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Green voters not the problem, says party ED

People should stop complaining that Green Party votes spoiled the NDP's chance of electoral success, says party employee and Port Moody resident Rebecca Helps.

The daughter of Port Moody-Coquitlam Green Party candidate Billie Helps — and a candidate herself in the Okanagan riding of Vernon-Monashee — said the Green Party is not a vote spoiler but a valid choice for voters wishing to express their values and concerns about the environment.

"People have the right to vote for the party that bests represents them," Rebecca Helps said. "It's not about voting for the candidate that has the best chance of winning."

She noted that her mother, who was out of the country during the election campaign, polled better than she did when she ran four years ago (8% compared to 6.59%) and the party is hoping to build a beach-head in on Vancouver Island, where Andrew Weaver was elected in Oak-Bay Gordon Head and where even "paper" candidates polled 15%.

In ridings where no Green Party candidate ran, some people spoiled their ballots, Helps said, suggesting the party needed to be represented in every riding to give people a choice but was only able to field 61 candidates.

One paper candidate was Edward Stanbrough in Coquitlam-Maillardville, who, despite failing to campaign or attend the riding's lone all-candidates meeting and refusing media interview requests, picked up 1,687 votes, 8.58% of votes cast.

In the Tri-Cities' tightest race, some of those votes might have made a difference as newcomer Steve Kim won the seat for the BC Liberals with 9,044 votes (45.98%), just 105 votes and half a per cent more than Coquitlam Coun. Selina Robinson, the NDP candidate, who picked up 8,939 votes (45.44%).

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

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