Huge OLO changes (updated)

Huge! My friend Patrick Parisot is the new Principal Secretary in Michael Ignatieff’s office, and that is a huge score for the Liberal leader.  Patrick will be a huge asset on both the Quebec and comms files, where help is needed, hugely.

I like the word “huge.”  It is huge.

And, yes, it is hugely possible that I am losing my mind.

UPDATE: I, too, like Mike. Better.

Sindi Hawkins

My family is very sad to hear that Sindi has passed away. She was one of my Dad’s students, and he was so proud of her and her accomplishments.  When I was in B.C., Sindi and I worked together on the ’96 campaign – and she was a big supporter when I made my losing bid for the federal seat in North Van.

R.I.P., Sindi, and our condolences to your family.  You were a fighter.

Today in Parliament (and the Hill Times)

I’ll be on CBC-TV’s Power and Politics this evening with my pals Monte Solberg and Brad Lavigne, talking about the return of Parliament.  Here’s some of the stuff I may say, taken from this morning’s Hill Times:

KINSELLA: I want to believe Tim. I really do. But here’s the problem: on the evening of Sept. 15, I am reliably informed—when a minority of churlish Ottawa scribes were cackling about the departure of my friend Kory Teneycke—an interesting conference call took place.

The conference call involved senior folks within the Conservative Party. These folks were told to be prepared for an election call that could come as soon as Oct. 1. I shit you not.

The fact that this call took place at all is perplexing. For example, the polls suggest there is a rather excellent chance that the Harper Reformatories could, well, you know, lose the election. I mean, call me crazy—and plenty do—but why would evil strategic genius Stephen Harper do something as unstrategic as that?


The tall foreheads within the Conservative Party—and there are some—fear a number of things. First and foremost, they fear the economy getting worse again. The jobs’ numbers, the housing numbers, and the grim economic data emanating from the U.S. portend that bad times may be here again.

Secondly, the Reformatory brain trust— an oxymoron, I know, but bear with me— fear further slippage in public opinion polls if they wait too long. The Great Summer of 2010 Census Debacle—which should have never become as big a deal as it did— showed the Conservatives that the country is growing weary of their modus operandi: nasty, brutish and short-sighted.

Thirdly and finally, I believe the Conservative Party has started to fear Michael Ignatieff. His summer long bus tour was not the unmitigated disaster they had hoped and predicted it would be. Instead, the tour revealed the Liberal leader to be rather adept on the hustings, with a manner that increasing numbers of voters were warming up to.

That all said, do I believe that an election is imminent? God knows.

But it sure is fun to endlessly speculate about it with my buddies Powers and Lavigne in the pages of The Hill Times!

Last Saturday of the Summer bits and pieces

  • Leitch in, Guergis out: I worked with Dr. Kelly in the 2003 John Tory mayoralty campaign.  She’s brainy, driven and intense: I don’t recall her being much of a social conservative, either.  She’ll be a formidable opponent, to be sure, but with Guergis running as an “independent conservative,” you can easily formulate a scenario where the Liberal candidate comes up the middle in what is a traditionally yellow-dog Tory seat.
  • Apology and retraction: Res ipsa loquitur. As a matter of law, such retractions/apologies may mitigate damages, but they don’t necessarily always extinguish same.  Stay tuned on this one.
  • Power and Politics: I’ll be on Evan’s show on Monday, which will be a lot of fun.  With my friend Tom Clark gone – and with my other friend, Kory Tenecyke, also gone from the political scene for the time being –  Evan’s show will dominate political TV for the foreseeable future.  Tune in if you can.
  • When in a hole, stop digging: One of the things that drives me bonkers is the won’t-die notion that Stephen Harper is The Master Strategist©.  He isn’t. He isn’t! To wit: he needs women voters to get his lusted-after majority.  So what does he do?  He persists in bitterly flailing away at the long-gun registry, thereby reminding women – urban and rural – why they should never, ever vote for him.  To suggest that he always shoots himself in the foot is obvious, metaphor-wise. But it fits.