“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


Take that, CNN. 

…while the guy in the middle just gets older. 

Fun panel, as always. CREA put on a Hell of a conference, as always. Kathleen Monk and Tim Powers dropped F Bombs, as always. 

Yes, that would be me with one of my two teenage-era heroes, Bob Woodward. (Bernstein was the other one. And Captain Kirk.)

If we make it to the airport on time, that is. 

So let’s watch it again and again! (Link fixed, I hope.)

Also, is there some late-Fall pollen in the air? My eyes are a bit teary, at the moment. I’m sure it’s nothing. 

Here’s a column I wrote about the man back in April 2010. Condolences to his family and many friends. 


He’s amiable. He’s smart. He’s reasonably bilingual. He’s well respected. He’s got movie star good looks. He’s seen as a moderate in a cabinet bursting at the seams with deconstructed Reformers.

And, most notably, he is the Conservative who lots of Liberals fear the most.

He’s Jim Prentice.

As everyone knows by now – and as Sun alumnus Greg Weston first revealed in an online scoop – Prentice shocked the somnolent capital yesterday afternoon, when he stood at the end of Question Period to offer his immediate resignation.

Clearly choked up, Prentice told the stunned House that he had taken a job at CIBC – where, presumably, he will not be working as a teller. The faces of his soon-to-be-former caucus colleagues were mostly inscrutable.

Some Reformer types, perhaps, were inwardly happy that one of the few Progressive Conservatives in the Harper government were leaving. Others, however, looked worried.

They should be.

For starters, the former Environment minister gave the Harper government a honest-to-goodness centrist, one whose instincts are much more attuned to his Ontario birthplace. Just last week, for example, Prentice surprised many with his decision to veto a gold mine at Fish Lake in B.C.’s interior.

Now liberated from the restrictions that cabinet places on every politicians’ ambition, Jim Prentice is free to do, and say, pretty much whatever he wants. And the question on every federal politico’s mind, last night, was whether Prentice wants the top job – Stephen Harper’s.

It’s not an idle question. As a formerly active federal Liberal, I can tell you that Prentice has always been the Conservative who made Grits nervous.

In three successive elections, Harper has shown he is singularly incapable of capturing his a Parliamentary majority. Women, younger voters, and not a few Central Canadians just can’t bring themselves to trust the moody, angry Conservative leader.

Prentice, however, has the style and sensibility that could easily attract a lot of soft Liberal vote. He’s clearly much more moderate than Harper – and he doesn’t attract speculation that he harbours a nasty hidden agenda.

For example, I can reveal that Jim Prentice is probably the only member of the Harper regime who was respected enough, and knowledgeable enough, to be hired by the previous Liberal government. Prentice’s skills as a negotiator attracted the attention of Prime Minister Jean Chretien, whose government retained him to work on aboriginal files in the 1990s.

The question, then, is whether Prentice plans to use his new job as a launching pad for a run at the Conservative leadership – when Harper takes his foot-stomp in the snow, that is.

Running for a party’s leadership from the outside cabinet is pretty much the only way to win. The aforementioned Chretien did it in 1990, as did John Turner in 1984 and Paul Martin in 2003. Harper himself ran as an outsider in 2002, for the Canadian Alliance leadership. (Kim Campbell ran while still a minister, of course, but we all know how that turned out.)

What will Jim Prentice do? Only he knows for sure.

But one thing is clear: he’s the candidate who makes ambitious people nervous.

On both sides of the House.

Despite the very real challenges she faces, or perhaps because of them – here and here – my friend Lisa Raitt appears ready to become a Conservative leadership candidate.  She is going to have a busy day, because she is going to be automatically seen as the frontrunner.

I got to know her when she ran the Toronto Port Authority, and I was hired to give them a bit of communications advice.  I discovered that she is an amazing person, basically.  I encouraged her to run, and told her all of the parties would want to recruit her (and all of them did).

I haven’t recently talked to Lisa about today’s big decision.  But I suspect I know at least one of the reasons she is doing it: she has surveyed the parade of nobodies running, and she figured that she could do a lot better.  She’s right in that. (I hasten to add that Michael Chong isn’t a nobody, because he is also one of the few who could seriously challenge Justin Trudeau, come next election.)

To beat Trudeau is not to ape Trudeau.  He will always be better at being him than someone else will be.  What the CPC need, instead, is a candidate who addresses his weaknesses, and provides a clear remedy/alternative:

  • Serious: One fair criticism of Trudeau is that he’s all sizzle, and no steak.  I don’t share that view, but it’s out there.  The selfies and the seeming solipsism haven’t helped, at all: they send bureaucratic eyeballs rolling, every time.  What the Cons need, then, is someone who can be serious when the circumstances warrant it, but still knows how to laugh.  Lisa’s like that, in my experience.
  • Different: Lisa is different from Trudeau in three important ways: (i) Trudeau was born and raised in Central Canada, in the epicentre of the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto corridor of power; the Tories need someone from outside all of that.  Lisa is.  (ii) Trudeau is a decidedly a man, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign (and Donald Trump’s misogyny and sexism) have made this uniquely a time for strong, smart women to seize the top jobs in politics.  Lisa, obviously, is a strong, smart woman.  (iii) Trudeau has moved his party to the left of what it was under Prime Ministers Turner, Chretien and Martin; that arguably leaves the centre/centre-right unattended, and an important piece of political real estate ripe for a progressive conservative.  Summed up, Lisa Raitt is different from Trudeau in all those ways: (i) a Cape Bretoner and therefore the ultimate outsider; (ii) a smart, capable woman who has held senior cabinet posts; (iii) a centrist who maintained her progressive credentials even in the arch-conservative Harper era.
  • Modest: Already – not even a year into the mandate – that unhelpful old Liberal trait seems to be back: you know, the “entitled to entitlements” one.  It literally killed the party in 1984 and 2005, and it could do it once again.  To anyone who says Trudeau is automatically guaranteed another majority or two, I always remind them that Trudeau’s Dad got a big majority, too, in 1968 – and then blew the majority in 1972. Ipso facto, even men with the surname Trudeau can lose if they get too comfortable with power. Lisa Raitt, I can tell you, is one of those people who did not get involved in politics to get rich.  She has kept her feet on the ground.

That all said, those two challenges enumerated above – the one at home, and the language one – are big challenges.  Can she surmount them?

If she can, she is the candidate to beat.  I don’t know if the Conservatives are smart enough to pick her, but they’re pretty dumb if they don’t.