MacLellan sinks from last election’s result
The Kitchener-Waterloo Green party team fronted by candidate Cathy MacLellan and supporters camped out at Chainsaw Saloon in UpTown Waterloo for the results to come in. As MacLellan filtered through the bar glancing between her iPad and the regional and national news broadcasts, she appeared at ease, speaking to the many gathered as green beer and poutine were passed around. The Green candidates from Kitchener-Conestoga and Cambridge were also present and introduced.
MacLellan, who first ran for the Greens in the riding in the 2008 campaign and drew 12.1 per cent of the vote, began the evening by addressing the over 100 volunteers who helped out this time around.
“We more than doubled our efforts over the last campaign which was incredible really,” she said. “No matter what happens tonight, we represented the Green vision for Canada fully here in Kitchener-Waterloo, we put on a campaign that is as competitive and strong as any other in this region and we can be very proud of that.”
In the end though, these efforts garnered little more than a third of the votes as the last election as the K-W Greens fell from 12.1 per cent to less than five per cent.
Attention and anticipation throughout the evening, as early indications pegged MacLellan’s numbers below last election, seemed focused on the late announcement of how Elizabeth May would fare in her B.C. home riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.
May and the party as a whole hoped to win their first ever seat in the House of Commons and much emphasis during the campaign centered around this goal.
This focus was clear in MacLellan’s comments after it was declared that Conservative Peter Braid had clenched the riding. “We’re celebrating Elizabeth May in the House, there’s the good news,” she said. “Getting [her] in was the main goal. As a national party, this is a successful campaign for us.”
“We knew we would be fighting strategic voting all across our ridings, I knew I would,” MacLellan continued. “Here I had to fight the strategic vote – obviously people voted strategically – they have every right to but it’s not voting for what they want. That’s that.”
Regarding May’s win in light of her disappointing finish, MacLellan noted, “I’m going to focus on that, I’m happy about it. This is what I expected, I had my expectations set.”
She noted that NDP candidate Bill Brown may have benefitted from the late surge that party seemed to gather. “I know enough now that timing is everything sometimes.”
“I’m dismantling the office tomorrow, it’s onward and we just keep moving forward.”
MacLellan’s campaign manager Rolf Thiessen seemed more dejected about the results. “For all the work we put in I don’t think it paid off,” he said. “[The NDP] took some votes away, but I’m glad that they’re in the opposition [nationally] as a counterbalance to the Conservatives.”