Canadians a mari usque ad mare are holding their breath, waiting to see if Stephen Harper will break his own fixed-date election law and call an election before October 2015. Will he find a reason to call an election sooner? Does he even remember that he made the fixed-date election law (Bill C-16), which he already broke back in 2008? Perhaps these sorts of considerations are trivial for the Prime Minister, who, we can imagine, spends every waking moment of the day thinking of positive adjectives to describe Israel, and ineffective sanctions to place on Russia. Yet, for some Canadians, this stuff really matters. Consider Rob Anders. Anders is a Conservative MP, but recent news suggests that he might not be for much longer.
Anders is a victim. His government redrew the boundaries of his riding, and thereby forced him to seek nomination to run in 2015 in slightly unfamiliar territory. That didn’t deter him. Plausibly trying to cement his place in Parliament forever, like a gargoyle, Anders sought the Conservative nomination to run in that riding, Calgary-Signal Hill, in 2015. He lost to Ron Leipert. But he wasn’t prepared to quit. With the persistence of a stubborn cold, he decided to run again in the rural riding of Bow River. Then, with the courage of a man who publicly calls Nelson Mandela a terrorist (so, with his own courage), he prepared his campaign and rallied the troops.
His troops didn’t show up—nor did he. Labelled a “drop-in candidate” from the start, it seems Anders never built the necessary momentum to surpass heavyweight candidates like Rocky View County Reeve Rolly Ashdown, an economics professor named Gerard, and the eventual winner, Martin Shields, the Mayor of Brooks. When it came time for the clash of the titans, Anders was nowhere to be found. He didn’t even attend the announcement of results.
This story made headlines in several major news outlets. It was as if the town crier had a moral obligation to let everyone know that Anders had lost again. But is this really news? And is it appropriate to drag Anders’ name through the dirt, even if it brings joy to many Canadians? That’s a personal question that Canadians must answer themselves.
Regardless of their answers, the facts remain clear. Anders won’t have many opportunities to run in other nomination contests, so it’s likely that he will be out of work after the next election. It should be with great shame that this government brags about the million-billion-trillion full- or part-time jobs created since the recession, lest it forget Rob Anders, a hard working man who will have lost his job because of the Conservative Party of Canada. Stephen Harper should think twice before calling an early election, and keep in mind that every day earlier is another day that Anders won’t be working. The Party won’t be the same without him.