Thursday, July 24, 2008

Warren Kinsella's Happy Happy Joy Joy Land

I am reluctant to criticize a guy who just did a favour for my riding association. However, I think Mr. Kinsella is in desperate need of a reality check. Mr. Kinsella was in Toronto-Danforth doing a little talk for a few Toronto young Liberals. Kinsella was waxing poetic about why Stephane Dion is going to be competitive in the next election (not a sentiment I necessarily disagree with). His arguments ranged from sound to downright absurd. Here are some of the low-lights:
  • Money actually doesn't matter in politics. Mr. Kinsella argued that the massive Tory fundraising edge is inconsequential, after all, Ross Perot didn't become President. I mean if you could just buy your way into office Silvio Berlusconni would be Prime Minister of Italy... oh wait...
  • Quebec votes with the winner. Kinsella claimed with great authority (he was born there after all) that Quebeckers are shrewd voters and vote with the party that will win the election. Oh, is that why the Bloc Quebecois has won the majority of Quebec ridings in election after election since 1993?
  • The clapping ad is good symbolism. Kinsella says he watches political ads with the sound off and gives the clap-a-thon an A plus. Explain to me again what clapping politicians have to do with exotic frogs? Wait, are we serious about climate change or are we smiling for the cameras? I'm all for non-verbal communication. I don't mind the inclusiveness and the sense of momentum but if you think that ad is going to do anything but rally some die-hard grits, you're dreaming.
  • In tough economic times, the Tories will be doomed by their lack of vision. I'm paraphrasing a bit, but that was the sentiment. Kinsella argued that Canadians will insist upon a plan to guide them through rough waters. Mr. Kinsella should read up on the federal election of 1935. See how far R.B. Bennett got with his grand schemes for tough economic times. Also note how King used his edge in leadership to convince people to vote for his judgement over outlandish schemes.
  • We shouldn't underestimate Harper but we should follow him around with a video camera waiting for him to screw up. I'm all for keeping tabs on your opponents. However, Kinsella has to remember that most politicians aren't as incompetent as John Tory. Getting a guy with Tory's pathetic political track record to self-destruct isn't evidence of an effective campaign, it's evidence of unbelievable good luck. That strategy didn't work against Harper in 06, and it won't work in 08.
  • People are smart to vote with their gut. This one floored me. Voting intuitively is stupid. It's how George W. Bush won the Whitehouse. Sorry Mr. Kinsella, it isn't a good idea to vote for the guy (or gal) who's just like you. Vote for the guy who gets you, sure. Vote for just another guy.... Mr. Kinsella wonders why we can't get the same kind of energetic election that they are having down south. Guess what, we did have that. It was called Trudeaumania. And guess what, he was nothing like the average Canadian. If you search for mediocrity in your politicians, that's exactly what you're going to get.


Anonymous said...

and, now many elections have you worked on and won?

Anonymous said...

envy much?

Anonymous said...

lol...stick to the Liberal talking points
otherwise you will show intelligence and become an outcast!!!

Richard said...

I don't see how Warren can speak authoritatively on anything to do with politics really. He's been proved wrong and made an arse out of himself so many times and he has very little credibility left, as a political strategist, in my opinion. Now he seems to be nothing more than a very bitter individual.

I'm betting the first 2 comments above came from Kinsella himself. He's written on his site that you have "anger issues" Aaron...

Aaron Ginsberg said...

I don't have anything against Warren Kinsella, heck I don't even know the man personally. I have a lot of respect for his record in politics. However, smart people can be wrong, especially when they get isolated from the facts on the ground. The reason I posted this is because if these are the attitudes in Stephane Dion's war room, we're in big trouble. As for the sarcasm? Well, calmly worded policy statements (of which there are plenty on this blog) just don't seem to get the same kind of attention. The medium might not necessarily be the message but it certainly affects it. My concern is the success of the Liberal Party. If I've gotten anyone in the party to think differently about some of these core assumptions spouted by Mr. Kinsella, great.

Anonymous said...

Your analysis is pretty good.

Warren's wrong about Quebec. Dead wrong. The grey hair in the Liberal party sits around in Toronto and Ottawa wondering why Quebec numbers aren't turning around. They're the same people who think sponsorship can and should be swept under the rug. They don't get it. We may pick up a couple ridings in Montreal, but we're a generation away from winning Quebec the way we used to.

Warren's right about chasing Harper around with a video camera - that's one of the innovations they brought to the Liberal war room back in 2004. It got nixed in 2006, and the chances of Dion's war room bringing it back, given the number of people there who are stuck in the 1990s, isn't all that great. Fingers crossed. Bad clips happen. They happen everywhere. Like at the beginning of the 1997 Liberal campaign when a BC candidate had all of his young liberal supporters telling media they were brought out for beer and pizza. (what was that guy's name... oh nevermind)

Bad clips happen to everyone.

I guarantee you the tories will be following us.

Anonymous said...

It is sad and remarkable to see Kinsella trying to reposition himself again as a federal Liberal.

The Liberal Party of Canada has been recognized comparatively as one of the strongest and most successful political machines among advanced democracies.

The key for the Liberals has always been party discipline and respect for the collective decisions of the rank and file, including the selection of the leader.

You can't claim to be a Liberal when you support the leader, then when the Party democratically elects a new leader you don’t agree with, you stop being a Liberal and start working with the other side to defeat the Liberals.

This is a legitimate question: did Kinsella work with Harper Conservatives formally or informally for the purpose to defeat the Martin Liberals in the 2004 and 2006 elections?

The Liberal Party is not a flag of convenience or a revolving door. This has been the key to its success, the question going forward is will it continue to be...

Stockwell Day said...

"and, now many elections have you worked on and won?"

A monkey could have ran the war room in the 2000 campaign. That Canadian Alliance, what a formidable opponent. The divided right was the real genius. If you actually look at it, the Liberals lost their soul and became a bloated party that stood for zilch while the master roamed. I love the way people eat this guy up without even thinking about it, just reputation.

Besides who cares what the bass player thinks.

Anonymous said...

Want a tip on how to win the next election? How about no new taxes under the guise of environmental B.S.

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