One of the disappointments for historically minded politicos was that Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner didn't get the breakthrough he wanted here in Guelph last night. Schreiner secured a healthy third place and nearly 20 per cent of the vote, but still getting less than half the popular vote that rewarded Liberal Liz Sandals with her four-peat. Schreiner and his team were probably, understandably disappointed this morning, and that sort of comes out in their below press release, which offers some thanks to his volunteers, and some consideration as to why he didn't do better in a campaign he banked so much on.Here's the (final?) press release from the Schreiner campaign:
(Guelph): Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, issued the following statement about the results of the 41st general election:
“I’m thrilled that the Green Party earned 5% of the vote across the province, and proud of our strong showings in Guelph, Dufferin--Caledon, and Parry Sound--Muskoka. In Guelph we tripled our results from 2011, and province-wide we doubled our fundraising. In riding after riding, second-time Green candidates saw big gains in their vote totals.
I’m grateful to all the hardworking candidates and their teams. I’m humbled by the amazing support I’ve had in Guelph, and want to thank everyone who contributed to my campaign there.
The Green Party stood up and faced issues that no one else wanted to talk about. We called on the government to fix the school system and stop allowing discrimination and waste. We pushed for home retrofits instead of re-tooled nuclear power. We demanded that the province take action now to protect prime farmland and drinking water at source.
These are not fringe issues or unbaked ideas. They are issues that affect most Ontarians every day. They are questions on which the majority of Ontarians agree with our positions and proposals. But good ideas have a tough time in this electoral system, dominated as it is by fear of what might happen rather than confidence in what could be.
I want to take this opportunity to express my disappointment at two things. One, I think Ontarians deserved to see me in the televised debates. Frankly, if entertainment is the watchword for the media consortium, they could have used me. If the debates are about good public policy and honest conversation, then I should have been there.
Two, influential individuals, unions, and other organizations advocated strategic voting to prevent a PC victory. They were fuelled by pollsters whose predictions were wildly inaccurate. Strategic voting is devastating to smaller parties in our electoral system, and the Green Party lost votes because of it.
Finally, I want to say again how proud I am of Green Party candidates and volunteers, and how moved I am that more than 230,000 voters chose Green. I am as committed as ever to bringing honesty, integrity, and good public policy to Queen’s Park.”