PenderBlog From The Pender Islands Of Canada

October 31, 2008

Media Watch

Filed under: Governance and Legal — Jocko @ 1:07 pm

Local results of the October 14th Federal Election from Monday Magazine, October 23-29, 2008, p. 6

By Jason Youmans

Saanich-Gulf Islands:

Try as they might, progressive voters in Saanich Gulf Island just couldn’t find the necessary unity to defeat Conservative incumbant MP Gary Lunn.  Lunn drew 27,988 votes while Liberal Party runner-up Briony Penn was not far off the pace with 25,367 votes cast in her favour.

Penn may have stood a better chance were it not for 3,667 Saanich Gulf Island voters who chose to support NDP candidate Julian West, despite the fact West withdrew from the campaign several weeks before the vote, leading observers to wonder whether his were votes of NDP stalwarts refusing to turn their back on the party, or voters who hadn’t picked up a newspaper, listened to local radio or seen a local newscast in the three weeks preceding the election.

Perhaps also factoring into West’s high support level were automated phone messages directed to electors homes urging them to vote for West.  The calls appeared to originate from Saanich-Gulf Islands NDP riding association president Bill Graham‘s fax machine, but Graham says he did nothing of the sort.

Three-time Green Party candidate Andrew Lewis made a strong showing despite the fact his party leader Elizabeth May, in the days before the election, seemed to urge her supporters to back other parties’ candidates in close ridings.  Lewis took 10.4 percent of the vote.

Voter turnout in the riding was the highest on the South (Vancouver) Island, with 71.8 percent of eligible voters going to the polls.

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