May 7, 2011 by Post Team
Elizabeth May, Elizabeth May wrapped her arms around a follower dressed in green and whispered in his ear: “You know what, I am a deputy!”
The leader of the federal Green Party will be held on Monday night after he defeated Conservative incumbent Gary Lunn to win a seat in Ottawa, which represents Saanich-Gulf Islands.
“We said we would make history – they made history,” he said in an interview with reporters after her victory Tuesday night. The 56-year-old becomes the first Green – provincial or national level – elected in Canada. “This election has created real opportunity for the Greens for the first time to change the way the House of Commons is working.”
May was 46.3 percent of the vote in the riding, beating Conservative incumbent Gary Lunn (35.6 percent) and Edith Loring-Kuhanga PND (11.9) and Liberal Renée Hetherington (6 3).
The horse Saanich-Gulf Islands is not foreign to Green support; one of the main reasons for May, parachuted into the riding in 2009. In the 2004 federal election, the former deputy leader Andrew Lewis received 16.7 percent of the vote, but ultimately lost to Lunn. That same election marked the first time a Green candidate released a win table, as Lewis won 17 of 238 Saanich-Gulf Islands surveys.
Before Monday’s election, the UVic political science professor Dennis Pilon said May had a lot going for the horse, including the prestige of leading the party and the fact Lunn won by a narrow margin in 2008.
“It is in the position of minorities, which is different from other conservative constituencies in the province. Most wins are huge conservative majority, but not here,” said Pilon.
While most of the Conservative Party 22 a. C. victories in 2008 were landslides, Lunn achieved about 43 percent of the vote while his nearest competitor was favored by almost 40 percent of the vote.
Both May and Lunn helped develop large numbers to the polls in Saanich-Gulf Islands, and that 75.2 percent of voters in the riding cast their vote. Nationally, the turnout was significantly lower, at 61.4 percent, although from the abyss 59.1 percent who voted in 2008.
Although the Green Party won its first seat, support across the country fell. The party won 3.9 percent of the votes of Canadians, almost three percent from 2008.
Regardless of May sees a bright future for the Greens, now that they have a voice in Ottawa.
The two other Green candidates southern islands, Jared Giesbrecht (Victoria) and Shaunna Salsman (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca), also saw strong support, despite closures against high-profile candidates.
Giesbrecht won 11.6 percent of the vote in his horse, while Salsman gained 8.9 percent. The three districts of the South Island were the only ones in the province saw an increase in support of the Greens.
“That was a real blow to our fortunes in the country, but this was quite a victory for the Green Party,” said May, blaming falling national party’s exclusion from the televised leadership debates. “The greatest achievement is to break the psychological barrier that we have been trying since the game began: ‘It’s OK to vote green, but are losing their vote because they can not be elected.” Well, now we’re past that psychological barrier, and I think that will help you as reconstruction. ”
His priority, he says, is to keep your Saanich-Gulf Islands components in the front of your mind and create a dialogue with them.
“I have really wanted to give regular reports to the community,” he said, suggesting the town hall meetings every six weeks as a way for her to “give a verbal report of what is happening in Ottawa, and answer questions and hear concerns.
As he prepares to go to Ottawa, the new MP said he had a lot of mundane tasks of caring for her before she heads.
“It’s a little strange. After all the excitement of an election, no one called to say that there is a manual for you: this is where you will find on the opening of an electoral district office and the budget to rent the space” he said. “I’m really overwhelmed by the support I had from Saanich-Gulf Islands since day 1 … I’m very motivated to go to work, to start working for them.”
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