An email I sent to my voters directly after the results were determined:
Voters, thank you so very much.
I’ll write a more detailed response to the voters of the riding and post the text on my website soon.
I wanted to say that I’m really pleased with the GREEN results in West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country.
While we did not do nearly as well both nationally and in the riding as in 2008 – we managed to get our leader into the House of Commons! This is a massive hurdle we have overcome and it will be the springboard for future Green success.
I interpret the numbers like this:
The Green popular vote nation-wide shrank to 3.91% from 6.8% in 2008. That’s a drastic reduction in popular vote nationally.
The Green popular vote in WV-SC-S2S shrank from 14.42% to 7.28% of the vote – that mimics the national average decline in Green voters from 2008 to 2011. At first blush, this appears to be a dramatic drop. It’s not. What it indicates is that the riding is still very Green. In the riding, many votes were lost to strategic voting – more so this time around than in 2008 – Green votes were lost to the Liberals and NDP. So the real indication of Green voters in WV-SC-S2S is actually much higher. I would say perhaps by 2-3% higher putting the number of actual Green voters in the riding at around 10%. Remember too that the turn out for this election increased to an amazing 64.2%. Some of our apparent losses are not really losses because the total number of voters increased enough to be significant.
Importantly, the 7.3% of the popular vote in WV-SC-S2S is just under double the national average. WV-SC-S2S is a very Green riding.
Suffice to say that some predictions can be made about future elections in WV-SC-S2S. If I continue to be the candidate in the next election, our chances go up. If we see Elizabeth May in an all-candidates debate, our vote share goes up. If we continue to push our elected leaders in the right direction, our vote share goes up. If we reduce the need in our riding for strategic voting, our vote shares go up dramatically. If Elizabeth works hard to portray the Green Vision in the House of Commons, our vote share goes up.
All this to say that appearances don’t mean much without context and the context indicates this campaign did shockingly well given the circumstances: a budget less than 1/50th of the major parties, an essentially solo candidate without an organized team, a first-time candidate in a general election, a signage volume that was less than modest, a platform that gets little actual examination from the media, a leader who was excluded from the nationally televised debate… etc.
With this context in mind, you can see why I am indebted to the people of WV-SC-S2S. I’m immensely grateful that my plea to avoid “strategic voting” was taken to heart and to all those who voted Green because it’s the right thing to do, I’m forever at your service.
We will not stop until we see the paradigm shift in human consciousness that realigns our relationship with nature – one that insures that our children and children’s children flourish and benefit from the decisions and actions we take now.
There is a great deal of work to do in our communities and I feel very hopeful that the Green agenda will be taken seriously, respected, and considered to the fullest benefit of our common future.
I’m also confident that Mr. Weston realizes what the results indicate too. I will be certain to impress upon him this assessment and to remind him that runaway power is as dangerous as runaway climate change. He is smart and considerate and I know he will listen to our needs. We’ve got our work cut out for us. The leverage we needed has been provided in our riding. We need to keep the Conservatives in check until the next election; upon which time we may actually have a very good chance at winning.
And don’t worry about Mr. Harper axing the subsidies to parties. The moment Mr. Harper does that is the moment he’ll for certain lose the next election. We need to keep the pressure on the Conservatives because they are so badly misinformed.
Thank you again.
Please feel free to contact me anytime. I’d like to hear your stories, your suggestions, your ideas, and your vision.
Thank you, Thank you. B.
Green Party of Canada Candidate, West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country
604 727 4694
The Riding: http://tiny.cc/p1szb
To fund the Green Party of Canada: http://tiny.cc/qdxym