Thursday, September 11, 2008
The West's Most Useless MPs - Today: Rob Anders (Con)
Continuing our series on MPs that equate to pylons on the political highway, today we bring you Rob Anders of Calgary West. Rob is perhaps less of a harmless pylon and more of a wandering porcupine - one which could slice you up, but one whom even the Cons try to keep penned up... (in case he reveal the true nature of the Reform bowel movement)...
Calgary West is a riding nestled in the dry, arid, foothills of the mighty Rocky Mountains. It stretches from the Glenmore Trail on the SW, up to the old town of Bowness just South of the Bow River, and right up to Crowchild Trail, then West into Elbow Valley, and along the Trans Canada Highway. Like most ridings in Calgary it is ethnically/culturally "monotone" with very little diversity. It does house Calgary's first mosque, and first Sikh Temple. Demographically, besides the "majority" community, Calgary West has a significant Greek population, and quite a few families from the Ismaili faith. There are not nearly enough cultural, economic, or social minorities to make a dent in a very blue conservative riding. Next to Calgary SW (Harper's old riding - and mine) Calgary West is the most affluent riding in Calgary. Pretty much anyone with a corner office in Big Oil has a home in the affluent neighborhoods of Elbow Valley, The Slopes, etc.
Rob is revered by the old "Guard" members of the Reform/Alliance/Conservative Party. "The Guard" - the ominous sounding secret society which forms the core of angry, venom-spewing Western Firewall Conservatism (many were former WCC Separatists) - is the only group who could have mustered enough forces to keep Anders around. Even Conservatives within his riding would like to see him out.
Anders is pretty much ONLY known in Parliament for his xenophobic outbursts. Everyone in Canada recalls his strong opposition to Nelson Mandela and Mandela's welcome to Canada. Members of his own party stood by him (Reform or Alliance or Conservative), and he was quite obviously not ejected from a party which probably valued his "keeping the attention" of the hard right in Reform-land.
In his neophytic career Anders has invoked the anger of Canadians and foreigners, and even spurred a website by his own constituents: VoteOutAnders.com...
Here's a little bit from the media on Anders:
""[Honouring Nelson Mendela is a] total political-correctness poster-boy thing... He was a Communist. He was a terrorist... The Liberals always deprive us unanimous consent on all sorts of provisions. They wouldn't allow us to honour the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen with regard to their wedding anniversary..."
- Calgary West MP Rob Anders, June 2001.
The comments obviously generated a great deal of animosity. So Anders was asked to clarify and generally given plenty of opportunities to back away from his disgraceful statements. He chose a different path.
"I don't think that, you know, anybody would argue that if Nelson Mandela was saying, you know, 30 years ago, that you should go around with matches and necklaces and strangle people or burn them out of their homes, that is not terrorism."
- Anders, 2001
So, then we can assume that his party was incredibly embarassed of him, right? Wrong. "Rob is a true reformer and a true conservative. He has been a faithful supporter of mine and I am grateful for his work." - Stephen Harper
Rob Anders was gleefully accepted by the new unified Conservative Party. Barely a whisper was raised about his disgusting remarks. Today, the Conservatives vehemently deny suggestions that they are racists and suggest those who accuse them of racism are 'fear mongering'.
The newspaper articles, however, are eternal.
"Rob Anders: Incredibly, Anders went one wackier after he trashed honorary Canadian citizen Nelson Mandela as a terrorist and a communist last spring. When the former South African president phoned for a peacekeeping chat in November, Anders refused to take the call because he wasn't granted enough time to outline his many concerns. In a Commons loaded with lightweights, Calgary West's MP almost defies gravity."
- Never a dull moment with magnificent seven. The Calgary Herald. Jan 13, 2002.
"Rob Anders is a callow 29-year-old Canadian Alliance MP for Calgary West, an Opposition cipher of high dudgeon and low intellect, a sadly misguided voice who knows little of history and shamefully less of global politics....
If Anders had limited himself to attacking the Liberals for pushing the citizenship honour through Parliament without a proper debate in the House, he would have been on sturdier procedural ground. Instead, the redneck disgraced himself and his party by describing Mandela, 82, as "a Communist and a terrorist." Despite getting slapped about the head by colleagues and opponents, Anders was defiantly unapologetic, albeit pathetically ill-informed on Mandela's background....
I feel honoured that Nelson Mandela would accept Canadian citizenship.
I feel ashamed that Rob Anders is a Canadian citizen."
- Citizen Mandela triumphs over a callow MP The Toronto Star, June 13, 2001.
Wonder how Conservatives will explain this one... " (BlogsCanada Conservative Quote of the day)
Conservatives are pretty much not at all concerned about explaining anything Rob Anders - or any other "true-to-the-Conservative-name" MP says. They are only concerned if the media roots it out. The media doesn't seem to have the journalistic skills required to expose these Conservatives for what they really are. "The Guard" members of the party must be overjoyed at their success in bringing their hidden agenda fully cloaked this close to a majority. Part of the original plan.
Rob Anders - our Most Useless MP for today...