16 May 2013

NDP’s loss not Greens’ fault, says candidate

B.C. Green Party candidate for Vancouver-Fraserview Stuart Mackinnon doesn’t believe his party had anything to do with the NDP’s surprisingly poor results in the May 14 provincial election.

Because the margin of votes between the Liberals and NDP in some ridings was so close, some speculate votes for the Greens undermined the NDP. There were 12 ridings in the province where the Liberals received a smaller number of votes than the NDP and Greens combined.

Several pundits have speculated the NDP would have prevailed with a majority government had it not been for the Greens. But Mackinnon strongly disagrees. “This was about the NDP not getting their vote out, that’s what did them in at the end,” said Mackinnon. “And I think there’s an inherent arrogance if they think that if it wasn’t for the Greens, people would have voted NDP.”

Mackinnon said while Vancouver-Fraserview has long been a Liberal stronghold, he heard from many constituents grateful for a “Green” choice this time around.

“They said, ‘Thank you Stuart because now I can vote,’” said Mackinnon.

In Vancouver-Fraserview as of May 16, Liberal Suzanne Anton won with 9,127 votes, 546 more than the NDP’s Gabriel Yiu. Mackinnon received 1,053 votes and the Conservative’s Rajiv Pandey’s 578. Across the province, the Liberals won 50 seats to the NDP’s 33. Andrew Weaver became the first Green elected as an MLA after winning Oak Bay-Gordon Head.

Mackinnon, a high school teacher, said a colleague told him almost everyone in his co-op housing development is an NDP supporter, but as far as he knows, he was the only one to vote. “It’s not a question of the Greens taking those votes,” said Mackinnon.

NDP MLA Vancouver-West End Spencer Chandra Herbert, who was re-elected Tuesday night, agreed.

“In the end you have to earn every vote,” said Chandra Herbert. “I had Liberal supporters and Greens telling me they were going to vote for me this time. We don’t own the vote, people own the vote.”
Chandra Herbert said as of Wednesday he hadn’t heard any complaints about vote splitting. While he is disappointed in the election results across the province, he’s pleased the NDP increased its share of seats in Vancouver.

The day after her win, Anton said she had no comment about vote splitting. “I’ll leave that up to the pundits,” she said with a laugh.

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