Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters wanted something different this time from their political representation in Ottawa.
Voters in the riding might not have been satisfied with past representation, or they wanted to shake things up, or they were signalling different priorities, or maybe it was a mix of all those factors and others.
Whatever the case, voters in Nanaimo-Ladysmith made Monday’s byelection an historic one by electing Paul Manly, who will be just the second-ever elected Green Party of Canada MP.
He said a few times during the byelection campaign that voting for the NDP, Conservatives or Liberals would be a status quo vote, whereas voting Green would send a message across the country and be perceived as a call to climate action.
We think it’s important that that happens – that other parties and the Canadian people make the environment a talking point and a priority in the months leading up to the Oct. 21 general election. Manly will have a unique role to play – he’s the last elected MP during this Parliament, the freshest face and will have a platform to talk about why he was elected and why his priorities and his party’s priorities should matter.
The other candidates said during the campaign that they would have used their short stint in the House of Commons effectively, too. Bob Chamberlin of the NDP had hoped to point out the federal government’s shortcomings and show contrasts in priorities. John Hirst of the Conservatives and Michelle Corfield of the Liberals both talked about how they had wanted to take a role in helping their parties create Vancouver Island platforms.
The Island, more so than before, is a home base for the Greens and for our new MP. The Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection ensured we had the attention of all the other parties, too, and we hope that we will remain important amidst a coming coast-to-coast-to-coast fall election.