NDP improve slightly
Despite historic success for the NDP nationally, candidate Bill Brown fell short behind the Conservatives and Liberals in the Kitchener-Waterloo riding. Brown was unsurprised by Braid’s re-election, but remained determined to work toward a strong NDP presence in the region.
“In a lot of ways we did win this evening,” said Brown, acknowledging the greater success of Layton and the party. Local NDP advocates gathered at Caesar Martini’s and watched in eager anticipation as the party steadily climbed into second place over the Liberals. “It’s a stepping stone,” said young supporter Dylan Wilson. “Someday they’re going to get their shot, but I’m happy with this accomplishment for now.”
However, Wilson also echoed the concerns of many that the unprecedented support for the NDP would be largely irrelevant in the face of a Conservative majority. Brown attempted to dissuade this by focusing on the community’s responsibility to pressure the government and “to keep the Conservatives honest.” “After tonight we have a greater task,” Brown remarked with a touch of humour, “… which is to make sure that Peter Braid does not have one restful night of sleep for the next three years.”
Brown cited the Conservative’s alleged secrecy and disregard for the rights of Canadians as notable concerns for the upcoming years, though he remained assured of the potential of the NDP in the position of official opposition.
Brown commented, “We could see the NDP exerting a lot of influence in order to make sure that people’s views and people’s rights are definitely respected.”
His sentiments were reiterated by community member Scott Piatkowski. “The Conservatives were in power with a minority before, but without a real opposition,” explained Piatkowski.
He noted that the NDP would be a more effective force than the Liberals in holding a Conservative majority accountable.
Undeterred by the Kitchener-Waterloo results, Brown claimed he would gladly run for MP again if asked. He acknowledged their unavoidably late start as a potential reason behind the low NDP support, and has plans to increase his community involvement and volunteerism in order to become more prepared for the next election.
However, Brown strongly commended his team for their efforts, and felt he had run the campaign to the best of his ability.
With the self-assuredness and positivity that has defined Brown’s outlook throughout the campaign, he concluded “Looking back on it now, I don’t think I would have changed a thing.”