Musings —11.25.2013 09:36 PM—
Even if he loses, Rolf Dinsdale is a winner.
Full disclosure, first part: The deadline for this column was well before all the votes were counted in Rolf’s Brandon-Souris riding in Manitoba on Monday. So my friend might win, or not.
Disclosure, second part: Rolf is, indeed, one of my best friends.
Now, to Canada’s political chattering classes, Rolf is a marvel. He’s the guy who erased the 60-point lead the Conservatives had in 2011’s general election.
He’s the wunderkind who turned Brandon-Souris Liberal red after it had been Tory blue for most of the past century.
But to me — and to his past and future bandmates Davey Snot, Bjorn von Flapjack, Rayman and Steve Deceive — he was our buddy and lead guitarist in our punk rock band.
He was a great guitarist, too. We did gigs for fun and raised money for Haiti relief, juvenile diabetes, G20 protesters, Russian political prisoners and food banks. The last song we recorded together was called Mayor On Crack, and we’re giving the proceeds to addiction counselling. (It’s on iTunes, folks!)
Punk rocker, political sensation and a good guy, too. A winner.
Our band bears the acronym SFH. You might have heard about this already because the Conservatives — in white-knuckle panic about losing the riding they arrogantly assumed would always be theirs — littered the riding with smears against Rolf.
He was in a punk rock band! With naughty lyrics and a naughty name! He wore a bowler hat onstage!
The smears didn’t work. Everyone laughed at them. They laughed, too, at the news the Cons had shipped in their campaign primus inter pares, Jenni Byrne, to keep Brandon-Souris in the Conservative fold. Byrne will now slink back to Ottawa, having been humiliated by — ha!— a punk rocker.
Now, in fairness, Rolf did not become a big winner all on his own.
For starters, Rolf’s surname didn’t hurt. His dad was the legendary Walter Dinsdale — a true Progressive Conservative who held the riding for decades and was a senior federal cabinet minister.
His dad won the Distinguished Flying Cross for killing many Nazis during the war. (We did a song about that.)
The surname of the Liberal leader didn’t hurt, either. Justin Trudeau attracted lots of support because older folks remember his dad with genuine affection. And a lot of younger folks support him because Justin is more youthful and positive than his opponents.
Other beneficial factors: The Conservatives made a five-alarm calamity of their candidate nomination process, thereby enraging plenty of local Tories.
The Senate scandal assisted Rolf, too — that sordid, fetid mess has now fully ensnared Stephen Harper with suspicions the prime minister knew a lot more than he claimed to know.
All of these factors, and more, helped my buddy Rolf. We talked about it over the weekend.
“Along with being a dad, this is the greatest thing I have ever done,” he said, exhausted. “Even if I lose, what an honour this has been.”
He won’t lose. The votes weren’t in as of this writing, but I’m going out on a limb for my friend. Along with being a punk rocker, Rolf Dinsdale is also this: