There are many reasons to not vote for conservatives. Ian Shields, the conservative candidate in the riding of Wascana is one of them. The wind in his sails comes from his own high opinion of what he thinks he knows about politics. Many of us worked conservative campaigns ten years before Shields came to Canada from Scotland.
Ian Shields lost the Wascana conservative campaign he ran for Brad Farquhar in 2006. Then he left Saskatchewan to lose the conservative campaign in Sault Ste Maria, Ontario. He seems to be little more than a big voice achieving little in Saskatchewan for conservatives. Now as the conservative candidate for Wascana, he claims he will be a better MP than will be Ralph Goodale. Conservative candidates have repeatedly lost to Ralph Goodale.
So why is Ian Shields running in Wascana? He may be running for only one reason. That may be to give him more power and control within the conservative party hierarchy. If he loses to Goodale, which is likely, he will have proven he is a Harper loyalist. This means he is prepared to do only what Stephen Harper's inner circle tell him to do.
Being a conservative under Stephen Harper may cost you your right to free speech. Speaking your mind without Harper’s approval may cost you your right to run as a conservative candidate, your right to serve as an MP and your right to hold a membership in the conservative party.
Two good examples in this regard are Grant Devine and Larry Spencer. Devine, a former Saskatchewan Premier, was denied the right to run for a conservative nomination. Larry Spencer, a former MP, removed from the conservative caucus also had his successful nomination removed by the Harper elites. Then they had his membership in the conservative party revoked as well. Both Devine and Spencer ran and lost as independent candidates.
Ian Shields played a significant role as one of Harper’s loyalists in assuring Larry Spencer's demise. His campaign in this election works to prove his loyalty to Stephen Harper and his inner circle. Mean spirited conservatives are easy to find and there are more of them today than ever before. If you value your right to free speech, you have a good reason to not vote for Ian Shields and the Harper conservatives.