hard to argue against modernizing this centuries-old institution of parliament,'' said Bryant, who has two young kids. ``My dad got out of politics because he didn't feel he was able to spend enough time with us.''

Bryant said his father resigned as mayor of Esquimalt, B.C., after flipping up his rear-view mirror because he couldn't bear to see four-year-old Michael run after him as he drove to work.

``I grew up not wanting to make that choice between politics versus the family,'' he said. ``I think we're all open to potentially making some changes, and it's great that all three parties are interested in it because the only way we're going to get changes is if we're all in agreement.''

Although there are some who are sticklers for tradition, Bryant said there will be no sacred cows in this debate. Shortening work days and installing a daycare right in the 114-year-old legislature should be considered, Bryant said.

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Why - in a week when damning revelations are tumbling out about a big scandal involving a former Prime Minister, where a sitting Premier admits to receiving thousands in improper campaign contributions, where census data is making clear that the nation is profoundly changing, where all kinds of other important stuff is happening - why is this a top news story? Why? Why is it an "urgent" news bulletin?

All I can come up with: it's a crazy old world, folks.


URGENT Tory MP Scantily Clad, (URGENT-Tory-MP-Scantily-)
Source: The Canadian Press
Dec 5, 2007 15:37

OTTAWA - Conservative MP James Moore is the subject of a complaint that he's been checking out `scantily clad' women on his laptop computer in Parliament.

A female New Democrat MP rose in the House of Commons today to complain that she saw Moore with a racy image on his computer screen while at his seat in the parliamentary chamber.

Moore, a parliamentary secretary from British Columbia, vehemently denied the claim.

But New Democrat Irene Mathyssen rose on a point of order, complaining she saw a `scantily clad woman' on the screen of Moore's laptop - in clear view of other MPs and the public gallery.

Mathyssen says it is disrespectful of women and the House of Commons, and sets a bad example for all Canadians.

Speaker Peter Milliken struck down the complaint, saying it is `not a matter of House procedure.'

(The Canadian Press)


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Contrary to what some pundits are telling us in the morning papers, I do not feel that Brian Mulroney had a particularly "good day" yesterday. I'm willing to bet he feels that way, too.

Herr Schreiber insists that did not pay Mr. Mulroney bribes in respect of the purchase of Airbus planes. Some journalists now tell us that is the end of the matter (with the exception of the smart ones, who have covered scandals before).

Um, pardon me for asking, but why would Karlheinz admit to a criminal offence, yesterday? I mean, since bribing someone is contrary to the Criminal Code and all that, and since Schreiber has made quite clear he wishes to stay out of jail, why would he cop to a big, fat indictable on national TV and all? Why would some otherwise-smart scribes even think that was ever a possibility?

The notion that the former Prime Minister was going to join Messrs. Moores and Schreiber in some ill-defined lobbying venture after leaving 24 Sussex - when he had already announced he was returning to the demonstrably-profitable partnership at Ogilvy Renault, and everyone knew that - is absurd. It is crazy.

Schreiber yesterday alleged he gave the first $100,000 in cash to Mulroney at Mirabel airport in 1993, while the latter was still a Member of Parliament. Even if Mr. Mulroney planned to work the milkshake machine at McDonald's, post-Ottawa, that envelope stuffed with cash is still a big, big problem (cf. s. 41).

This thing ain't over, North of The Queensway people. It's just getting started, in fact.

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Those of you who do not live in the Toronto area, or do not follow the CFL, may not know who Pinball Clemons is. But you should. In these parts, when you say "pinball," people don't think just about the arcade game.

Joe's piece in today's Sun is as enthusiastic about Pinball as I am, and as a lot of us are.

Could he win? You bet he could. But that's not the main thing, here. Not yet. The main thing is the city's government is a mess, and that the city is drifting. We need someone with vision, someone who is positive - someone who will make Toronto safer and cleaner and healthier and even greater. We desperately need that.

Pinball's that guy.

Now, we just have to convince him, eh?

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When we were in London to see the Pistols play, last month, this tune was everywhere we went. It's a great one, in an Arctic-Monkeys-Franz-Ferdinand-Futureheads-Hot-Hot-Heat manic-and-herky-jerky kind of way.

I therefore give you, gratis, The Wombats' Let's Dance To Joy Division. A classic.

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