Time to update your 2011 Saskatchewan election hashtags: #skvotes is now #skvoted. And honestly? I feel pretty good about my results this year. Every election I’ve ran in has given me something new to be proud of.
In my first national campaign my message resonated with youth, and I came in second place (by a small margin) in the mock youth vote done throughout Canada’s high schools. I also heard from a number of individuals who chose to vote for the very first time in order to vote for me.
In the provincial by-election I accomplished something no other Provincial Green had ever done before. I actually won a poll (in a landslide I might add). And in a very strong NDP riding too.
This last election saw me running in my home riding – which was pretty amazing. And as before, I encouraged people to vote who had never done so in the past. I also stuck to my campaign messaging (equality and anti-bullying) in spite of a narrow focus on corporate politics by the media. But here’s the big one: I came in third, beating out the Liberal candidate. And I have to say, it feels pretty good not being last. 😉
Saskatchewan isn’t ready for a Green MLA yet, an I knew that going into this election. But I’m in this for the long haul… slow and steady and all that. And when ya’ll are ready, I’ll be here then too. We need an alternative voice in the Legislature, that much is clear. And I’m ready to be that voice, when you’re ready to have me.
The Green Party of Saskatchewan fielded candidates in every riding, 43% of which were women. I’d say it’s high time the other parties took note. They may preach gender equality, but they hardly practice it.
For those of you who enjoy a look at hard numbers, here are a few for you:
|Party||Candidate||% of votes||Votes|
That’s up from 1.66% of the vote in 2007. Small steps? Maybe, but they are steps forward just the same. And I am proud knowing that the message is getting out, and it’s bringing voters out too.
Today I got a message that read:
Hey Tobi! I live in the River Heights area and your name was on my ballot when i went to cast my vote. I wasn’t voting NDP as I usually do. And Sask Party was out of the question!! So, when I saw your name for the Green Party I smiled to myself and put my X to the right of your name!! Just thought I would share.
My thanks to Tom Fournier, both for his vote, and for writing to share. It’s not too often than casting a vote brings a smile to a person’s face, and I’m glad to know this particular vote did just that. I have to admit, letting my daughter find my name on our ballot, and marking our X beside it, made us smile too. 🙂
Congratulations to all my fellow candidates. You all ran excellent campaigns. The life political is not an easy one. Thank you for all your hard work during this election, and for all the work yet to come.
Because of my recent problems with the Green Party of Canada (and the reason I am not running this election – SEE HERE) I have had to seriously look at my options. Voting Green was not the no-brainer that it typically is for me. Do I support the party who’s organizer treated me so shabbily? Do I support them despite this egregious error?
The way I was treated seriously made me fear for the future of the Green Party here in Canada. What makes the Greens different is that the party treats every voice the same, gives every person a say. They have always been a grassroots political party. But the way I was treated made me wonder if this is still true for the GPC… because clearly I don’t matter to the party. Elizabeth May took the time to listen, and to care, but as a figurehead she has little input into how the party is run (which is as it should be).
In the end, what has brought me back to the national Greens, is this: The principles the party was founded on are still the same principles I believe in. Every Green Party in the world bases policy on these same six principles, and no other Canadian party can say the same. I believe in the principles of the Green Party. Regardless of anything else, I must vote with my principles.
Respect for Diversity
While I am disappointed in how I was treated, and how the local candidates all appear to be running completely non-visible campaigns… my devotion to these principles is still the same as it has always been. So come May 2nd, I will be voting Green. My support for the GPC may be wavering, but I am still a Green (both as a politician and activist).