The Green party will run a candidate in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding in the next federal election.
Some members had urged their fellow Greens to avoid splitting the vote by not running against Liberal Briony Penn or NDPer Julian West, both former Green Party of B.C. members. They hoped to unseat Conservative MP Gary Lunn, who has long held the riding.
But in the end, after a heated debate, 84 per cent of the 21 members who turned up for a nomination meeting in Bazan Bay yesterday acclaimed Andrew Lewis as their candidate.
Green party member Bryce Kendrick wasn't sure how he was going to vote going in, but said principle won out over convenience and he supported Lewis.
"I thought on the one hand, I'd love to see Garry Lunn thrown out, but on the other hand I feel that as a Green party member I have a commitment to the party," he said, wearing a crisp Green party T-shirt.
Harald Wolf, one of the members who signed an e-mailed letter urging Greens to vote "none of the above," said he isn't happy with the outcome.
"I am Green and will continue to be Green but we'll have to see if I feel [Penn] can win, if she can represent me, I would trust her," he said, adding that anybody is better than Lunn, whom critics have described as no friend of the environment. "He needs to get out."
I admit, I was hoping for "none of the above", but having said that you can't really argue with the decision. There is something fundamentally counter-intuitive about trying to build an alternative party, and concurrently abandoning certain ridings that seem to have a good foundation. The question of fundings is also relevant- votes=money in our system, period.
I'm an outsider, but I have a feeling that this nomination debate may have a lasting impact when we do have an election. Clearly, the desire to defeat Lunn might still bring about a voter coalition around a candidate. It will be interesting to see if the people arguing for "none of the above" continue to make a pitch, that could ultimately undermine the Lewis nomination.
Accidential Deliberations laments the low turnout.