From Saturday's Regina Leader-Post:
The news that Prince Albert Conservative MP Brian Fitzpatrick has decided not to run in the next federal election is the biggest news Saskatchewan Conservative caucus members have made since they were elected.
I know very little about this guy, but it sounds as though he spoke out on Saskatchewan issues and got slapped down by Harper for so doing:
Fitzpatrick can dance around this one all he wants, but the reality is he had no future in the Conservative party any more than did Belinda Stronach.
Ah well, principled dissent has a price in the Stephen Harper Tories.
Interesting conclusion to the piece by Larry Birkbeck:
The bottom line is that Fitzpatrick has nothing to apologize for, will be hard to replace and will be missed by Parliament and those he has served. Stephen Harper is losing some solid Conservative MPs and has exchanged them for former Liberals in his quest to shore up his support in B.C. and in central Canada. Harper must focus on B.C. and central Canada and not be distracted by a handful of constituencies in Saskatchewan if he wants to form a majority government.
Is this the Harper calculus: sacrifice some of the Western old guard for support in B.C and Que./Ont. (Fitzgerald ran as a Reform Party candidate in the early 1990s)? Risky strategy which, given the Tories current slump in La Belle Province, does not seem to be working. Hopefully, Harper ends up pleasing nobody.