Federal Election

Greens look on the bright side of again sitting on election sidelines

The Green Party looks to the future, expecting more change and a better turnout after winning only one seat nationally on election night.

Green party supporters are surprised by Liberal sweep of Atlantic Canada
Green party supporters are surprised by Liberal sweep of Atlantic Canada   Sindi Skenderi

Thomas Trappenberg did not expect the Green Party to win the federal riding of Halifax, but saw big benefits of this past election.

He says Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system definitely wouldn’t allow the party to gain government, “but the point is, we can educate and wake people up.”

Trappenberg and his fellow Green Party candidates in Nova Scotia crowded around a small T.V. with snacks and soft drinks at the Armdale Yacht Club.

Trappenberg in front of colleagues and supporters
Trappenberg in front of colleagues and supporters   Sindi Skenderi

Brynn Nheiley, the Dartmouth-Cole Harbour candidate, also believes that this election has helped the party. She says through media coverage, the party has been getting more recognition for its policies, in contrast to the years before 2004, when they didn’t have any seats in the House of Commons.

“We aren’t looking to form government, our objectives are to make sure we have a government that is putting together a good policy, that meets the bigger objectives than just climate change and social justice,” she said, adding that those are deep Canadian values, but that are also political spheres which become distracting.

But the party might not have a big chance to influence some of those policies. Elizabeth May, the Green Party leader, originally hoped to have 10 to 15 seats in the House, but after the final polls came in, May was the only one to hold a seat from her party.

The party gained 3.5 per cent of votes across the nation, with more than 600,000 people voting for them.

Nheiley believes a setback of the campaign was the lack of representation of the Green Party during debates and interviews.

“It’s frustrating for us that all the pundits are always talking from the Liberal, Conservative and NDP parties,” she says.

Elizabeth Mosher, a life-long supporter of the Green party who herself has run as a candidate, thinks locally the party did well: “With the small amount of money and such a long campaign they’ve done a credible job.”

The Green candidates of the province look forward to a future when their party benefits from more public awareness.

“We hear so many times at the door, ‘I would love to vote Green except I don’t think they’re gonna get government’, but every year that percentage gets higher, less and less people are saying that, and more and more are actually voting Green,” said Nheiley.

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