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- The Washington Times

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- The Hill Times

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- National Post

“[Kinsella] is a master when it comes to spinning and political planning...”

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“[Kinsella] deserves credit for writing this book, period... he is absolutely on the money...[Fight The Right] is well worth picking up.”

- Huffington Post

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- Mike Duncan, Classical 96 radio

“Fight the Right is very interesting and - for conservatives - very provocative.”

- Former Ontario Conservative leader John Tory

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“I absolutely recommend this book.”

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“Kinsella puts the Left on the right track with new book!”

- Calgary Herald

WHITEHORSE, YUKON – Larry Bagnell spent the entire afternoon knocking on doors. He got to 14.

“Four weren’t home, but we did okay with the other ten,” says Larry, the much-liked former Liberal MP for Yukon. “That’s pretty good.”

Welcome to Yukon. There’s a population of just over 35,000 people here, and about 22,000 of them can vote. When you consider that Yukon comprises just about half a million square kilometres, you can understand Larry Bagnell’s day a bit better. 

Do the math, if you like: there are 0.06 people per square kilometre in Yukon. Which means campaigning here is a lot harder than it is anywhere else. A lot.  

Larry’s not complaining, though, and neither is his main opponent, Conservative Ryan Leef. Leef, a diminutive former ‎Mountie, is (for now) the incumbent. Both – like the people they represent – are genial, plain-talking folks, and not too partisan. That’s the Yukon way. Not too aggressive, up here. 

They know what getting elected in Yukon is like: it’s a lot of hard work. It’s spending an entire afternoon knocking on only 14 doors. And finding out that just ten of them have someone at home.

Jason Kenney swept into town on Thursday, all neatly barbered, dark suit and tie, shiny shoes. He stood out like a moose playing a fiddle at the luggage carousel at Whitehorse’s modest airport. Among other things, he wasn’t dressed right for the weather. It may be Fall up here, but it sure feels like Winter. 

Kenney was in Whitehorse, Yukon’s biggest city and therefore its main electoral prize, to assist Leef in getting re-elected. ‎But it won’t be easy. Last time around, Leef beat Bagnell by a whisker, assisted by the unpopularity of the Liberal gun registry, the unpopularity of Michael Ignatieff, and the popularity of the Green candidate.

The Green guy took more than 3,000 votes, which is mainly what did in Larry Bagnell. On election night, Ryan Leef won Yukon electoral district with an extra one per cent. Just 132 votes.

So, that’s why Jason Kenney is here, to make a mid-afternoon pledge about funding military cadets. Later on, the Minister of Everything ‎was the star of a $125-a-plate fundraising dinner. 

Leef needs all the help he can get. The latest poll has Larry Bagnell ahead of him by 11 points. Among other things, Ryan ‎Leef needs some good publicity.

Leef got some publicity a few weeks back, but the jury is out on how good it was. A “hippy-dippy type,” as one resident described her to us, decided that Leef’s campaign signs were blocking her view of the environment. So, at night, she went out to cut holes in them. 

Leef made news when he and a supporter caught the young woman, made a citizen’s arrest, and put her in handcuffs. That incident attracted attention from far away, including no less than the New York Times. So, whenever Ryan Leef’s name comes up, this week, so does the handcuffing incident. “She was 120 pounds, soaking wet,” one fellow said of the hippy-dippy sign-cutter‎. “They didn’t need to handcuff her.”

Polls and handcuffs notwithstanding, Larry Bagnell and Ryan Leef aren’t taking any chances. And they seemingly aren’t depending on Ottawa-based campaigners to do them any favours, either. Up here, Justin Trudeau is regarded by male voters as he is by male voters pretty much everywhere else – that he just isn’t ready. Too big city, too unfamiliar with rural life. That’s Larry Bagnell’s cross to bear – so Justin Trudeau’s name doesn’t get mentioned much, as we gather over beers at the Coal Miner’s Daughter on Main Street in Whitehorse.

But neither is there a lot of Stephen Harper in evidence at Leef’s big campaign office up on the Alaska Highway, across from the airport. It’s as neat as a pin, and Ryan Leef is what is on offer, not Stephen Harper. After ten years, folks in Yukon – like folks elsewhere – wonder if ten years are enough.

It’s been a long, tough campaign, and in Yukon, it feels a lot longer ‎and a lot tougher than it is anywhere else. When you have voters as spread out as much as they are here, that’s just the way it is. 

What’s going to happen next, we ask the table of Liberals, Conservatives and non-committeds gathered at the Coal Miner’s Daughter. One draws on a beer, considering.

“It’s been weeks, and they’re all still tied,” he says. “It’s gonna get really nasty in the last few weeks.” Heads around the table nod.

‎”Not up here, though,” someone says, brightening. “Not the Yukon way.”

It isn’t, it isn’t. So, with that, we adjourn. And Larry Bagnell heads out into the still-light day, looking for more doors to knock on.

Without boring you with the details, I may be returning to the public airwaves soon. 

Horrifying, I know. But when and if it becomes official, I will officially have details to share. 

Lala, too. She’s smarter and better looking than me. 


  • We are in Vancouver, heading East soon.  So, as before, here are comments on the Munk Debate from all of you.  For the most part, I personally agree with most of you: the debate was well-organized, the moderator was outstanding, and Trudeau and Harper won for different reasons.  Mulcair lost.  Now, youse guys.
  • Ann Jarnet: It was a good debate. I barely cringed. Surprised to see Trudeau do as well as he did; a bit of redemption! I still see Harper as lame, but apparently over 30% want someone that lame to lead us. Mulcair showed meanness which is never good in the long term. 
  • Krago:  rudeau and his handlers recognize the truth about modern political debates: the only thing that matters is the clip that makes it onto the news afterward. All his clipworthy moments are scripted and rehearsed in advance, and all his interruptions are intended to specifically ‘step on’ his opponents clips. Mulcair hasn’t learned this yet, and that is how Trudeau keeps ‘winning’ debates.
  • Steve: I one of the best parts of the debate was when Justin defended his fathers record. While Trudeau Sr was not perfect he was a good PM. Harper was off his game and it really showed that he did not want to be at this debate. Tommy boy came across as phony with his answers. So if anybody won the debate it would be Trudeau as he came across as a leader and his responses to the questions seemed very sincere.
  • Bryan Kelloway:  Was there a debate? I was busy watching the Blue Jay’s game. 
  • Michael Clifton:  Performances all good. Lots of good zingers by all.  Neither Mulcair or Trudeau held a candle to Harper for appearing to have a thoughtful perspective on every situation, regardless of whether you agree with him. Harper’s failings are not in this arena. And, the reality is, there is always room for disagreement about what should have been done, and no one can predict with perfection the impact of today’s choices. I have doubts that Mulcair would necessarily do any better. I am certain Trudeau woudl not.  Trudeau is a hollow shell and has no shame. He made a more disgraceful use of his father’s memory than anyone else. He’d obviously been planning that one, because he jumped at the first opportunity, and it wasn’t even a good one.
  • Sean Cummings: I think the bigger issue is who lost. And that would be Mulcair. Remember when everyone thought because of his lawyerly background that he would kick ass in the debates? Good times.
  • Brent Crofts:  As for the debate, Trudeau and Mulcair beat the tar out of each other and Harper left relatively unscathed. Random observation 1: whoever told Mulcair to take a shot at PET should be fired. Ugly cheap shot that Trudeau reversed nicely.  Random observation 2: the moderator asked Trudeau how he’d deal with Putin and the audience immediately laughed. Ouch.  Random observation 3: Harper and Trudeau received consistent applause and Mulcair received virtually none. Minute resting.  Just my $.02.
  • Al in Cranbrook:  Best debate, no contest. Hope everyone else involved in setting up these events took some notes. Harper was the only one to answer questions and speak directly to the topic, and with authority.
  • Maps Onburt:  I don’t know how you were watching it but the translator speaking English at volume 10 when the leaders were speaking English at volume 2 behind her drove me to distraction. I was screaming at the tube for her just to STFU. I agree the format was very good.
  • George: JT has about as much conviction as his speech-writers can generate for him on a given day. He may win, but if he does it will only be because of two things: 1) an appetite for change and 2) the left lining up behind Trudeau’s new NDP as part of an anybody-but-Harper movement – but traditionally strategic voting has never worked.  Interesting times ahead. I thought JT did alright in the debate, Harper appeared the most knowledgeable and Mulcair was the big loser.
  • Jack D.: I was disgusted by Mulcair’s performance tonight.  He was pompous, dismissive, rude and incredibly acrimonious. His snarky quips against Trudeau were witty at first, until he decided to go full-on asshole and call him stupid in front a 3000 member audience and everyone watching on TV. It was cringe-worthy and despicable to see that sort of resentment manifest itself in such an ugly manner. Despite all of the TV ads, I haven’t even heard Harper go so far as to directly insult Trudeau’s intelligence to his face in the way Mulcair did. His attempts to make fun of Trudeau got some laughs but ate up what precious time he had to pitch his plan. His dig at Bob Rae was so ironic that I almost fell over in complete shock at his lack of self-awareness.Everything Tom did or said tonight was tragic. He was supposed to come to this debate and make his case as an agent of change but ended up painting himself and NDP as a party travelling backwards in time. He spent more time on the defensive and looking angry as hell. 

Who won? Who lost? Personally, I think Rudyard and the Munk people did. Best debate yet. 

Will do a roundup of your views in KCCCC tomorrow. Comment away! 

What a giant this man was. He is missed.

Because it sure feels like it. 

CPC folks are circulating it. Clip here. 
Some folks are attempting to defend Trudeau’s statement in comments. Personally, I think it is indefensible. 

The October Surprise came – in Sepetember. 



  • We are at the Whitehorse airport, Vancouver-bound. But I keep staring at this Abacus graph about Québec, which more or less reflects what other folks have been reporting in recent days. 


  • Look at that orange line. Look at that blue line. You can find the full Abacus poll here, but you don’t have to be an expert in survey methodology to see that the NDP are in trouble. Liberals steady, Conservatives moving up. And Tom Mulcair losing ground dramatically. The NDP may be returning to their traditional role: a parking lot between elections. 
  • What’s the reason? Some have speculated it is the Niqab thing. Quite a few who watched the French debate suggested as much in comments.
  • Personally, I admired what Mulcair has said about the issue. And I’ve said as much, here. It took guts. 
  • Some of his Québec candidates likely don’t feel the same way. Don’t be surprised if you see some of them start to pop off about the Niqab issue as their fortunes slide. 
  • What do you think? Is it the Niqab, or is it something else? Whatever it is, one thing is clear: what comes in with the Orange tide may now be going out with the Orange tide. 

Man, this sucks.


Yes, I really said that. Yes, I was going to try. Until Lisa and Emma started yelling at me, that is.

Check out our new friends on the Klondike Highway. They  were big. 



  • The length, sure. The outcome, of course. All of that is important. 
  • But Election 42 will be remembered for one thing most of all: the record number of shitty candidates. The ignorant, the bigots, the truthers, the anti-Semites, the drunkards, the scum of the Earth: those are the kinds of losers who were trying to win. 
  • Don’t believe it? Then read CBC’s list, here. There have been more candidates dumped for insanity/idiocy than ever before, by all the parties. And there many more morons on the ballot who the parties still refuse to dump. 
  • We’re on our way to Alaska shortly. So I have to go. But, I have one piece of advice for the people who vet candidates – like the Liberal Party’s so-called “green light” committee, who I was told had already decided Your Humble Narrator’s fate before I even submitted an application – don’t put your role on your CV. Because when history writes this election up, some of you are going to receive the blame for – literally, truly – hurting Canadian democracy. And some of you richly deserve it.