Jeff Green | Jan 26, 2006
Feature Article - January 26, 2006
Feature ArticleJanuary 26, 2006
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No surprises in LFL&A
by Jeff Green
In a riding that was never in doubt, the only real questions in LFL&A were mathematical.
Would Scott Reid move up from the 48.8% of the vote he received in 2004 to top 50%? Would a young Geoff Turner receive less support than incumbent Larry McCormick received for the Liberals last time? Would Helen Forsey of the NDP add to the total of Ross Sutherland last time out?
In the end, all of the above took place. Reid gained about 2% from last time, and Forsey about 3%, all at the expense of the Liberals, who received 5% fewer votes.
The results did not surprise Scott Reid. “I received a big increase the last time out, winning by 10,000 votes as compared to only 800 votes when I was first elected, and this time I gained a bit of ground. From what I’ve seen, this is not unusual, and it fits with the way I felt the campaign was going,” said a tired Scott Reid when contacted on Tuesday afternoon.
There will be a decidedly rural tone to the new government, and Scott Reid said this could be very good for people in his riding.
“We will have a critical mass of rural representatives and that can only be good for our ridings.”
Geoff Turner took his electoral results in stride, saying he was “pleased with what we were able to achieve with our campaign, with how much hope we brought to people, and with the youthful energy we brought to the election. I was hoping for as many votes as possible, but I don’t judge my campaign based on votes.”
Turner said he spent five months working on seeking the Liberal nomination and then on the election campaign. He is now going to look for work, but said he might be interested in running again in the future.
As far as the Liberal Party’s immediate future, Turner said “I’m happy to see the party get a little bit of introspection, a chance to focus on what we really want to achieve as a party.”
Helen Forsey, of the NDP, said she was pleased that she was able to maintain the NDP vote in the riding, and see it increase by over 2 percentage points. She added that she is “proud of the people who live in this riding as participants in a democracy. The turnout of 68% was well above the national average. It is very much to our credit.”
Mike Nickerson, of the Green Party, was disappointed with the amount of support his party received nationally. “Canadians don’t seem to be catching on to what the Green Party is saying. At 4.5% we were only up .3% nationally.”
In Lanark Frontenac Lennox and Addington the Green party was up .4%, to about 5.23%.
As far as his own campaign was concerned Nickerson said “It was great. I’m traumatized through and through, mind you, from all the talking and listening. But I’ve talked to a lot of people, and I’ve learned things I would never have known. Three thousand one hundred and fifteen votes - that’s a lot of people.”
All of the defeated candidates will return to their regular lives, and Scott Reid will now await word on what role he will be playing in the next Parliament.
He is a senior member of the Ontario Conservative Caucus, but several high-profile former Provincial Cabinet members from the Harris government were elected under the Conservative Banner in Ontario this time around, so a cabinet posting for Scott Reid is not assured.