SFH: come hang out with us and win

Look, none of us are as young as we used to be.

We don’t hang out in noisy, seedy bars like we used to. We go to bed earlier than we used to. We worry about getting stabbed in a booze-fuelled argument.

SFH gets that. We’re old too. As Maximum Rock’n’Roll and others have noted, we’re Canada’s best-loved geriatric punk combo.

None of us hang out in seedy bars as much as we used to. All of us get tired a lot sooner than we’d like. None of us are into being stabbed, to be candid.

But come to this gig. It is going to be (a) early enough for you to get to bed at a reasonable hour (b) fun. Lots of fun.

And get this: the first twenty folks can get SFH’s critically-acclaimed Kinda Sucks LP and my Recipe for Hate book for just ten bucks. Ten bucks! And the band may even buy you a drink.

Come. Us, Mr. Pharmacist. You can’t lose.

And you won’t get stabbed.

Kinsellacast: Lisa Hate Tweets and the Spin Twins™!

Boring weekend, eh?

Just kidding.

So: Doug Ford – Ford Nation – has won the leadership of the political party most likely to form government in just 87 days. Amazing, huh?

All over Deepest Annex, soy lattés are being spit up, hybrids are being driven into the sides of tofu bars, and Birkenstocked-New Agers are playing the Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan to drown out the sounds of their sobs.

Me?  I think it’s all kind of amusing.  I grew up in Ralph Klein’s Alberta, after all. And I think everyone needs to take a great big gluten-free Valium.

Herewith, then, is the latest Kinsellacast – containing my ten tweeted reasons why everyone needs to chill; Lisa’s fave hate tweets from her time at CTV, punditizing about the PC leadership schmozzle; and the Spin Twins™, offering up juicy commentary about what went down, and what will go down.

Download! Listen in!

Doug Ford in ten tweets

I hate Twitter threads, but I got started and kept going. Here it is.

Ten reasons why Doug Ford can win (and did)

When I quit the Olivia Chow Toronto mayoral campaign in 2014 – because she’d not told the truth to the media, among other things – guess who was the first person to call me?

Doug Ford.

“Warren, old buddy,” said Doug Ford, brother of former Toronto mayor, the late Rob Ford. “We’ve had our differences but I want you to chin up. Rob and I like you and respect you. Let’s get together when you get home.”

When you’re a political chew toy, you tend to remember calls like that one: you remember who called and who didn’t. So we stayed in touch after that. We did TV political panels together and we talked pretty regularly. I told him he shouldn’t run for mayor again because John Tory was doing a great job and would cream him. He should run instead to be Ontario premier, I told him.

There’s clearly a market these days for populist conservatives who defy the conventional wisdom and say what they think, I told him. And there were lots of reasons why he’d be a formidable Progressive Conservative leadership candidate.

Here are 10:

  • Ford’s working hard: Every plugged-in PC told me the same thing: “Doug’s working the phones. Doug’s reaching out. Doug’s doing all the right things.” He did what a party leadership candidate has to do in any contest: he worked his tail off.
  • Fords disciplined: I think his musings about scrapping a carbon tax were a mistake – we need it (as a province) and his party needs it (because it finances their entire platform). But apart from that, he didn’t blow any feet off and he said the kind of stuff card-carrying Conservatives love.
  • Ford has early support: Planning a rally early in a campaign is a big risk: it takes a lot of time and hard work to get hundreds of people to come out to an event. Well, Ford got thousands out for a Toronto rally at the start of his campaign and in a very short time frame, too. It gave him momentum and the visuals were pretty stunning – not everyone there was an old white guy. At all.
  • Ford’s evolved: A few weeks ago, I watched TVO’s fun Political Blind Date show, because Doug and federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh were on, and because I like both of them. Singh was engaging, warm and likable, as you’d expect. But so was Ford – big time. I was shocked at how he had evolved as a politician. Gone is the shouty city councillor, always being forced to defend his brother’s bad behaviour. In its place was a HOAG – a hell of a guy.
  • Ford’s better at retail: The TVO show also revealed something else. You could tell that the participants in the broadcast – the NDP members who agreed to the matchup and perhaps the TVO producers who came up with the idea – expected Ford to be what he had always been: a bit of circus act, a trained bear riding a tiny bike in the centre ring. Someone to be laughed at. Well, guess what? He was way better in the mano-a-mano segments than Singh was. Way.
  • Ford has a USP: A unique selling proposition, that is. It’s easy to see how some disengaged voters – that is, 99 percent of voters – would see Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, and fellow PC leadership candidates Caroline Mulroney and Christine Elliott as all kind of the same thing. You know: female, centrist, careful, establishment. Ford is none of those. He offers the only clear alternative for the voters who are after one (and voters are always after one).
  • Ford gives quotes: The guy is a quote machine. The microphone loves him. He never uses a $20 word when a $2 word would suffice. He never uses jargon and acronyms and Newspeak. He talks about values. He knows facts tell, but stories sell. Ford is a one-man media machine.
  • Ford dominates the vote-rich Greater Toronto Area: An important Mainstreet Research poll – little-noticed in the Patrick Brown madness – showed that only one PC leadership candidate was very strong in the part of the province that decides who gets to be government: Toronto. In that area, Ford dominates. That matters. Remember: his brother crushed George Smitherman and Doug Ford himself came within 60,000 votes in his mayoral run against Tory in 2014. Ford Nation knows how to win in GTA.
  • Ford ain’t dumb: I worked for a populist-type politician who everyone – from the Martinites to the media – always dismissed. They always put him down. They always said Jean Chretien was dumb when he was way (way) smarter than all of them. Ford, so far, is running a very smart campaign. If he can keep his mouth under control, he’s got a real shot at winning the election.
  • Ford is reaching out: He did with me. And I know he’s reached out to many others who have criticized him in the past: “The door is open,” he’s telling them. “Just walk through it.” In a leadership race – and in an election – it’s all about connection. Ford is connecting. He’s reaching out.

Can Doug Ford win? Damn right he can.

Underestimate him at your peril.

I got tired of waiting for PCPO leadership results

So I tweeted stuff.

Pro tips, PC friends:

  • If voters see that you can’t run your own house, they won’t let you run the province
  • If you need media coverage, and all opposition parties do, messing up your leadership convention’s media coverage is a really bad idea
  • If you think the networks won’t pull the plug on you, you are dreaming in Technicolour