Jim Pankiw is running in his old riding of Saskatoon-Humboldt. As an independent.
Oh, Lord. Where to begin? For those of you who don't know who Pankiw is, ask your nearest Saskatonian and watch them shudder. While he *might* not be an out-and-out racist, he certainly panders to people who are. His hobby horse du jour is how First Nations and how they're getting it easy, although goodness knows what else he'll pull out of his tickle trunk in the coming months. My wife remembers him as an MP writing to her and saying he was fighting for French not to be on the side of cereal boxes. Even now, she wants to kick him somewhere that *really* hurts.
Brad Trost should be very, very worried because in the 2004 election Pankiw was able to poll over 7,000 votes, resulting in a tight race where Trost barely got home (with, incidentally, Nettie Wiebe hard on his heels). And that was with a strong Liberal campaign, where all three (CPC, LPC and NDP all finished within a few hundred votes of each other). Now that the Liberals are on a road to nowhere in the riding (in 2008, they got less than half the votes they did in 2004), the NDP has shifted up gears as a definite pick-up seat opportunity. A lot of Pankiw's support will likely come from the same places as Trost's, which could spell trouble next time around.
His campaign will be fascinating to watch, but for all the wrong reasons.