Monday, February 21, 2011

The (Canine) Candidate

The old Etsell farm lies just a few kilometres away from Virden, Manitoba, in the federal electoral district of Brandon-Souris. The riding has been reliably conservative since it was first contested in 1953. Grandfather Etsell once memorably claimed that "We could run Laddie as a Tory in this riding and he'd win."

Laddie, pictured above at the Etsell farmhouse in 1966, never ran for office, probably figuring that popular Distinguished Flying Cross recipient Walter Dinsdale had the PC nomination well in hand. Indeed, Dinsdale represented the riding for 30 years, right up until his passing. It wasn't until the Liberal wave of 1993 that Brandon-Souris was represented by anyone other than a Tory; Glen McKinnon, a biology teacher from Virden, held the seat for one term before voters returned another Tory to office. The riding has remained blue ever since.

With a record like that, I have to believe that Granddad, though speaking in jest, was probably correct in his analysis.

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