“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
Rob Ford went to see a football game on Sunday night. The rest of us got to see what people really, truly feel about him.
They flocked to him. They swarmed him. They surrounded him as they tried to get a photograph of themselves with Toronto’s mayor, as he took in an NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and the Atlanta Falcons at Toronto’s Rogers Centre.
Photographers who had been sent to take pictures of the game turned to take pictures of Ford and the football fans in the stands.
A Toronto man who had purchased the seat on which Ford was sprawled, eating a bucket of chicken wings, wondered on Twitter how he would get what he paid for (don’t we all).
My pal Steve Ladurantaye, who works for the Globe and Mail, was also there. His report was both dry and insightful, and he called the scene in Section 133 “bizarre.” Dozens of football fans appeared determined to try to get their picture taken alongside Toronto’s mayor, he observed.
I was also at the game, with Son Two, in a less-pricey section. I kept one eye on the field, where the Bills would go on to lose to the Falcons in overtime. And I kept one eye on social media, where the circus surrounding Ford was unfolding.
“Why are people trying to get their picture taken with Rob Ford, Dad?” my boy asked me.
“That’s a really good question, buddy,” I said.
Ford’s supporters would say that it is evidence the downtown socialist elites are all wrong, and the common folk — the ones at the NFL game — still love him. After all, they would say, why would anybody scramble to get their picture taken with Rob Ford were it not so?
Ford’s detractors, meanwhile, would be upset and bewildered by it all. Why, they’d ask themselves, would anyone in their right mind want to get their picture taken with Toronto’s crack-smoking, drinking-and-driving, gang-associating, eating-at-home, disgraced and disgraceful mayor? Have they no shame?
Or do the picture-seekers — and this is what the so-called elites fear most — truly support Ford and approve of him?
To answer that question, I refer you to an NFL Super Bowl I attended some years ago in Houston. I went with my university buddy James Villeneuve. Before game day, James and I were at a party and Paris Hilton walked by.
You know, Paris Hilton: Sex tape, reality TV star, drunk driving, cocaine, celebutante.
James hailed her: “Hey, Paris! We’re from Canada! Can me and my friend get a picture with you?”
“Sure,” she drawled. We took the picture. In it, she looks bored and we look amused. Afterwards, James and I would laugh uproariously about that picture.
“What an airhead,” I’d say. “What a ridiculous person. Famous for doing nothing.”
You know where this is going, don’t you, Ford Nation? Sure you do. People flock to get their picture taken with famous people and infamous people. Even (in)famous people who do drugs, drink and drive, and are trailer park trash.
Afterwards, they show the pictures to their friends, like we did with poor old Paris Hilton, and they laugh.
And, Rob? We’re not laughing with you.
We’re laughing at you.
Well, take a look at this morning’s papers, and the stories about the metastasizing Senate scandal. Read this bit:
The “usual protocol.” And you know what? It is. That’s why every government office you have ever set foot in – whether it be the OPP, the RCMP, the PCO, or even Kooky Cavoukian’s office – has (a) shredding machines and (b) computer keyboards with the “delete” button still intact in the upper right corner.
The investigation by the OPP into the routine deletion of emails – in a situation where there is no legal penalty for doing so, because it isn’t a crime, for Chrissakes – is a frigging joke. (So, too, the force’s routine leaking of details about their bogus “investigation” to Liberal-hating media outlets.)
But, if Kooky Kavoukian, the Ontario PCs, the OPP and assorted others want something to do, I encourage them to focus their attention on Ottawa. There, the federal Conservatives have said deleting emails is “the usual protocol.”
So why aren’t they all in jail?
Can public opinion polls suppress voter turnout? Of course they can.
Do they? Yes, a lot, a lot.
If a poll shows the electorate evenly split, turnout typically surges — because people feel energized by the notion they might help to cast a pivotal, deciding vote.
On this, studies abound.
In Israel, where tight races are common, a Hebrew University study concluded that “closeness in the division of preferences induces a significant increase in turnout.”
But, not surprisingly, the Israeli study also found that, if a particular political choice is way ahead, there will be “an important decrease in participation” by folks favouring that choice.
“Why bother,” to employ a less academic lexicon. “My vote won’t make a difference. He/she is going to win anyway.” Makes sense, right?
Closer to home, the experts find the same thing. One fairly recent study done for Elections Canada looked at vote rates in Canadian elections, and found that participation has been plummeting since about 1984.
One the biggest reasons for lack of turnout?
“A widespread feeling that political participation is meaningless,” the study found.
Which brings us, in a roundabout kind of way, to last week’s much-watched byelection in Brandon-Souris in Manitoba.
It was much watched because the Manitoba riding had been held by Conservatives for most of the last century. It was much watched because the Liberal party came fourth in the 2011 federal election, with a pitiful 5% of the vote.
And it was much watched because, the day before the vote, an outfit called Forum Research released a poll stating the Liberals had a nearly 30-point lead in the riding.
Thirty points! The resulting big headline in the Winnipeg Free Press: “Liberal candidate holds 29-point lead in Brandon-Souris byelection: Poll.”
Forum’s methods are “amazingly accurate,” said Forum’s media-friendly president, who became quite shy when this writer (a friend of the Liberal candidate, full disclosure) sent him a number of questions about his firm’s methods.
“Amazingly accurate.” That’s what he said.
Except, well, they weren’t. Not in Brandon-Souris; they were a joke. On election night, my Liberal pal lost by less than 400 votes — but, it should be noted, he lost.
About two percentage points separated the Liberal and Conservative candidates. Not 29.
Who paid for that poll, which landed like a bomb in Brandon-Souris, and mere hours before polls were to open? Forum didn’t say. Did the Conservatives? After all, Conservative backroomers are pretty smart, and they know all about the gist of the aforementioned academic studies.
They know that too many Canadians often regard their participation in elections as “meaningless,” and a poll that tells Liberal voters their guy has already won — well, such a poll might certainly have the effect of causing “an important decrease in participation,” to quote the Israelis.
But again, Forum — in other circumstances, always ready to provide a clip to the media — has become a bit less available, post-Brandon. They didn’t respond to my questions by deadline.
Is it important? Yes, actually, it is. Forum is the same polling firm that said the NDP would win a big majority in B.C., Wildrose would do likewise in Alberta and the Parti Quebecois would seize a majority in Quebec.
Wrong, wrong and wrong.
None of it would matter if people didn’t pay attention to media polls, and if their behaviour wasn’t affected by polls. But they do, and they are.
In the case of Brandon-Souris — and in the case of B.C., Alberta, Quebec and not a few other cases — I don’t actually blame Forum Research for this appalling situation.
I blame the media (including Sun Media, sometimes) who regurgitate bogus numbers without ever employing their critical faculties.
In Brandon-Souris, we will likely never know if a poll persuaded some folks to stay home. But, based on what the experts say, it seems likely.
If you care about democracy, that should worry you.
“…For all the potential missteps, Mr. Dinsdale says he’s not looking back. He plans to run in 2015. “In an election, many, many things go your way. Many, many things screw up. We had our share of good fortune, and stepping in puddles. We can’t think that this or that might have been the difference,” he said. “… I know I campaigned as hard and well as I could.”
This brings us to the good news. Poll-by-poll results compiled by Elections Canada show the Liberals lost narrowly across the entire riding, but dominated the polls in Brandon – the city that’s the hub of the riding. In Brandon, Mr. Dinsdale drew 6,551 votes, ahead of Mr. Magurie’s 3,834. In other words, the Liberals outpaced the Tories by about 71 per cent in the city.
The 2015 federal election will feature a new electoral map, one where 30 seats have been added in mostly urban areas. Boundaries have also changed. In Saskatchewan, for instance, hybrid rural-urban ridings have been done away with. Altogether, the electoral voice of cities is increasing, and in Brandon, the Liberals showed this week that even Prairie cities aren’t necessarily Tory strongholds when the circumstances are right.”
Raj, who I think is one of the best political reporters around, caught the contradiction (along with a colleague): here. That is, Justin Trudeau has said he will not go negative. In paid media, he has kept his promise.
But on social/non-traditional media, he sure hasn’t.
I would argue that Trudeau’s guys are more aggressive and critical on social media than any other political tribe. They are very, very tough.
Some might call that a contradiction, but I call it welcome news. As you all know, I thought Justin had made a huge mistake in pledging never to go negative.
So far, on paid, he has kept his promise. In the meantime, however, I’m glad to see that he and his team are being super-aggressive on social/other media. It’s needed.
Great story by Mike Bell about Art Bergmann in the Calgary Herald, here.
I didn’t know Bergmann. He was a big wheel from Vancouver’s punk scene, all dark clothes and dark habits. Unlike a lot of the Vancouver bands, we in the Hot Nasties and the Sturgeons and the other suburban Calgary punk bands were basically pretty straight edge. We didn’t think heroin was cool.
Bergmann had a fierce talent, and he destroyed it with junk. It was wonderful, notwithstanding that, to read about my old friend James Muretich and some other stuff from so long ago.
A good read. Well-written. Even if it wasn’t a big part of your life, as it was with ours, it’ll take you back to a time that is now just written about in books.
Dear U.S. Friends:
I know at least one of you is likely to read this, because I see evidence of your visits in my web site’s analytics all the time.
As a lawyer, I am of the view that Ford has committed what you quaintly categorize as “Crimes of Moral Turpitude.” Specifically, Ford is an “alien” who has admitted crimes of moral turpitude, per 9 FAM 40.21(a)N51. His admissions relate to crimes in this jurisdiction: 9 FAM 40.21(a)N7.3.
Specifically, I draw to your attention that Rob Ford has admitted:
I have linked to U.S. media sources in each case. These examples provide you with clear and readily-available evidence that Ford has committed crimes of moral turpitude which require you to deny him entry.
Given the fact that your Service has made some really, really stupid (and possibly illegal, under your law) decisions about entry lately – check this one out – we Canadians now call on you to exercise some judgment in the Rob Ford case. It likely means that we are stuck with him in perpetuity, of course, but just think of it as a Thanksgiving gift from us to you.
Oh, and I’ve added my band’s video at the bottom. If quoting your own law doesn’t convince you to bar this creep, maybe some catchy punk rock will.
J. Warren Kinsella, LL.B