The voters of Saanich-Gulf Islands (SGI) have made history, electing Canada’s first Green Member of Parliament. Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party, defeated Conservative Cabinet Minister Gary Lunn in a close and hard-fought race for the riding on Vancouver Island.
“I want to thank the voters of SGI for choosing respect, for choosing a positive vision for Canadian politics. Together we will make history and change Canadian politics,” said Ms. May. “I also want to thank the Green candidates and volunteers, who worked so hard for the last 37 days. Most of all I want to thank everyone who voted Green.”
The undemocratic action of the broadcasters limited the choice of Canadians in this election. Immediately following the 2008 debate, when Canadians had a chance to see Ms. May, Green Party support increased. Following the 2011 debates where Ms. May was excluded, support began to drop immediately. As a result, across Canada, the overall Green Party vote declined, although there were still strong showings in ridings such as the Yukon, Victoria, Vancouver Centre, Dufferin-Caledon, Calgary Centre, Okanagan-Shuswap, and Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.
“In 2008, I was able to show millions of Canadians what a truly positive and forward-thinking party looks like, and our vote went up significantly. In 2011, the TV networks decided positive messages do not make for good TV, and 4.3 million Canadians were denied the chance to hear our positive vision, and our vote decreased. There is a direct correlation,” said Ms. May.
“Despite this, the Green Party achieved our goal for 2011. We now sit in Parliament, and we can no longer be denied our place in any aspect of Canadian democracy,” Ms. May continued. “On this foundation we will build and we will show Canadians there is a real alternative to the old parties. The Green Party will continue to grow, addressing the critical issues the other parties ignore.”