Rob Anders in his second most famous pose, the most famous with his eyes open, with 4.5-litre hat plus circa-.45 revolver. Mr. Anders is thought to be Canada’s Worst MP and hopes to keep it that way. Below: Bow River Conservative candidates Rolly Ashdown and Martin Shields.

Rob Anders to Canada: “I’m baaaaaaaaack!”

It’s a staple of the horror movie genre: You can’t keep a bad man down. Who can forget Hannibal Lecter’s last call to Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs? “I’m having an old friend for dinner.”

Or Jack Torrance in the Shining: “Heeere’s Johnny!”

Now we have learned that Mr. Anders, renowned as Canada’s worst MP and still stinging from his rejection at the hands of Conservative Party members in the new Calgary-Signal Hill riding, has found another Alberta riding in which he will hopes to  exercise his undeniable electoral talents.

This time, thanks very much, Mr. Anders won’t be taking a chance on the citified voters of another Calgary riding like the redistributed district where he was handed his lunch in the nomination vote last April by Ron Liepert, Alberta’s former health and energy minister and a man famed for being a bull in a china shop in his own right.

Instead, Mr. Anders will be running in the also-new Bow River constituency, a vast patch of mostly bald-headed Prairie east and south of Calgary. There, according to Mr. Anders’ remarks in the National Post, men are armed, liberals aren’t welcome and there are more trucks. “I feel a real connection,” he told the Post, and, really, under the circumstances as described, who wouldn’t?

Mr. Anders also told the Post’s reporter he has a home in the riding – in the community of Chestermere, formerly the Summer Village of Chestermere Lake on Calgary’s eastern fringe, although whether he lays his head there or at his residence deeper inside city limits is unknown to this blogger.

Regardless, it will be interesting if the man who for the moment remains MP for Calgary West, a riding that will disappear after the next election, really fits in as well as he imagines he will in rural southern Alberta, which has changed too in the years the ground was slowly shifting under Mr. Anders’ feet inside Calgary’s boundaries.

Born on April Fools Day 1972 and rechristened “Canada’s Worst MP” by a Conservative newspaper columnist, the Winnipeg-born arch-conservative has been demonstrating since he was elected to the House of Commons at 25 in 1997 that he isn’t the sharpest knife in the Parliamentary cutlery drawer.

He’s done this on a variety of topics, ranging from his opinions about Nelson Mandela (he called the South African leader a communist and a terrorist), to his weird conspiracy theory about the circumstances surrounding Jack Layton’s death from cancer (he suggested Thomas Mulcair was responsible), to his choice of locations to catch forty winks (his desk in the House, while the cameras rolled).

Back in 1994, Mr. Anders travelled south to act as a “professional heckler” for a Republican candidate in Oklahoma. (He was labeled a “foreign political saboteur” for his trouble by CNN.) He later assailed Alberta’s still-beloved premier Ralph Klein as a “cocktail Conservative,” too soft on Ottawa and not nearly far enough to the right.

As Calgary West MP, he voted with the Bloc Québécois to support a proposition that Quebeckers should be able to form a nation any time they darn well felt like it and could withdraw from any federal initiative. He was the only legislator to vote against giving Mr. Mandela honourary Canadian citizenship.

He once boasted about how women throw themselves at his feet, explaining that as a consequence he’d taken a vow of chastity. (Just the same, he explained to a astonished and presumably appalled reporter, he had “gone as far as kissing and kind of ‘massaging,’ if you will.”)

So, we – and Mr. Anders – will see how that kind of stuff goes down in places like Strathmore, Brooks and Rocky View, where one thing that hasn’t changed since 1997 is the importance of success in local public life for people what want to be the (inevitably Conservative) Member of Parliament.

Also seeking the Bow River Conservative nomination – and the automatic ticket to Ottawa that goes with it – are Rocky View Councillor and former reeve Rolly Ashdown and Brooks Mayor Martin Shields, who was quick to remind voters Mr. Anders doesn’t actually hang his oversized hat in the riding.

And if big facial hair is de rigueur in rural Alberta, as the success of the hirsute local political pair suggests, Mr. Anders is done like dinner at last, notwithstanding his 4.5-litre hat and butchy poses with pistols.

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  1. Damnit, I was going to ask the same question. Are telling me you don’t have a “follow Rob Anders” on your twitter feed? Have you no sense of humor?

    When the National Post says “never underestimate the extent to which Conservative MP Ron Anders is willing to go to cement his status as an idiot.” you know there is a problem.

    Please, good people of Bow River – which I assume includes Bow Island, Alberta, a wonderful town which is not only not an an island but isn’t even near water, but does have the famous Creation Discovery Centre, dedicated to fighting “the neo-Darwinian evolutionary view” (see – please, good people – let’s not give the rest of Canada a reason to laugh at us.

    1. ” … please, good people – let’s not give the rest of Canada a reason to laugh at us”.

      Not to worry David, as long as the Ford Boys are breathing and walking upright, people won’t notice.

  2. .. like many many Canadians, the actual reality of Rob Anders being elected as an MP staggers my perspectives and comprehension. Yes, I know that in his current riding a lamprey could be elected as Conservative, or a rabid jackal.

    But the morning after each election, what do his or Harper’s ‘base’ think or say to themselves?
    Surely an exemplar, running as an independant would actually represent the riding, its citizens, their dreams, needs and wishes far far better.. and intelligently!

    But this is now the bizzare era of Stephen Harper, his faux Conservatives, the Evangelical Christians, the rabid partisan base, the Rapturists, the 1%, the Corporatist Partners of Harper, the twisted complicits of the PMO, the unelecteds such as Ray Novak, Jenni Byrne, Senator Gerstein, Stephen Lecce, the parachute club MP’s like Joe Oliver, Kellie Leitch, Poilievre, Fantino et al.. and the royal law firms and lawyers a la Arthur Hamilton all puffed up with 750 an hour, endless bottomless ethicless bilings.

    Truly this is the era of Robo Government, Droids, Wonks, dim followers a la Anders, Butt, Del Mastro, Calandra, Van Loan.. marching in entitlement.. all like little naked emperors.. and people actually elect them !!

  3. Except for the upturned waxed mustache and the dour expresssion, Mr. Shields bears a striking resemblance to our beloved blogger. David, are you sure that’s not you masquerading as a Tory?

  4. The National Post article on Anders was illuminating. So, Anders cares about “…[c]rime, gun rights and family values…” but, as Mr. Climenhaga has reminded us in that fantastic quote, he has taken a vow of chastity, although he has “gone as far as kissing and kind of ‘massaging,’ if you will.” (Shudder being robustly suppressed.)

    Sorry, Rob, who cares so much about family values that he doesn’t have one, if that’s as far as you’re prepared to go, it ain’t gonna happen, you know what I mean? Not that I’m trying to encourage you or anything, gawd forbid…

    “Mr. Anders, who says he lives in Chestermere in his possible new riding, said he was approached by locals asking him to run.”

    I think he was more probably approached by locals requesting that he run away, the sooner, the faster, the better.

    “There’s a strong pro-life movement going on in this riding, all sorts of hunting and shooting ranges.”

    I don’t suppose he sees any contradiction at all in that statement. The connections are too complex, I guess.

    But, as long as there are more trucks….More trucks than what? Airplanes? Gas stations? People to drive them? A concerned citizenry wants to know.

    As for the area suiting Anders down to the ground because ” …men are armed, liberals aren’t welcome and there are more trucks”, it sounds like a dystopian take on Lake Wobegon where

    “…”…all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.” – Garrison Keillor


  5. NOTE: I missed a candidate for the Tory nomination when I wrote this piece, one of the perils of trying to keep up on local electoral politics in far-away constituencies. The fourth candidate is Gerard Lucyshyn, a professor of economics at Calgary’s Mount Royal University and president of the Chamber of Commerce in the “Hamlet” of Langdon (pop. 5,000), located about seven kilometres east of Calgary. He stepped down from the Conservative Party’s Bow River Electoral District Association in order to run.

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