“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

The only reason sane people get involved in politics – or create a work of art, or write a book, or build a bridge, or climb mountains – is because they want to be immortal. We’re all going to die, sooner or later, and we want to be remembered for something.

In my limited experience, that’s mostly why people get involved in politics. How else to explain giving up stable family life, decent incomes and the ability to say what you actually think? The next time you are at an airport somewhere, and you see some unhinged lunatic screaming at an MP waiting at the luggage carousel – and the MP has to grin and bear it, and take it – remember this: precious few politicians ever get their name appended to the side of an airport.

They are there because they want to do something memorable, something momentous. And then they die.

Allen J. MacEachen died last week. He was 96.

There were the requisite number of news stories about his sad passing, most of which were likely written far in advance (he was 96, after all).

The stories, as such stories do, recalled his achievements. There were many. MacEachen was a Cape Bretoner – and, like all Cape Bretoners I have met, had an ability to get very close to rich and powerful people, and get them to do what he wanted them to do.

The son of a coal miner (and who from Cape Breton isn’t?), MacEachen alighted in the House of Commons in 1953. He lost his seat once, in the 1958 Dief sweep, but then was re-elected eight more times. Not bad.

He was close to Pearson (the one whose name is on an airport) and Trudeau (the non-selfie one). As such, he was entrusted with shepherding into law things like the Canada Health Act and reforming Medicare. He reformed labour law, to make things better for workers, and was widely considered to be the social conscience of the Liberal Party of Canada.

He wasn’t perfect, naturally. As an Albertan, I can testify to the fact that MacEachen’s 1980 budget – the one that ushered in the National Energy Program – was a suicide note, not a budget. It destroyed the Liberal Party of Canada in the West for a generation, and its very name still stirs up waves of heat and hatred.

I didn’t know the man. But when my boss Jean Chretien won the 1993 election, and PMO told me I would be a Chief of Staff in a ministry, someone smart (okay, it was another Cape Bretoner, David C. Dingwall) suggested I go see “Allen J.” as they called him. “He’ll tell you how to be a Chief of Staff, and how government works,” Dingwall said.

Thereafter, I entered MacEachen’s Centre Block office. The great man sat behind his desk, the window looking out onto the lawn behind him. He was silhouette. I felt like I was meeting with Colonel Kurtz in Heart of Darkness.

Preliminaries done, MacEachen rendered his advice. I didn’t take notes, but I never forgot what he said.

“Two things,” he said. “Don’t stay longer than two years. You will grow cynical, and that will hurt you and it will hurt the ones you serve.”

He paused.

“The ones who stay longer than two years ultimately become glorified bag-carriers.”

Will Allen J. MacEachen be remembered? Will schoolchildren speak his name? I doubt it. Few of us will be remembered for anything by anyone. Our kids and grandkids, maybe, but that’s it.

But I remembered Allen J’s words, and I religiously followed his advice. Before two years were out, I was nurturing a deep and visceral loathing for governing. I despised the Martinites for what they were doing to undermine Chretien, and I despised three senior people around Chretien who were looking the other way. If I ever came back to government in Ottawa, I promised himself, it would be as my own boss, as an MP. (Didn’t work out, but I tried.)

If any of you Hill staffers have gotten this far, two things. One, check out the achievements of Allen J. MacEachen. Read up on him. He was a giant, a colossus. He deserves to be remembered.

Two, heed his words. This government is now at the two-year mark. The indications of entitlement and arrogance – and cynicism – are everywhere to be seen.

Don’t stay longer than two years. Don’t become what you came to Ottawa to change.

Not immortal words, perhaps, but words worth remembering.

Check this out, from the folks at Campaign Research:

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What does that all mean?  It means that – at this stage – Toronto’s mayor is in pretty good shape, I’d say.  Two-thirds of voters won’t consider either Ford or Layton.

John Tory has got a surprisingly big “net positive number,” and Doug Ford has a rather big “net negative” number.  And Mike Layton just isn’t that well-known.

The election is a long way away.  But it looks like Tory’s opponents have a rather steep hill to climb, even now.


Two, the Secret Service need to pay him an official visit. He’s broken the law.

On the day the amazing and indefatigable and irreplaceable Ashley Csanady is leaving the Post, I bring to your attention this, about Jenn Stranzl, an amazing and indefatigable long-time friend of Lisa and me:

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Postmedia is messing with the wrong woman, believe me.  I won’t repeat their libels against her – suffice to say that dismissing her as having “no experience,” when she’d been on the masthead at the frigging Wall Street Journal, no less, is idiotic in the extreme.  I will say, however, that it was a front-page, drive-by, anonymously-sourced sexist hatchet job, and one for which Postmedia – which offered yet more buyouts to yet more top-notch journalists last week – can ill-afford.

She couldn’t possibly have been qualified, because she’s a girl: that’s Postmedia’s take.

When you meet amazing women like Jenn and Ashley, you know that is really, really dumb.  And defamatory.

Check this out:

Wynne’s lawyers served legal notice to the PC leader, demanding an apology for suggesting Wynne is “standing trial.” In fact, it is the alleged actions of Liberal backbenchers in the lead-up to a byelection in Sudbury in 2015 that are being questioned. Wynne is considered a witness in the case and testified in a courtroom for hours Wednesday.

Um, no.

“In fact,” CP24, before you get all lecture-y about “facts,” you need to get this “fact” right: no “backbencher,” of any affiliation, is on trial in Sudbury.  None. It’s Wynne’s advisors Pat Sorbara and Gerry Lougheed.  They’re not backbenchers.

I really like both Kathleen Wynne and her lawyer Jack Siegel, but I’d advise them against taking this much further.  Brown clearly misspoke, to be sure, but then he clearly corrected his error a few minutes later.  If they pursue it, they just keep reminding everyone about what is going on in a Sudbury courtroom, and they open themselves up to a painful civil discovery process.  Which never ends well.

It’s eight months or so until the writ is dropped.  Get ready for more of this kind of stuff.  If Ipsos is to be believed, it’s Tories 39, Grits 32 and Dippers 22, with a pretty substantial desire for change.

That may not be a “fact,” either, but it certainly suggests to me that the parties aren’t far apart – and that’s why the legal demand letters are flying this week.