I just picked up the validated results from the Elections Canada Website. I didn’t bother sorting out the judicial recounts etc. but the total Green Party vote was 937,643 ballots from a total of 13,719,113 ballots cast. That adds up to 6.83% of the vote.
I guess that looks like a win compared to the 2006 election, because the vote count went up from 664,068, and 4.5%. The GPC funding moves from about $1.3 million to around $1.8 million per annum, plus when the next election hits the GPC will get the same amount to fund the next election, as soon as the writ is dropped. Given the past financial straits of the party, (they were essentially broke when Elizabeth May took over), this shot in the arm, when married to the newfound fundraising prowess means they should be solvent. Solvency will depend on retiring their debts, and prudent budgetting, but lets just assume they’ll manage that OK?
The loss part is based upon the hard and pointy fact that expectations were raised to an unreasonable level. The public was repeatedly informed that the GPC would win seats. There was a whack of media attention, the debate participation, public statements by the leader, and spokespersons. There was no obvious plan to actually make seat wins happen though.
It was more than conceivable that seats could be won. Recruiting a few excellent candidates for potentially winnable ridings would have been a starting point. Follow that by pre-election organising in said potentially winnable ridings. Hire some real campaign managers, and communications people, lend staffers to the breakthrough targets, and ensure full funding and it might have come true. At least may have come close.
It was not to be. Now the political credibility of Elizabeth has been largely spent. The sense of fair play in the country will be inclined to say, ‘we gave them their chance, they got the debate spot they have been demanding, and they couldn’t even get their leader elected’.
On balance, the bad news outweighs the good. If the GPC cannot score a by-election win soon, then they will suffer big time in the 2009 – 2010 election. It pains me to say it, but the failure was in managing expectations. Promise seats + don’t deliver = you are a failure.