250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 28, 2017 3:45 am

Setting his sights on the fall election

Monday, June 22, 2015 @ 3:45 AM

By Bill Phillips


Sheldon Clare is probably giving Todd Doherty fits.

Clare, the outspoken president of the National Firearms Association, is considering running as an independent in Cariboo-Prince George. Clare posted on his Facebook page in early May that several people approached him about running as an independent and just last week posted that he is still considering running and it looks like plenty of people are pledging financial support.

There is no doubt Clare would pull right-of-centre voters and that will hurt Conservative Doherty.

It’s interesting to think that Clare, who one would think would be a staunch Conservative, would consider running as an independent. You can probably thank Bill C-51, the anti-terrorist bill, for that one.

Clare and the National Firearms Association oppose Bill C-51. The National Firearms Association was one of several organizations signatory to a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper calling for the government to scrap the legislation (before it was passed in the House of Commons).

Clare, in an interview with CBC, cited a several problems with the bill, saying that while the current Conservative government may not wish to use the draconian provisions in the bill, a future government may. In addition, he said the association has privacy concerns in the bill and suggests it may end up recreating a gun registry in Canada, something the association vehemently opposes and fought hard to get rid of.

That’s not to suggest that Clare would consider running as an independent simply because he opposes Bill C-51, far from it. However the association’s opposition to the bill show’s how at least some core Conservative support has been eroded because of Bill C-51. Plenty of Canadians, on the left and on the right, have lined up to oppose Bill C-51 and, even though it has been passed, could still come into play during the election.

The other interesting thing about Clare possibly entering the race in Cariboo-Prince George, is that he would give disaffected Conservatives a place to park their vote.

There may be an ABC movement (anybody but Conservative) here and around the country, but unless there are some viable options for those on the right side of the spectrum, it won’t go anywhere. While a lot of New Democrats can fathom voting Liberal and vice versa, not a lot of Conservatives can imagine voting NDP or Liberal.

I suspect a lot of Conservatives, however, could see themselves voting for someone like Sheldon Clare … he’s outspoken, is will known in Prince George, and as the head of a national organization has experience operating at a national level (he’s even presented to the United Nations). A Conservative looking for place to park their vote (without voting NDP or Liberal) may see Clare as a viable alternative.

The question then becomes can he pull enough support to win? Are there enough disaffected Conservatives who may want to send a message to Ottawa? Or would he simply split the right-of-centre vote in the riding allowing a left-of-centre candidate to come up the middle? And that, of course, depends on whether the NDP, Liberals, and Greens all run candidates because just as vote-splitting can happen on the right, it can happen on the left.

And that could make the difference. The website ThreeHundredEight.com tracks polling across the country collates those results. In Cariboo-Prince George it lists the Conservatives as having a 63 per cent chance of winning the riding. Sounds pretty good, except compared to Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies where they incumbent Bob Zimmer has an 88 per cent chance of getting re-eleccted. In Cariboo-Prince George, it pegs Conservative support at 40 per cent, NDP at 35 and Liberals at 12. Throw in a viable right-of-centre independent and should the Liberals and/or Greens prove to be a no-show, and those numbers could change.

Take a week or two off for summer holidays, but then hang onto your hats, it’s going to be an interesting fall.

Bill Phillips is a freelance columnist living in Prince George. He was the winner of the 2009 Best Editorial award at the British Columbia/Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray awards, in 2007 he won the association’s Best Columnist award. In 2004, he placed third in the Canadian Community Newspaper best columnist category and, in 2003, placed second. He can be reached at billphillips1@mac.com


I am one of those Conservatives, Mr. Clare will get my vote.

“I joined the Reform/conservative movements because I thought we were somehow different, a band of Ottawa outsiders riding into town to clean the place up, promoting open government and accountability,” Rathgeber recalls. “I barely recognize ourselves, and worse I fear that we have morphed into what we once mocked.”

In His Own Words: Brent Rathgeber on why he quit the Conservative caucus

(Remove the space between http and : and put into your computer’s address bar)

http ://www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/politics/inside-politics-blog/2013/06/in-his-own-words-brent-rathgeber-on-why-he-quit-the-conservative-caucus.html

Call this what it is: A vote for the NDP

Wahoo, Dick is gone.

This is our chance, to get Todd, in there. I look at Todd as being one of those politicians that will do something good for our area. He will do a lot more for us, than the last one did.

Could an independent get in. Not going to say impossible, but highly unlikely.

NDP, winning. Definitely plausible if Clare throws his hat in.

Liberal’s winning in this region, Not likely, we all remember when he pointed his finger to the west.

So it should be ABCD. Anyone But Conservative Doherty.

Careful Bill, your orange agenda is showing again! By pumping up Clair you would love nothing more than to have a right split that could possibly hand the riding over to the anti everything NDP. Anyone who sees this Ed as anything but bias is simply delusional.

Bill Phillips might have a different agenda but if Sheldon Clare steps forward it sure helps all us Conservatives out that were not going to vote this time around . At least we can put our vote in for a candidate we can support full hearted. The Indo-Canadian voters forcing us to vote in the elections for the weakest candidate in the nomination race, it is not happening. Welcome Sheldon Clare you will have our vote !

Hmmmm. There are other possibilities in Sheldon running as an Independent. Is he a closet NDP’er.??? Even if he isn’t his running will split the vote, and basically gives the NDP a better chance to win.

On the other hand he could be a **disgruntled** Conservative that supported someone other than Doherty for the nomination in this riding. His candidate lost, so perhaps this is another way to try to get back in the game.

If Sheldon had the support (which is debatable) and he split vote sufficiently enough, there is a remote possibility that he could win,. Then what would he do. We already have hundreds of opposition MLA’s baying at the moon and complaining about bill C-51. Electing Clare as an Independent just adds one more baying dog to the pack. As an Independent he would accomplish nothing.

If he is such a staunch Conservative, then why did he not run for the nomination??? That would have been the intelligent thing to do.

Sheldon seems to be the **Sour Grapes** candidate, running as an Independent because he didn’t get his way.

Does anyone really believe that if he was elected, it would only be a matter of time before he crossed the floor to the Conservatives (if they win the election) or perhaps the Liberals if they win. Or perhaps under a coalition Govenrment he believes that he could have some power.

In any event his running (if he does) is not a smart move on his part.

One would think that these pseudo intellectuals would have learned something from the Alberta Election. Splitting the right vote is a vote for the NDP. Time to wake up and smell the roses.

“smell the roses” ? You should have picked a different plant or flower. Roses don’t come in blue. (the Conservatives colour).

Here we go again. Another potential vote split handing the NDP a victory so they can strut around yapping about how wonderful they are and how everybody wants change.

Look, the Alberta election was stolen by the NDP via two conservative parties that were so busy fighting one another they distracted the voter base who allowed an NDP victory.

Fact is the majority of Albertans voted conservative.

Don’t let that happen here.

Either get these independents to join the main conservative party, or waste your vote on them and enjoy NDP rule.

@Philomena Really?!? Your candidate lost in the nomination, perhaps its time to get over it!

Sheldon the gun guy Clare . That’s what PG needs . More unregistered guns . With Bob and Sheldon in charge of PGs future you got nothing to worry about . What should their platform be ? They are already making sure there is no gun registry , as promised . Maybe concentrate on more and cheaper bullets . Or allowing hunters to use machine guns or RPGs . Bob and Sheldon . The gunsy twins .

“One would think that these pseudo intellectuals would have learned something from the Alberta Election. Splitting the right vote is a vote for the NDP. Time to wake up and smell the roses”

“Look, the Alberta election was stolen by the NDP via two conservative parties that were so busy fighting one another they distracted the voter base who allowed an NDP victory”


You know what’s really funny? The fact that the NDP had 40.57% of the popular vote in the Alberta election, whereas the Reformers only had 39.62% of the popular vote in the last federal election.

Does that mean that the last federal election was stolen by the Reformers? Or, if it goes in your favour is it called “democracy in action”?

Just curious, LOL ;)


As far as I’m concerned, winning by a default is cheap and it certainly isn’t an endorsement by the majority of the population of their ideology.

Hence all the push back we hear against the Harper gov’t.

And if the asylum that got “elected” in Alberta screw up, trust me, the push back will be hard, fast, and hurtful economically.

Geez nmg . I was almost in tears reading those numbers and the jirations of the right wing radicals here . So darn funny . Ooooo albertastan . That’s what the Ottawa cons are calling Albertans for voting the , wrong way . But the truth is they could not bear harpers hand picked ahole prentice , a guy only slightly less arrogant than is harpy .

Bcgrog that’s right . The NDP is responsible for the world glut of oil and gas . They are also responsible for 44 years of cons spending everything they brought in . No ice cold Camembert on broken crackers for them . Canadian oil sheiks . The books need a really long , hard look .

Actually NMG I totally agree with you. Harper would not be PM today, if the political centre/left could form a coalition – or at the very least, quit putting candidates in ridings the other guy has a better chance of winning. I mean, look at PG – a Liberal hasn’t got a snowball’s chance of winning, but they parachute someone in every election and split the vote. There’s other ridings where say NDP was a few percentage points short of winning, but Liberals ran a candidate who manage to take 10 points, and hand the victory to the conservatives, and vice versa. So, fair game in Alberta, conservatives couldn’t get their collective act together, 4 years of NDP. And frankly, I’m looking forward to it. If we’re going to do an experiment with a $15.00 minimum wage, nice to try it in someone else’s back yard.

Incoherent replies aside, what I’m saying is, right wing or left wing, ANY government that slides into victory on a split has NOT been given a cart blanch endorsement by the governed to run amok and go nuts with their ideologies.

Rather,they should be careful to center their bearings.

But hey, I guess in my perfect world there would be more thoughtfulness and common sense in politics.

I’m sick of business interests having the ear of government on the right side, and organized labour on the left side. Both are just as crooked.

Hence we are currently paying $ 1.20 for gas when the price of a barrel of oil is hovering at $ 60.00. Harper’s buddies in the O & G industry are parroting the petroleum industries’ talking points defending the pricing instead of frog-marching them to hearings to tear them a new one for profiteering.

If NDP were in, you’d have the same kind of crap with organized labour, bending the ear of the powers that be to get their way.


Bcgrog you missed the green blob NGO influence I think it is bigger than union influence. Look at the climate BS.

NMG you know full well that our system of first past the post is the official way to get elected in this Country. Making noises about the popular vote while sounding intellectual etc; actually just muddies the water.

We need to keep in mind that the vote in Alberta was split by two Conservative parties. This sounded the death knell in this election. Prentice quit because he couldn’t believe that the Conservatives in Alberta could be so stupid.

So it is what it is. However if you want to talk about the popular vote in Alberta the NDP got 41% and the combined Wild Rose 28% and Conservative 24% gives the Conservatives 52% of the popular vote.

There will be no split in the Conservative vote in Alberta in the Federal Election so I would expect a sea of blue for that Province.

Digitus Impudicus. (Middle Finger)

Actually with todays technology you can get blue roses.

Hopefully Sheldon gets in. Then we can have gun rights and carry AR15s. I am sure then there will be no shootings in Canada. Just like the US. A 50 Cal would be good.

Personally I have no issues with a hunting rifle but there is a limit.

Welcome to Politics Sheldon!

“NMG you know full well that our system of first past the post is the official way to get elected in this Country. Making noises about the popular vote while sounding intellectual etc; actually just muddies the water”


I actually just find it amusing that right wingers get all bent out of shape when that first past the post system works against them, but when it works for them it’s somehow seen as an affirmation of wide spread support for their party.

ski51 is bang on. If there were only 2 parties in Canada, one representing the left and one representing the right, the latter would never form power on the national stage. I know that and you know that. Harper even knew that, which is why they pushed so hard to unite the right wing parties. They knew it was their only chance to form power.

I give Harper full credit for being politically savvy enough to pull it off. I think the Liberals and NDP are too full of themselves to make it happen for the majority of people in the country who don’t vote right. You can at least admit the majority of people in Canada are not right wing, can’t you? C’mon Palopu, you can do it. You can even reference the facts if it makes it easier ;)

Pgguyy actually you can buy an AR15 , the semi auto version and it is less powerful than most hunting rifles.

Palopu: “our system of first past the post is the official way to get elected in this Country”

There is nothing official (written into the powers of the Lieutenant Governor) about it.

It is true that the leader of the single party with the most seats, even though not the majority of seats, is USUALLY invited by the LG to form the government. The same is true for Federal elections with different titles involved.

Who forms government, in other words who become the Premier, depends on who makes the best case to the Lieutenant Governor. He/she is the one who makes the appointment. There is nothing automatic about it. If the two or more minority parties can come together and agree on who can be the premier, and that individual believes the coalitions can be managed to run the government, then the argument can be made to the Lieutenant Governor. If it is convincing enough, the LG can, and likely will, appoint the individual selected by the coalition, even if the parties did not run as a coalition during the election.

It takes some guts, someone with superb leadership, charisma, skills and broad, across-party respect to do that. We do not have too many of such people. Other countries (other than the USA) seem to be able to manage such situations much more effectively.

Then again, it might be best to let the single party with a less than majority number of seats govern, because they will do so in a way which is less monopolistic than if the party had an actual majority. In that case the parties sitting opposite have little power in the house other than making long speeches for naught.

I guess we saw that with Harper. He finally got his majority only because others held the reins. Without those reins, we have seen his true un-announced and uncontrolled agenda.

Good for you, Sheldon! Go get em…

Comments for this article are closed.