Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/5/2008 (3172 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Colleague Curtis Brown
has a gem
in his blog today about Tory Leader Hugh McFadyen
meeting with former Liberal assassin extraordinaire Warren Kinsella
. Yes, that will be a bit awkward for some Tories even though McFadyen has history with Kinsella as the two worked together at a top-flight Toronto consultancy. However, perhaps McFadyen knows what I know about Kinsella. If he does, then perhaps this meeting is about more than just swapping Big Smoke war stories over a couple of beers.Many political animals consider Kinsella a top strategist. And most know that he is a life-long Liberal in general, and a Jean Chretien operative in particular. But many people don't know that Kinsella may be responsible for one of the greatest re-brandings in Canadian political history. Given that McFadyen is desperately trying to find a new brand for Manitoba PCs, meeting Kinsella is not the worst thing he could do.I take you back to 1983, where an erstwhile punk rocker and part-time cartoonist for The Charlatan
, Carleton University's student newspaper, decided to abandon student journalism for student politics. Kinsella led a slate of candidates to a landslide victory, and served out a tumultuous year as the head of the Carleton University Student's Association.However, what really separated Kinsella's student political career from many others was the novel re-branding he used. He called his posse of candidates "The No-Name" slate, and stole (rather shamelessly) the entire motif of the Loblaws yellow label with block black lettering no-name house products for his campaign literature and signs. To say that it worked does not capture what I remember as a genuine phenomenon. The student body could not ignore a group of politicians who were not only witty, but had a sense of humour too.I leave others to judge Kinsella's legacy as CUSA president. I do think it's important to note that there are quite a few people across the country, myself included, who remember the No-Name Slate. That's got to be worth something.Yellow signs with black lettering for McFadyen? Probably not. But perhaps Kinsella could find a little of the old No-name magic for his Manitoba buddy.-30-