Elections

Election night: Election of leader a victory for Green Party

Green Party candidate Myron Jespersen, left, commiserates with supporters in Parksvile Monday night.  - Neil Horner
Green Party candidate Myron Jespersen, left, commiserates with supporters in Parksvile Monday night.
— image credit: Neil Horner

Although their champion finished fourth in the Nanaimo-Alberni riding, you wouldn’t know it. The Green gathering at the Old Dutch Inn in Qualicum Beach sounded far more like a victory celebration.

In fact, said candidate Myron Jespersen, that’s exactly what it was.

“Our major goal was to get Elizabeth May elected and she has been declared elected, so we’re pretty excited. We’re pumped,” he said. That was a game changer for us. We’re happy.”

Happy indeed, a fact made clear with loud cheers and applause when Elizabeth May appeared on the television screen to give her victory address.

Jespersen stressed he wasn’t overly concerned about the collapse of the Green vote across the country.

“That’s to be expected,” he said. “We didn’t run a national campaign like we did last time. We focused on getting Elizabeth May elected.”

Having May sitting in the House of Commons, he said, will prove a major step for Greens in Canada and bodes well for the next election.

“We will have a daily voice in Ottawa and the media will pay attention to us,” he said. “We’ll get daily exposure and be able to stand up in question period and ask questions, have media scrums, have a budget to have an office and that kind of thing. We’ll also get in the next leaders debate, unless they change the criteria.”

However, Jespersen conceded his party didn’t achieve all its goals.

“We had many objectives,” he said. “One was to have fun and we’re with a group of people who had a lot of fun. We really wanted to see Elizabeth May elected and that happened. But we also wanted to hold onto the gains we had in the last election and that didn’t happen. We are down at seven per cent or something like that and we wanted to hold onto the 10 per cent.”

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