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