Many Canadians hoped to have bade a final farewell to offensive conservative Member of Parliament Rob Anders when he lost the Conservative Party nomination in Calgary-Signal Hill to Ron Liepert earlier this year. But perhaps it was wishful thinking to believe a stunning rebuke in the area of the city he represented for 17 years was enough to end his political career.
Hoping for a second chance, Mr. Anders attempted to win his party’s nomination in the rural Bow River riding, an area in which he does not live nor have any personal connection to. He told the media that Bow River was, unlike the suburbs of west Calgary, a place with “more trucks” and closer to the Alberta he “moved to in the 1980s.” [note: Mr. Anders was born in 1972].
But as all Albertans know, owning a pickup truck and holding offensive social conservative views are not mutually inclusive. So we all breathed a sign of relief when Mr. Anders was defeated in the Conservative’s Bow River nomination contest this weekend by Martin Shields, mayor of the City of Brooks.
It is hard to imagine Bow River Conservative members appreciating an outsider like Mr. Anders wading into their local nomination, and his track record in Ottawa probably did little to enamour them. Mr. Anders is well-known for having called Nelson Mandela a terrorist, insulting Canadian veterans, calling for war against Russia, and blaming Thomas Mulcair for hastening the death of former NDP leader Jack Layton.
Licking his wounds after a second defeat, what can we expect Mr. Anders do next? Without a political party to support him in the next election, what is Mr. Anders next move?
Here are a few of the options available to him:
1) Take a hint and take a hike: Mr. Anders should probably take a break from politics, but he probably will not. He might end up working as a commenter with Sun News talk show host Ezra Levant, as a political advisor for some right-wing lobby group, or as an advisor to another socially conservative MP in Ottawa.
By the time the next federal election is called in October 2015, Mr. Anders will have spent 18 of his 42 years on Earth as a Member of Parliament (he was first elected when he was 24 years old). He knows nothing but life in politics.
2) Run for another Conservative Party nomination. By my count, there are at least a dozen Conservative Party nomination contests still open in Alberta (and an imminent by-election in Yellowhead). Looking abroad, he could also decide to run for a nomination in another province, like British Columbia or Saskatchewan.
If I were the Conservative Party, I would sternly warn him that he would be severely unwelcome to run in another riding. If I were the opposition New Democrats or Liberals, I would encourage him to keep on running.
3) Run as an Independent or for another party. His own party has rejected him twice, so he could decide to mobilize his social conservative followers to inflict revenge and damage on a party that no longer wants him in Ottawa.
Mr. Anders would not likely win if he ran as an Independent, or even as another party’s candidate (perhaps, the Christian Heritage Party), but he could exert revenge by becoming a major nuisance for Mr. Liepert in Calgary-Signal Hill.
4) Go back to the USA. With the 2016 presidential elections around the corner, maybe Mr. Anders could pull out his old Pinocchio nose and start applying for jobs south of the border.
Three years before Mr. Anders was elected as the MP for Calgary-West, he worked as a political agitator for the Republican Party in the United States. In the video below, he demonstrates his political talents while trying to embarrass Oklahoma Democratic Party Senate candidate Dave McCurdy.