“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

If you’re like me, you form judgments based upon a number of variables. You look at the evidence, and you choose.

So, you look at the evidence unearthed by the United Nations, which has reported that ISIS is “selling abducted Iraqi children at markets as sex slaves, and killing other youth, including by crucifixion or burying them alive,” quote unquote.

And if that’s not enough to justify taking action against ISIS in the Middle East, or making it harder to promote terror in Canada – and it should be, for any moral person – then how about this?

If you oppose extending the mission against a genocidal cult, and criminalizing the promotion of terror aimed at minorities (just as we have rightly criminalized the promotion of hatred, for decades) – well, good luck with that.  You can hang with the gun nuts, and I’ll stick with the Pope.


I can breathe in this world. 


Mark my words.

My band did a Toronto show on Thursday night. We played live, and we were seen by a respectable number of people as far away as Australia. I’m told we were among the first bands to ever use this new video live streaming thing in that way. 

My prediction: it will change politics, too. As campaigns become more and more expensive to cover – and as news organizations have fewer and fewer resources – you will see campaign events showing up on Meerkat and Periscope, live and start to finish, for all to see from the comfort of their handheld devices.

Political parties will attempt to control these live feeds, of course. And the media will complain about that, of course. 

But average citizens – and voters – will be able to see events, unedited and unvarnished, just as if they were there.

Whenever something comes along to facilitate participation in the democratic process, I’m happy. The question remains, however, about whether Periscope and Meerkat will make those who toil within the democratic process look worse than they already do.

A classic. 


Michael Harris in iPolitics:

The odd thing about about this re-run of the Right of the Living Dead in the CPC is that it represents something that Stephen Harper himself used to view with mortification and alarm. His original inspiration for muzzling MPs came from his days with Preston Manning.

Back then, a year’s worth of work before a party convention — not to mention the event itself — could be blown apart by one unhinged Reformer ranting at the media about an Asian Invasion or Young Earth Creationism. Who can forget when Warren Kinsella produced a purple Barney the Dinosaur doll on Canada AM, proclaiming he was the only member of his species who had ever shared the planet with humans?

Now it’s not really funny anymore. Harper has simply made the calculation thatif the way to give a chameleon a nervous breakdown is to put him down on plaid, the way to win an election in our disappearing democracy is to offer Canadians only two flavours — vanilla or chocolate.

That means hitting the hot buttons, over and over.

Now, I know Michael is not exactly neutral on the subject of Mr. Harper, but his column – which I caught in Google alert thing – raises an interesting question: are the the myriad recent backbench bimbo eruptions – by Messrs. Williamson, Miller, Kenney, et al. – actual, bona fide, mistakes? Or are they deliberate, and none-too-subtle attempts to throw a bone to the knuckle-draggers in the Reformatory grassroots?

Personally, I don’t see a grand conspiracy in any of this. Why would Harper have gone to all the trouble of casting out the Reform-Alliance-Conservative troglodytes (e.g., Myron Thompson, Bob Ringma, Dave Chatters, et al.), and dispensing with assorted Blue Book craziness (e.g., opposing reproductive choice, equal marriage and Mounties with turbans), only to abruptly turn hard right on the eve of what is to be a hard-fought election campaign in urban Canada?

Makes no sense to me. Oftentimes in politics, then, the simplest explanation is the best one: Harper has had a cluster of backbench bimbo eruptions, and I am told he is none too happy about it. (And God help, FYI, the next backbencher to say something intolerant.)

What thinkest thou, O Wise Reader? A bunch of rookie flubs, or a clever strategy? Comment away!

From left: Davey Snot, Royal Niblet, Steve Deceive and Winkie Smith. Bjorn von Flapjack III? Who cares. We hate him, now.

I love Stevie’s Townshend-esque flourish. Classic.

Oh, and we made history! We broadcast our show live over Meerkat, and got watched as far away as Australia. Cool.

Spotted by the ever-vigilant Michael Slavitch.

In May 1939, the ocean liner St. Louis departed Hamburg with nearly 1,000 Jews onboard.  They were heading to Cuba, to escape Nazi persecution.  When they arrived in Havana, two weeks later, every Jew aboard was denied entry.
The St. Louis’ captain tried again, in Florida.  There, too, the Jewish passengers were not permitted to disembark. Halifax – a regular stop for the St. Louis – was two days away.  But Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King adamantly refused to give the Jews safe haven.  “None is too many,” his lead immigration official later described the Canadian government’s policy towards Jews attempting to flee the Holocaust.
The St. Louis was obliged to return to Europe.  Some of the Jewish families escaped to the U.K.  Nearly 300, however, were later slaughtered by the Nazis at Aushwitz and Sobibor.
That is the story of the St. Louis.  That is what is meant by “none is too many.”
Last week, and 76 years later, Justin Trudeau gave a speech in Toronto.  It was a good speech, in the main, and it talked about the importance of tolerance.  Along the way, Trudeau mentioned the St. Louis and then said this about Stephen Harper:
“We should all shudder to hear the same rhetoric that led to a ‘none is too many’ immigration policy toward Jews in the ’30s and ’40s, being used to raise fears against Muslims today.”
That’s what he said: “none is too many.” And that’s what he actually did – he likened Stephen Harper’s opposition to the Muslim niqab to the doomed voyage of the St. Louis.
Trudeau’s point was not subtle.  In effect, he was saying that Harper was employing “the same rhetoric” that sent Jews to the gas chambers seventy years ago.  
Trudeau’s statement attracted some media attention, even from the likes of Washington Post.  The country’s leading Jewish advocacy group called it “inappropriate and inaccurate.” And, among other things, Trudeau’s extraordinary criticism strongly suggested that the Liberal leader had rethought his pledge to never “go neg” in the election campaign.
Stating that your opponent uses “the same rhetoric” that led to Jews being exterminated – that, you might say, is about as negative as it gets.
It wasn’t the only statement of its type, last week.  Conservative MP John Williamson made racist remarks at an Ottawa conference about “brown people.” A Conservative Minister, Steven Blaney, seemingly attacked the Muslim holy book, the Koran.  And someone tweeted that Transport Minister Lisa Raitt’s children were ugly, and that she should die.
It was that kind of a week.
Stephen Harper doesn’t like the niqab, which is a veil that covers a Muslim woman’s face (as distinguished from a hijab, which covers her head).  In this, he is like former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, who supported a Quebec Liberal law that prohibited the provision of government services to a woman wearing a niqab.  At the time, Harper and Ignatieff called that law “reasonable” and “sensible” and “balanced.”
It wasn’t.  It was inexcusable.  It also raised the prospect that governments would start legislating on the Sikh’s turban and beard, the Jew’s kippah and the Hasidic Jew’s clothing, the Hindu’s tilak facial markings, the styles favoured by traditional Mennonites and the Amish, or perhaps even the ostentatious display of a nun’s traditional habit.
Generally, I thought then – and still think now – that people should be able to wear veils if they damn well want to, and that governments should stay the Hell out of it.  Specifically, then, I think that the Prime Minister is wrong.
He is not, however, a Nazi or a Nazi sympathizer.  He is not standing on a pier in Halifax, angrily refusing entry to hundreds of Jewish men, women and children, and thereby consigning them to the gas chambers at Auschwitz.  He is not employing “the same rhetoric,” to use Justin Trudeau’s phrase, that even is even remotely equivalent to what was heard back in 1939.
It is not hard to imagine the passengers on the St. Louis, then, slipping back towards Europe and Hitler’s funeral pyres.  It is not hard to imagine them observing all of this week’s events, and shaking their tired heads, and saying this to our politicians:
“Shame on all of you.”


 Like a real dog whistle which produces sound at a high frequency that can be heard by canines but not by humans, dog-whistle politics refers to the use of code words that go unheard or unremarked by most people but which convey a particular — usually nasty, racially tinged — message to a target audience.

I never liked the phrase, personally, because it suggests that strategists believe voters are animals, and therefore easily trained. If that were so, no one would need strategists anymore, would they?

A cur like Larry Miller notwithstanding, my experience is that Ontario Conservatives – from Harris to Tory to Hudak – were always much more willing to engage in such politics than their federal cousins. Not sure why that is so, but all three of those guys ran campaigns where race was a key strategic imperative. 

Among other things, it certainly casts doubt on the notion that we Albertans are mouth-breathing racists, and Central Canadian folks are always fair-minded progressives, don’t it?


 Warren Kinsella, another Ottawa-based political strategist and former Special Assistant to Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien agrees. “The NDP never wants the Green party there, the Liberals would prefer not to have the NDP there, the Tories would probably prefer to have nobody there. All of them have their preferences,” Kinsella chimes in.

I knew we moved yesterday, but not that far! (We didn’t.)

Anyway, it’s in the new iPolitics thing for today, by subscription. 

What’s your take, debating commenters? Which debate lineup works best for which leader? Which format? How many debates? Which moderator? When? Where? Bueller?

Comments are open. Back to unpacking, for me.