What then are the chances that a disgruntled, card-carrying Conservative like Rick Pauls could get elected under a Liberal banner in Brandon-Souris?
As you can read in today’s Sun, the Killarney-Turtle Mountain mayor has decided to seek the Liberal nomination for the upcoming federal byelection, thus creating an honest-to-goodness Liberal race in Brandon-Souris, as Pauls would be up against media executive Rolf Dinsdale, whose Tory father represented the riding for more than 30 years.
Will wonders never cease.
For a party that placed dead last in Brandon-Souris in the 2011 election race under Wes Penner — a train wreck of a campaign if ever there was one — the Liberals are getting a lot of local and national exposure, thanks to both Pauls’ anger at the Conservatives, and Dinsdale’s rather interesting hobby as a punk guitarist.
Dinsdale’s family roots run deep in Brandon-Souris, but his political leanings are — on appearance — somewhat left of this riding’s majority. Though to counter that suggestion, Dinsdale says his father was an old Progressive Conservative Tory, and would not have fit the Reform-inspired Conservative Party mould that exists today.
Though Dinsdale’s musical tastes may not suit everyone in Brandon-Souris, that has little to do with his political values, which he implies aren’t far removed from those of his father.
And then there’s Pauls. Had the Conservative nomination process in Brandon-Souris not been hampered by questions of party interference, Pauls would have voted with his party of choice. But that, he says, will never happen again.
His intention, now, will be to send the Conservative Party a message in this byelection, and over the next two years if he should win.
“I will do everything in my power now to ensure that we do not have a Conservative MP because I believe the Conservatives need to be (taught) a lesson that we do not tolerate this sort of thing,” Pauls told the Sun this week.
And though we believe his righteous anger is perfectly justified, as an independent he would have a harder road toward an election victory in Brandon-Souris than the NDP.
He needs a party to back him, and the Liberal Party may consider it.
So, whoever wins the Liberal nomination will be a conservative-minded individual — a card-carrying Conservative or an old-guard Tory.
In a riding like Brandon-Souris, this is perhaps not so surprising.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 28, 2013