Greens win first Ontario seat ever as national vote dries up

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TORONTO – On the one hand, the Green Party is sending more than one lawmaker to Ottawa for the second time in its history, including one representing Ontario’s ride for the first time.

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The party, on the other hand, appeared to be losing a significant amount of the voter support it had received in 2019, and its leaders did not come close to winning their desired seat.

Monday may not have been the best of times and worst times for the Greens, but it left them with a result that somewhat reflected the tension that was threatening to tear the party apart just before the election. .

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Mike Morris won a race that opened on 4 September, when Liberal incumbent Raj Saini ended his campaign amid allegations that he treated female employees unfairly, which he denied.

The drive to withdraw Saini’s name was delayed as his name was omitted from the ballot paper. Although Liberal leader Justin Trudeau had said that if Saini won re-election, he would not be welcome in the Liberal caucus, Saini garnered more than 15 percent of the riding vote as of Tuesday morning, moving him to fourth place. .

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Morris finished second in the 2019 federal election in the Kitchener Center, nearly 6,000 votes behind Saini. Prior to this election, the Kitchener Center and its predecessor were among Canada’s most reliable Belvedere ridings. The voters there chose a candidate from the party that had formed the government in all elections since 1965.

The Greens also held on to the closest thing to their stronghold, as former leader Elizabeth May was re-elected to a fourth term in the Saanich-Gulf Islands.

This is where the good news ended. The other Green incumbent, Paul Manly, ran through the night behind his NDP and Conservative challengers, while Green leader Annie Paul failed in his second attempt to reach parliament.

Running in the Toronto Center, where she finished second in the 2020 by-election, Paul was fourth, reporting almost half the turnout.

The first major party to speak publicly on Monday night, Paul thanked his candidates, his volunteers and all Green members for their efforts during the campaign.

“It is hard to lose – no one likes to lose – but I am very proud of the effort, the creativity, the innovation our team has brought to this race,” she said.

The Green leader said the election results suggested that the voting public was looking for a kind of “status quo” in Ottawa, and that all parties should reduce the negativity and help Canada through the COVID-19 pandemic. should work together.

“We need to ensure that the wounds created during this election are not permanent,” he said.

With only 252 candidates running in the riding – the lowest for the Greens since 2000 – the party’s share in the total popular vote also appeared to be at its lowest level in 21 years.

As of 12:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, the share of Green votes was about two percent of the national total, down from 6.55 percent in 2019. During the four party-led elections in May, its share of the popular vote dwindled. 3.45 percent.

Speaking to Granthshala News as Paul was giving his concession speech, May said she was “very thrilled” with Morris’ election and felt “a very strong sense of disappointment” at Paul not winning Toronto Center.

May said she could relate to Paul’s position, as the Greens did not win any seats at the top of the party in the first two elections in May.

“I’m sure she will consider it, and we will discuss it in the Green Party – where things went wrong and what we need to do better,” May said.

The former leader dismissed pre-election reports of the party’s mess as “generated mostly from gossip” and declined to comment on what the future might hold for the Green Party.

“It is too early for me to know what will happen next, except that I have faith and confidence in my membership,” she said.

The party’s bylaws said that since Paul did not become prime minister as a result of Monday’s election, he would face a leadership review within six months.

A similar review took place around June, as part of politics within the party, including an attempt to strip Paul of his Green membership. These efforts were called off at short notice, as Paul and those seeking his removal were looking for an uneasy struggle to get through the election.

Ronna Ambrose, a former interim leader of the Conservative Party, told Granthshala News that if Paul is now removed as leader, May could play a good role in paving the way for the Greens.

“Elizabeth May would be the natural person to step into the party and decide to subscribe,” she said.

Jenika Atwin, who was elected to the Greens in 2019 and lost to the Liberals earlier this year, cited discomfort with the Greens’ position on the Israel-Palestinian conflict for her new party in the New Brunswick ride of Fredericton. re-elected.

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