The Waterloo Region Greens attended the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival again this year, and a good time was had by all!
YouTube: Glorious Greens 2019
Since becoming personally involved in elections, I’ve found myself watching televised election coverage on Election Night. This year, that was at Ethel’s Lounge in Waterloo with three of our 5 Waterloo Region Greens Candidates and WRGreens volunteers and supporters.
Each broadcaster concentrates on the ridings their partisan experts consider important, instead of showing the riding results equally, so it’s hit or miss for all the rest. We chose to watch TVO’s coverage that night at Ethel’s, as TVO was the only MSM broadcaster to include a Green leaning commentator.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to get the big picture. So for my own interest, I decided to check out Elections Ontario (unofficial results) to get an idea how our Green Candidates did overall. Although I did this for my own interest, Bob pointed out this might be of interest to others, so here it is.
(note: the above all candidates image is actually in three pieces, part 1 is the first 6 rows, part 2 the next 5 rows, and part 3 the last 5 rows. Click on the section you want to see the segment at full size.)
All five of our Waterloo Region Greens candidates did very well overall.
Kitchener South—Hespeler candidate David Weber‘s 7.53 riding vote percentage was the 6th highest in Ontario (up from 7th in 2014). Kitchener Centre‘s candidate Stacey Danckert ranked 9th with 6.84%, Kitchener—Conestoga candidate Bob Jonkman ranked 11th with 6.51%, Cambridge candidate Michele Braniff ranked 14th with 6.27%, and first time candidate Zdravko Gunjevic ranked 24th with 4.83% in Waterloo.
And while I know from personal experience how lucky Waterloo Region has been to have such an excellent roster of WRGreens candidates, I have met enough other Green Party Candidates to know this isn’t really unusual. Frankly, I am continually stunned by the calibre of Green Party Candidates in general. Although the Green Party has far and away the best policy of any of the top four parties, putting your hat in the ring requires a great deal of time, money and effort for any candidate. It’s a big personal investment no matter which party a candidate is running for, and Greens are faced with additional handicaps:
Green Candidates are well aware of how little chance they have of being elected, but in spite of everything, excellent Green Party Candidates keep stepping up.
Stacey Danckert brought us all together under the unofficial WRGreens umbrella during the 2015 federal election, and our regional cooperation is paying off. Cooperating, sharing our experience and resources has been incredibly helpful for us here in Waterloo Region.
And not just during elections. We’ve been actively working to raise the Green profile between elections, by hosting information tables at local summer festivals where we can, hosting our own events and participating in others as appropriate, and building our online presence on the WRGreens blog. We’re always learning, and we’ll do it even better next time. Especially now that Mike Schreiner has won that so important first seat.
I know how hard it can be to stay positive, and to keep focus on the campaign. But after media suppression, I think our worst threat is falling prey to propaganda.
The strategic voting narrative continues to be powerful, and it is always the worst when it strikes from within.
In many ways I think this is especially difficult for Greens, because Greens are the unparty party, the party that applauds other parties when they appropriate our ideas, even when implemented badly, because it’s a start.
The stakes are so high that sometimes a candidate falls victim to strategic voting propaganda, and suggests their supporters vote instead for a competitor who might win against a greater evil. This really isn’t surprising in a party that understands the importance of working together for the common good. Green Candidates aren’t professional politicians, they’re people from all walks of life who get involved because they understand our future is at stake and change is no longer optional. They’re in this because serious issues that need to be addressed, not for the greater glory of the party.
One of the reasons strategic voting is wrong is that it is always built on the faulty premise that old statistics— whether gleaned from past elections or recent opinion polls— can accurately predict who might win. If this were true, there would be no need for the trouble and expense of elections.
In this campaign, I was particularly unhappy to see a terrible strategic voting meme initiated by Meanwhile In Canada. The post in question actually told voters to vote NDP except in 5 cases, where it said voters should vote Green because Green candidates could win in those 5 ridings. Some Green folk helped spread this meme thinking it might help change the perception that Green candidates couldn’t win.
I don’t know what exactly that prediction was based on, but two of the candidates who went on to rank in the top 5 percentages in their ridings were excluded from the 5 supposedly winnable ridings. We will never know how many more votes those candidates (or all the Green candidates MiC strategically dismissed) might have won if that social media maven hadn’t been telling voters to vote against Greens in the last week of the campaign.
Although there are no scientific studies of which I am aware, I think Strategic Voting is the most powerful vote suppression tool going. When people are convinced their vote won’t have any effect, or worse, that it will help elect the boogeyman provided by our FPTP system, many feel the only responsible choice is not voting.
We only get one vote. That’s not a vote for a party. It’s not a vote for a party leader. It’s a vote for our local representative. I have to wonder how much better Greens would do in elections if they didn’t have to spend half the election explaining what’s wrong with Strategic Voting.
Green Party of Ontario Leader, and Guelph MPP candidate Mike Schreiner‘s 45.04% riding vote percentage was the highest in Ontario. This resulted in the first seat in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario won by an Ontario Green Party Candidate. Parry Sound—Muskoka‘s candidate Matt Richter ranks 2nd with 20.02%. Laura Campbell ‘s 12.53% of the vote won in Dufferin—Caledon placed her in 3rd position; Barrie—Springwater—Oro—Medonte candidate Keenan Aylwin’s 11.72% of the vote ranks him 4th, and Dave Rodgers 8.64% in Wellington—Halton Hills makes him the 5th highest ranking Ontario Green candidate by percentage.
The Green Party of Ontario is making history, and these five candidates are leading the way forward. Onward!
[Republished from the KitCon Blog’s “Statistics”]
The event was a series of round tables connecting people with candidates, interspersed with 3-5 minute talks by candidates and representatives from the local culture scene. The speaking order was determined by drawing names out of a bowl, and as it happened, our Green Candidates dominated the beginning of the evening.
Waterloo Candidate Zdravko Gunjevic started the evening off with a look at the importance of Public Libraries in our shared culture (if you listen closely you’ll hear an Ontario Cabinet Minister heckle him)
Next up, Kitchener-Conestoga Candidate Bob Jonkman considers the impact of culture on our most vulnerable citizens
And finally, Kitchener Centre Candidate Stacey Danckert spoke about the importance of public support for the creators who make our culture
WRGreens were honoured to be included in this valuable event.
WRGreens congratulate Waterloo’s “Zee” Zdravko Gunjevic and Kitchener Centre’s Stacey Danckert on their nomination as Green Party Candidates at Sunday’s combined WRGreens GPO Constituency Association nomination meeting at the Kitchener Public Library.
A second combined nomination meeting for the other WRGreens ridings is in the works, possibly for December. We’ll keep you posted!
Photos by Laurel Russwurm released under a Creative Commons Attribution License may be attributed to WRGreens. These (and many more) are available in the WRGreens Flickr album.
NOTE: If you find yourself in one of our blogs or Flickr albums but would prefer not to appear there, or should you wish to remain but be identified by name, please contact Laurel at firstname.lastname@example.org