Greens Looking For Gains in Up-coming Election
Cornwall, ON – Sep. 03, 2021 – For Immediate Release
The Green Party of SDSG announced today the launch of their canvassing and sign campaigns for the current federal election. In the absence of a significant Liberal or NDP campaign in the riding, hopes are high in the Green camp that they will be able to make significant advances.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Murray Campbell, captain of the sign team. “Other than Eric’s lawn signs, there wasn’t a single sign up across the counties. People were stopping to congratulate us or asking what was going on. One elderly couple pulled over to ask if the NDP or Liberals were even running candidates, they were so concerned.”
But while the absence of a serious ground campaign from most parties may be good for the Greens, it’s not good for democracy in the riding. As a recent editorial in the Standard-Freeholder pointed out; the situation was “disappointing for the state of democracy.”
SDSG Green candidate Jeanie Warnock agrees. “Even if you don’t win, it’s important to get the issues debated in a public space. So many values that used to be rejected as scandalous —whether that was giving the vote to women or gay rights—were fought for by passionate people until they became mainstream. And now we can’t imagine our lives without them.”
Patrick Burger, a former NDP candidate in the riding, has joined the Greens and is canvassing with Jeanie this weekend.
Lack of an active campaign may also depress voter turnout, further diminishing the opportunity for a productive debate of ideas. In 2019, average voter turnout in 43 of the lowest performing polls in SDSG - all in Cornwall - was as low as 24%, and averaged 33% across the board (excluding people who may have voted in advance polls). Cornwall Island saw just 5% of its registered electors cast a ballot. When large blocks of people don’t vote, they lose the opportunity to voice their concerns and influence future policies.
Warren Brownlee, a retiree who plays with the Seaway Winds Concert Band, is delivering Green Party signs across the city on his bicycle. He had a different solution. “It’s too bad we don’t discuss and debate these ideas between elections,” he said. “Not just this short, five- week period.”
For further information, or to join us canvassing, visit https://sdsg-greens.ca