To everyone in Kitchener South – Hespeler that I have had the privilege of making contact with during the 2019 election campaign – I thank you!
Some of you, I met at your doors and we had some great discussions. Some wrote me emails inquiring about my personal positions on issues. Some became Green Party members, donated, requested lawn signs or volunteered to canvass. Some did all of those things and I feel so amazed and inspired by your hard work, support for me and your concern for your community. My sincere and deepest thank you!
As I canvassed in this campaign, people at the doors almost unanimously expressed a frustration and disappointment with the traditional parties and voters said they expected better. They wanted ethical, honest and compassionate leadership. They knew the Green Party and I were offering these things; however, many believed the rhetoric that the Conservatives and Liberals used to scare voters that if you didn’t pick whichever wasn’t as bad of those two, you’d get something horrible from the other. Fear is a powerful manipulation for keeping the status quo and the traditional parties use it skilfully. Many simply believed that I could not win, so made that belief into a reality by casting their vote otherwise.
Our archaic first past the post (FPTP) voting system is clearly flawed. This election had the Liberals with the second most votes get 30 seats more than the party that received the most votes. It also gave 32 seats to the Bloc and only 3 to the Greens, though both received nearly the same number of votes. The NDP had twice the voter support as the Bloc, but got far less seats – only 2/3 as many.
So while the seat count doesn’t reflect it as much as we’d like, Greens have broken records in Canada before and during this election. Our first MP was elected just eight years ago in this system that discourages voters from choosing what they really want. Since then, we now have 15 Green MPPs in four provinces – holding the balance of power in British Columbia and are now the Official Opposition to a minority government in Prince Edward Island. Nationally, we just doubled the last federal election result and earned one million votes; more than ever. In Kitchener South – Hespeler, we tripled the votes received from 1755 to 5666 and went from 4% to 10.8% support. Breaking the 10% threshold qualifies us to be reimbursed for 60% of our campaign expenses, which will help us in the next campaign; your donations will go much further!
My father loved the axiom “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you are right”. Post-election, one supporter quoted this phrase to me. We discussed how success comes to those that believe in something and pursue it with unrelenting determination over the long haul, bringing others more and more on board over time. We must keep in mind, growth has been and is happening. If we persist – we are unstoppable.
I won’t give up on fighting for Proportional Representation so that we can have a better democracy in our country. I won’t give up on you, our riding and our country to promote better social, economic and environmental policies through the most grass roots citizen-led party there is; the Green Party. We can expect better, but we won’t get better until more of us are part of making it happen.
I hope that you will join the Green Party of Canada at www.greenparty.ca and also the Green Party of Ontario at www.GPO.ca to keep our momentum going and growing. If you want to be involved in improving our democracy by more that just voting, then be involved in volunteering between elections. There are things like information tables at community events you can help staff and other activities you can suggest and participate in with us. Join the federal and provincial Green Parties, and click on the volunteer link on the websites.
Again, I give you my deepest thanks for your support and encouragement. I look forward to continuing to work for and with you!
Green Party of Canada
Kitchener South – Hespeler
Candidate for MP