POLITICS

Rolf Dinsdale, Liberal Candidate In Brandon, Is Not Your Typical Politician

10/10/2013 03:27 EDT | Updated 10/10/2013 03:30 EDT
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A punk rocker who was accused of lying about his work history will be the Liberal candidate in the much-anticipated Brandon-Souris byelection.

Rolf Dinsdale defeated the mayor of Killarney, Manitoba — a card-carrying Conservative until about two weeks ago — at a nomination meeting Wednesday.

Rick Pauls ditched the Tories after his preferred Tory candidate, Chris Kennedy, was tossed out of the competition over issues with his nomination papers.

Dinsdale, 47, has experience in publishing and media sales and recently moved back to Brandon from Toronto.

He will now face Manitoba MLA Larry Maguire in the uphill battle to replace Conservative Merv Tweed, who resigned in August to take a job as president of railway company, Omnitrax Canada Inc.

In 2011, the Liberal candidate finished fourth, behind the Green Party candidate.

But the drama over the Conservative nomination process in the riding and some positive polling numbers for the Liberals in Manitoba has some believing Dinsdale may have a shot.

Maguire was acclaimed as the nominee after Kennedy and Brandon's deputy mayor, Len Isleifson, were disqualified over incomplete paperwork. Many Tories — like Pauls — were outraged.

"There is a growing sense that the Harper Conservatives are slowly losing their grip on what has been one of the safest Tory seats in the nation over the past six decades," wrote Deveryn Ross recently in the Winnipeg Free Press.

But does Dinsdale have what it takes to steal the riding from the Tories?

Here are a few things to know about the unconventional pick the Liberals just made.

His Dad Was A Tory Cabinet Minister

Rolf's father, Walter Dinsdale, represented the area for 32 years and was the minister of northern affairs and national resources in the Progressive Conservative government of John Diefenbaker from 1960 to 1963.

He won his seat in a 1951 byelection.

His grandfather, George Dinsdale, was also Brandon mayor and legislature member.

"I look forward to continuing my family's proud tradition of serving this community with honesty, transparency, accessibility and integrity," Dinsdale told Liberals on Wednesday.

His Relationship With Facebook Is Complicated

Dinsdale was accused in September of misleading voters by projecting himself as a bigwig at Facebook.

His campaign website stated he "became a senior executive at the leading social media network Facebook, and guided its Canadian business operations until 2009."

In fact, he worked for a Toronto company — Segal Communications — which handled sales for Facebook ads in Canada between 2007 and 2009.

Dinsdale denied he was being misleading but has since changed his online biography.

"I'll be very clear. I never worked directly for Facebook. I was a third-party agent. But this is very typical when companies expand into Canada, in the media business, that they'll hire Canadian companies to represent them here."

He Was In A Punk Rock Band With Former Chretien Advisor Warren Kinsella

Dinsdale played guitar and sang in the punk rock band, Shit From Hell.

The band was formed in 2005, released a CD that year and another, entitled "Why Do You Hate Me?," in 2012.

But Kinsella wrote on his website Wednesday that the project was just for fun as all members had "day jobs" and the songs are satirical.

And speaking of those songs…

His Music Is A Bit Racy

Tracks on the most recent Shit From Hell CD include "F**k Buddy," "Horny Single Mom," and "Jesus Got Wood."

The video for the latter features a writhing woman and they lyrics:

You like to get hammered

You like to get nailed

But the dude on the cross, he's the boss

Baby, you're gonna get impaled

But He Claims His Music Is Christian Rock

Dinsdale said "Jesus Got Wood" is actually a Christian anthem.

"Personally, I felt there needed to be a song like this that spoke to people who maybe don't get exposed to Christian rock ... and it is funny in one sense," he told The Canadian Press.

That claim was apparently news to Kinsella, who wrote on his website last month that the band's Jewish drummer may have been surprised, too.

After Dinsdale won Wednesday, Kinsella again wrote on his site that the "band is neither 'Christian rock' nor serious."

His Band Has Mocked Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Shit From Hell released a song — "Mayor On Crack?" — in June. The tune pokes fun at the allegations Ford was caught on tape smoking crack cocaine. The mayor has denied that he used crack cocaine or that such a video exists.

Choice lyrics include:

We've got a Mayor on crack?

We want to give him the sack

He makes us all wanna yak

We've got a Mayor on Crack?

According to the band, all proceeds from the song will be "donated to Canadian charities that provide addiction counseling."

Move over, Toronto Centre and Bourassa. It looks like the campaign in Brandon might be a doozy.

With files from The Canadian Press