MUSIC

Ashley MacIsaac Considers Federal Politics Despite The Musician's Controversial Past

09/23/2013 04:29 EDT
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ASHLEY MACISAAC.Toronto.04.15.05. RPJ- PHOTO109078. Celebrated for his music and reviled for his bad behaviour, fiddler Ashely MacIsaac is mounting an art exhibition at Just Desserts (Yonge & Wellesley) in May. Shots of MacIsaac and some of his paintings will accompany feature by Quill.(Rene Johnston.Toronto Star) RPJ (Photo by Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Ashley MacIsaac has made headlines for a myriad of reasons over his career, but the Cape Breton-born fiddler is now considering a run for political office down the road.

The CBC reports MacIsaac is currently residing in Windsor, Ontario and is contemplating entering federal politics. There's no word as to what party he would consider running for as a candidate, but he's hinting at federal politics, not provincial or municipal.

"I might be interested in politics in this area in the future," MacIsaac, 38, said. "I don't know if that will be the next election or the one after, but I'm making attempts and inroads there as well."

Earlier this year the musician -- who was discovered as a teen by Philip Glass, became an unlikely Canadian pop icon in the mid-90s and released his last studio album "Crossover" in 2011 -- told the St. Catharines Standard he would consider a run in 2015. He also said his past history would have no effect on whether he would run on not.

"What the hell can you dig out about me that hasn't already been said?" he pointed out. "Before any of the TMZs and those things, I made it clear to people: I'm going to tell you who I am. Deal with it, or don't. What [will they say]? That I'm gay? That I was a crackhead? That I was bankrupt? That I was called a pedophile by the press? That I was called a racist by the press? All that stuff is so irrelevant to me.

"When you have the opportunity to be one of only three or four hundred people making decisions for the rest of the country... I don't know if that would be the end of a music career for me, I don't know if I'd even like it. But the opportunity presents itself quite frequently."

Certainly, he would be hard-pressed to find a political opponent with quite as colourful a past.

In November, 2011 MacIsaac appeared before supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sporting a muskrat fur coat and a sign stating his support for the Canadian Seal Hunt.

"PETA has a good cause, which is to ethically treat animals, but the focus hasn't been on that, it's been on being extreme," he said at the time. "I'm just offended by some of the things PETA does to protest. I'm against anybody telling a fisherman who is out at five in the morning, on the ice in the North Atlantic, that they know better than [the fishermen] know about what it's like to make a living out there and what is a humane way to do the seal hunt."

Back in 2006, the musician -- whose kilt-wearing, penis-baring high kick during a 1997 performance on the Late Show with Conan O'Brien first brought him international attention -- announced he would run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada due to fears of Quebec separating from the country (though he later change his mind)>

"I would say it's going to take a very charismatic figure to turn Quebec into the province that has elected as many Liberals as it has in the past again," he told the Halifax Daily News at the time. "Clearly, there's a war happening in Quebec right now. And it's happening under the guise of we're just going to let it slip away because people aren't talking about it enough in the rest of the country."

In 2003, MacIsaac sued the Ottawa Citizen for libel after an article appeared characterizing him as a racist after comments regarding Asian women spreading SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) were allegedly made while he performed at an Ottawa show. MacIsaac had two shows in Winnipeg nixed due to the comments which he claimed were sarcastic.

In April, 2000 the fiddler declared bankruptcy after owing approximately $300,000 in back taxes. And then there was his late '90s crack addiction following his original scandal back in 1996, when MacIsaac, then 21, told Macleans about his penchant for sex involving urination with his 16-year-old boyfriend.

MacIsaac -- who is a distant cousin of Jack White -- also opened up for The White Stripes in 2007 in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia as part of the band's adventurous Canadian tour documented in the 2010 release "Under Great White Northern Lights."

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