It has indeed been a very long time since I wrote a blog – 30 days to be exact. My last posting was a call to vote Green on the eve of the May 2nd election.
We all know what happened in that election –
- Greens made history. The voters in Saanich Gulf Islands (SGI) made history with a 75% voter turn-out, 31,900 Green votes and 46% support. Yesterday I was sworn in as the first elected Green Member of Parliament in Canadian history.
- The Conservative Party won the most seats in Parliament with less than 40% of the popular vote.
- Five leaders went into the election campaign. Four decided, with media executives, to exclude one leader. At the end of the election, two of those leaders lost their own seats. Three federal party leaders from pre-May 2 remain, including the one leader denied the right to be part of the national leaders debate.
- The number of votes in 14 ridings that made the difference between a minority and majority government was 6201. The case for proportional representation has never been stronger.
- We ran a great campaign and my thanks go out to our campaign manager, Lois Corbett, and to the fabulous candidates who ran from coast to coast to coast. Greens have never run a finer campaign.
Since the election, the pace of activity has not slackened. The sudden onslaught of media interviews, the work of finding a constituency office, getting briefed in Ottawa, visiting and celebrating with Green volunteers throughout my riding, researching the rules of procedure in the House, and finally, being in Ottawa with only days before the resumption of the House. There hasn’t been a break since the election.
While I focus on my role as MP for SGI in the constituency and on the Hill, so too are we working to build the Green Party base over the next four years so that in the next election, we will win more than 12 seats. Even before the 2015 election, we may have ideal opportunities to elect more Green MPs in by-elections. We need to fortify ourselves against the coming regressive move: the rolling back of Chretien’s campaign finance reforms. As a result, the Green Party will not receive public financing between elections. We will need to ask our friends and colleagues to consider going on the monthly giving plan. Even $5/month will make a big difference to the health of the party and our ability to take the foothold we have in Parliament and turn it into a solid political force.
We achieved our breakthrough this past election. But we all know it is only the beginning. I will try to do a better job keeping you posted through this blog. Through a Parliamentary website from my office, you will also have direct sources of information. I will do whatever I can to improve openness and transparency in government.
Now the work begins.