“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



Wow.

“The federal Conservative Party says it won’t participate in the traditional leaders’ debates run by a consortium of broadcasters including CBC, CTV and Global and will instead accept up to five independently staged debates in the run-up to the fall federal election.

The decision by the Harper Conservatives appears to deal a serious if not fatal blow to the near-monopoly that broadcasters such as CBC have had in determining how federal political leaders square off before national votes.

Conservative campaign spokesman Kory Teneycke said the Tories have already accepted proposals for two new rival debates – one organized by Maclean’s magazine and its owner Rogers, and the other by French-language broadcaster TVA.

The Conservative decision now puts pressure on other federal political parties to follow suit.

The NDP said they have accepted the TVA and Maclean’s debate invites, as well as one put forward by an initiative on women’s equality called Up for Debate.”

Some of us predicted this a while ago – but now it has actually happened.

What does it mean? It means the Tories – and, I suspect, the Dippers – believe that Justin Trudeau is not going to do very well in those debates.  That he is going to make a mistake. That it is going to be, as one Grit recently said to me, “two men and a baby.” Why else make such a dramatic move, were not that the case? Why else do it, if you didn’t already know the Grit team is nervous?

To those of you doing Trudeau’s debate prep? No pressure, but the future of the Liberal Party of Canada depends on you, pretty much.


BrownFlustered (1)

Who am I? 

Chantal Hebert has a column in today’s Star about the new Ontario PC leader. I’m biased, but I think she pulls her punches.

Here are some of the things you need to know about young Patrick, who to me bears a striking resemblance – ideologically and otherwise – to someone else.

So, who does Patrick Brown remind me of? Why, funny you should ask.  He reminds me of Stockwell Day.

Back in 2000, whenever we (or the media) would go after Day on an issue – privatizing health care, or a flat tax, or gay marriage, or abortion, or whatever – he would do what Patrick Brown so regularly does: he would shift his position.  He would deny.  He would dismiss.  He would claim to be misunderstood.  He would shrug. (Hell, he even physically resembles old Stock.)

Patrick Brown isn’t vulnerable merely because he is a social conservative.  He’s vulnerable because he’s trying to be all things to all people, just like Stockwell Day tried to do.

He’s vulnerable because he is being dishonest about who he really is, and what he really believes.

And he’s going to get found out, at precisely the wrong time for him and his party.

 



Said no front-page headline ever, anywhere, BECAUSE IT ISN’T NEWS.

Sometimes, we are a ridiculous country, cf. here and here and here.

And media wonder why Stephen Harper never attends the thing anymore. Wonder no more, etc.


I like the writer, but this story is a pile of anti-Israel horseshit.

In particular:

  • Contrary to what this polemic suggests, ethnic origin was long part of the Criminal Code provision. A big factual error.
  • Supporters of anti-Israel efforts are given lots of space to say whatever the Hell they want. The other side isn’t.
  • The story simply does not back up the shocker of a headline, that the federal government is “threatening” critics of Israel with criminal charges.  The screed is loaded with phrases and words like “could,” “would be,” “if,” “appears,” and so on.  There is no proof, anywhere, that Ottawa has charged a single person or group.
  • And that raises another factual error: to prosecute a hate crime, you first need the approval of the provincial Attorney General – not “Ottawa.”
  • That’s not all.  The CBC piece even alleges that groups and individuals are under illegal surveillance, without offering an iota of proof.

And so on, and so on.

I’m no fan of the leadership of the lead lobbyists for the Canada-Israel cause, to say the least.  They – and their top lobbyist in particular – have alienated many life-long supporters of Israel, like me. I dislike him intensely.

But this CBC tale is unfair and inaccurate, and the CBC should acknowledge as much.

UPDATE: The CBC’s online editor declared I was “wrong” about all of this on Twitter. Then HuffPo let us know that CBC is quietly changing the headline on the story. I should have made a screen cap before CBC disappeared the headline!

UPDATER: And get this – the reporter wasn’t even sourcing Blaney, but some junior departmental spox!

UPDATEST: And look what was still over on NNW! The totally-bogus, totally-inaccurate original headline!

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 3.07.44 PM


First things first: we now have conclusive proof Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi is not infallible.

Nenshi, much-adored by progressives everywhere, predicted Alberta’s PCs would win another majority government. “I suspect the PCs will win,” said Nenshi.

Um, no. They didn’t. It was in all the papers on Wednesday morning.

In fairness, Nenshi wasn’t the only Albertan who misjudged the electorate, or course. ‎Plenty of others did likewise.

The reason why is simple enough. If you are from Alberta (as I am) and you grew up under a PC government (as I did), you could not conceive of the Party of Lougheed ever, ever being anything but the government. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that the Rockies will disappear tomorrow morning. It is like claiming that the Stampede has been canceled. It is akin to a campaigning politician stating Albertans should “look in the mirror” if they want to know why their province is experiencing difficulty.

Oh, wait. Former PC leader Jim Prentice said that, didn’t he?

And that, in part, explains why Prentice was such a magnificent disaster as leader: he’d been on Bay Street too long. After sleep-walking his way through various ministries in Stephen Harper’s government, Prentice joined a bank on Bay Street, and promptly forgot everything Harper ever taught him. Thus, he offered up a budget that was unpopular on a historic scale. Thus, he called an early election when he didn’t have to. Thus, he abandoned key platform planks mid-campaign. Thus, he condescendingly told NDP leader Rachel Notley that “math is hard” in the televised leaders’ debate.

Thus – and this is the worst one of all – he travelled to Vulcan, Alberta, stood in front of the Starship Enterprise there, and got the Vulcan salute wrong. Set phasers to stunned, Mr. Spock.

The reasons why Jim Prentice’s name will heretofore be synonymous with “loser” are myriad and multiple. A lousy budget. A lousy campaign. A lousy economy. A lousy debate. And, inter alia, a younger and more diverse electorate – coupled with a desire for change – didn’t help.

As they poked through the entrails of the astonishing Alberta results at their caucus meetings Wednesday morning, then, the reactions of the various federal parties were revealing.

The New Democrats broke out their guitars, and played a song by Neil Young, who hasn’t lived in Canada for several decades. The Conservatives – according to no less a source than Justice Minister Peter MacKay, who has a demonstrated fondness for the taste of shoe leather – held a caucus meeting that resembled a morgue, and in which someone called Alberta “Alberta-stan,” [sic].

And the Liberals? Well, Justin Trudeau reacted positively, and even mentioned the Alberta New Democrats by name. “There’s no political party that can take voters for granted. What we’ve witnessed is that people wanted a change and they made the change,” he said.

Indeed they did. But when the electorate are in the market for change, what will they do when two political parties are offering it?

Therein lies the problem for Trudeau and his party. For more than two years, Trudeau has been busily defining himself as the only alternative to Stephen Harper – as the only guy who can deliver progressive change. But Alberta’s extraordinary election makes clear that the NDP are a progressive alternative to the Conservatives, too. And they now have the proven ability – and the team, and the message – that enables them to eviscerate the Conservatives right in the Conservative heartland.

Rachel Notley owes much to Jim Prentice for her win, as noted. But, in her private moments, the Premier-to-be must also acknowledge that she greatly benefitted from a schism on the political Right, too. Between them, the PCs and Wildrose captured more than half the popular vote – 52 per cent. If they’d been one party, Notley would still sitting in a remote perch on the Opposition side of the Legislature.

Thus, Wednesday’s Conservative caucus may not have been as morgue-like as the maladroit Peter MacKay suggested. At the federal level, the progressive side of the ideological continuum is split asunder. And, as in Alberta, as long as Harper’s principal opponents heartily detest each other – and they do, they really do – he can reasonably expect to win as he did in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

For the NDP, Alberta was all good news. For the Tories, it was both good and bad. For the Grits, it was all bad.

That said, who knows? If Naheed Nenshi can get this political prediction stuff wrong, so will everyone else.


  


Not based on the evidence in this case, they’re not.

Full disclosure: former Maple Leaf Andre Derveaux is a friend and a client.  This morning, we helped him at a press conference about what has happened to him over the past few weeks.

Andre was playing in the Swedish league in the playoffs.  This what Per Helmersson did to him.

Here’s what happened next:

  • Andre suffered a serious brain injury.
  • Helmersson didn’t get a penalty.  The game went on, but Andre was carried off the ice.
  • Andre’s team, and the league, did nothing for him.
  • In warm-ups at the next game – a game Andre shouldn’t have tried to play in, but his team pushed him to play in - Helmersson and some of his teammates informed Andre that he was going to be carried off the ice in a stretcher. Andre spoke to coaching staff on his team, then hit Helmersson on his skate.
  • Helmersson wasn’t injured.  In fact, he went jogging afterwards.
  • Andre, however, was suspended for a year. He was threatened by the league and Swedish authorities. And the Swedish media have demonized him as a pariah.
  • Back home, his doctors have told him he will likely never play again. And, over in Sweden, one doctor said that Andre has clearly been seriously injured – and that Swedes should be “ashamed” for how they have dealt with this Canadian.

From where I sit, Andre Deveaux - whose career is likely over – is being destroyed for being, you know, Canadian. While the Swedish thug who attacked him gets away with it.

That sound fair to you?


To wit:

“The real issue is me. Twitter is an addictive little thing, and if it’s there, I gotta check it. When you keep doing something after it stops giving you pleasure, that’s kind of rock bottom for an addict…I just had a little moment of clarity where I’m like, You know what? If I want to get stuff done, I need to not constantly hit this thing for a news item or a joke or some praise, and then be suddenly sad when there’s hate and then hate and then hate.”

I don’t think the issue is Twitter, per se. Twitter, to me, is the global water cooler – and also the new global news service. It is far, far more valuable than Facebook or some other social media platform.

The issue is one all of us observed when we all got our first Blackberries, or our first smartphones: the addictive nature of those little bits of data pinging onto our device. There have been myriad studies about it, suggesting that our tendency to constantly check our devices actually stimulates the release of dopamine in our brains:

“…before long, people were referring to their BlackBerries as CrackBerries, and parents were beginning to worry about the number of hours their kids spent on video games. We now believe that the compulsion to continually check email, stock prices, and sporting scores on smartphones is driven in some cases by dopamine releases that occur in anticipation of receiving good news. Indeed, we have grown so addicted to our smartphones that we now experience “phantom smartphone buzzing,” which tricks our brains into thinking our phone is vibrating when it isn’t.”

I have been in bands with guys who check their devices between songs onstage. I have been in campaign meetings where the device-checking got so bad, the campaign manager had to confiscate people’s devices. And, of course, all of us see people checking their devices when they drive, every single day.

The social media platform isn’t the problem – and nor is the problem the type of device we have. The problem, as Whedon suggests, is us: our brains are wired in such a way that we are addicted to precisely the sort of stimulation our devices provide.

Anyway, I doubt some of you have gotten this far in my little exegesis. I’ve wildly exceeded my 140 character limit!

twitter-recovery-copy-resized1


In the new Now Magazine!