From Erich Jacoby-Hawkins, Barrie Candidate, Green Party of Canada:
First of all, let me THANK YOU so much for all your support. Thanks to those who spoke words of encouragement and expressed wishes of luck (even if they were not voting Green). Thanks to the volunteers who delivered signs and thanks to those who had a sign – we had 4 times as many sign locations as last election. Thanks to those who helped canvass by foot or phone, thanks to those who donated money. Special thanks to the following key supporters:
Peter Tretter, Campaign Manager
Shawn Conroy, Volunteer Coordinator
Ruth Blaicher, Official Agent
Captain Carl, Signs
Larry Vindum, Office Manager
And too many others to list — we are grateful to all of you!
[NOTE: If you still have an election sign, please email us, or drop it off at 49 Eden Dr.]///
/Green Party result in //Canada//:/
Vote total = 940,747 votes (almost a million)
Vote percentage = 6.8%
Change in support from last time (4.5%) = 51% increase
/Green Party result in //Barrie//:/
Vote total = 5,921 votes.
Vote percentage = 11.1%
Change in support from last time (6.8%) = 63% increase
Barrie was the 25th highest Green riding in Canada (of 303), or 92nd percentile!
/What happened in //Barrie// overall?/
Here is how the votes seem to have moved:
The Conservatives gained ~4,000
The Greens gained ~2,100
The NDP lost ~600
The Liberals lost ~10,000.
In an oversimplified analysis, basically it seems that 10,600 people decided not to vote Liberal (or NDP) again. 4,000 of them voted Conservative instead, 2,100 of them votedGreen instead, and 4,500 of them chose to stay home and not vote at all.
/Did the Greens help re-elect Patrick Brown?/
*Certainly not.* Patrick Brown was re-elected by 52% of the voters. That means there is no way that “strategic” voting of any kind could have unseated him. Anyone who voted Liberal (or NDP) to try to stop Patrick failed, and has now provided $1.95 in annual funding to the Liberal Party (or NDP). Even in a textbook “swing” riding like Barrie, so-called “strategic” voting is almost always ineffective, as we saw last week. The only way to vote effectively is to vote for the party whose policies you’d most like to see in government. It boosts their policies, their funding, and their political strength.
Green votes count twice. They count toward building support and funding for the Green Party – in Barrie and across Canada. But they are also carefully counted by the other parties, who each try to figure out which Green policies they can adopt from us in order to get those votes back.
Across the nation, only the Green Party actually gained votes. The Conservatives and NDP gained some vote share and won more seats, but actually had fewer votes than in 2006.
In Ontario, the Green Party took about 8% of votes cast — 3^rd highest behind BC and Alberta. In Simcoe, the Green Party exceeded 10% in all 4 ridings (Barrie, Simcoe North, Simcoe-Grey, York-Simcoe).
/So what happens next?/
The Liberals will elect a new leader and drop the carbon tax and as such Climate Change will go on the back burner while the elected parties try to find their path through the economic turbulence we are likely to see over the next couple of years.
Jack Layton will be emboldened by his success – though frankly I don’t see much growth potential for the NDP. I suspect they have peaked because in the next election the Liberals and Greens will be much stronger.
The fact that Jack Layton and Stephen Harper were working together to exclude Elizabeth from the debates was /absolutely amazing/. It really highlighted the difference between the Green Party and the NDP — while we are a party of principle, the NDP has become a party that is willing to sacrifice principle in the short-term pursuit of power.
The Conservatives taste a majority but I don’t see much more growth for them, either. Harper is still a neoconservative and Canadians don’t want that. They will try and buy Quebec again – likely with huge spending on the arts.
Conservatives will face tough times trying to keep the budget balanced so they’ll likely do what Flaherty did when he was Minister of Finance for Ontario – get creative with the numbers. The election in/out scandal will hit the Conservatives as well, which holds over from the previous election. So it is not going to be an easy time for the Conservatives and the opposition parties should be able to force some issues, since no one wants to go back to another election yet.
/And the Greens?/
We again continued our strong upward trend. No, we did not win a seat. We are now hoping that there are by-elections between now and next election so Elizabeth can run, win a seat and we can be in the debates again. The debates helped the Green cause immensely. The fact that a million Canadians support the Green Party guarantees that the traditional parties will never again be able to ignore the issues we are raising again.
And there is so much unfinished business:
Climate change and carbon pricing — I don’t see anything happening with this until other countries — the U.S. and E.U. — put trade sanctions on us, forcing us to take action. Obama will get elected and will take action on this and we will have to follow suit.
Poverty — given the economic times we are facing the parties in power will say we don’t have the money to solve this, even though providing affordable housing (one of the major issues around poverty in Canada) would be a benefit to the economy.
Health care will continue its current path with no real focus on prevention and incidents of cancer will rise (as a percentage).
The economy will continue to shed manufacturing jobs (700 more announced at Daimler last week), with no emphasis on long-term, well-paying green jobs but more hand-outs for companies like Ford or GM to make cars no one wants to buy. The only thing saving us is the now lower Canadian dollar.
So given all this, the need for the Green Party will only increase and we will keep on building and we will elect members and we will eventually sit in government. This election was about Fear — fear of the Conservatives, fear for the economy. When an election becomes about hope – hope to end poverty, hope to reduce and end the occurrence of cancer, hope for a life where we work to live rather than live to work and of course hope for this planet – when the election is about Hope – Greens will not send one MP to Ottawa – nor 5 nor 8 – we will send dozens of MPs and build a Canada that will be the envy of the world. And because we are Canadians, we will turn to the rest of the world
and teach them how to be as great as we are.
All the best as we move forward together,