Ken S. - "Yes, the Green Party is in serious shape. The blogs I know of are totally silent. But they have been for some time, so I am guessing this was the expected result. The GPO had been the example held up by the grassroots of what the Green Party of Canada could be like. Both organizations are comatose and broke. And eMe hasnt a glue about organizational needs, as well as being abrasive to anyone that does not think she walks on water."
I will agree that both the Green Party of Ontario and the Green Party of Canada are not in good shape. Stockholm of course wants the Green Party dead and seize any opportunity to say so but of course I disagree with his conclusion.
Both parties will be operating on very little money over the next few years and, more importantly, our message and support completely collapsed in 2011. There are completely different reasons for this of course but the common ground is local organizing and riding work between elections. Both organizations have a very low "active" membership compared to total membership which of course happens in all political parties but when you are as small as we are as a party that renders you paper thin on the ground and in many places, non-existent.
Ontario Greens should have seen the writing on the wall in 3 by-elections which should have warned that the results of the 2007 election was the anomaly it was due to the one school board/religion in the schools debate and that a strong presence needs to be maintained between elections. I don't thinkthe school issue was the entire issue as much as it brought voter frustrations with the larger parties to a head which resulted in what all Greens want; many voters took a serious look at the Greens as an alternative. The youth vote went further by electing the Greens as official opposition in the 2007 student vote.
Both the federal and Ontario Greens were unable to capitalize on the advantage gained in 2008 (federally) and 2007 (provincially). National media only plays a small part in this. In both 2011 elections there was Green Party coverage but I think local media vanished in many places. I know it did locally here in Trinity Spadina federally. I had much more exposure as a candidate here in TS in 2008 than Rachel Barney did in 2011. Combine that with the collapse of the liberal party overall and many liberal votes going either NDP or conservative and you can see the results in the drop in the Green vote.
Provincially here in Trinity Spadina it was a much more significant evaporation of support. 2007 saw the local Greens completely benefit from the education issue and voter frustration. We had a candidate who refused to campaign in 2007 after winning the nomination and only two or three volunteers running around desperately trying to get signs up and brochures delivered, scoring 11% of the vote with 4,500 votes. Compare that to Tim Grant who is a well known and respected community member, worked between elections on fund raising and getting his name out there, one of the largest campaigns in Toronto in this election with 10 - 15 regular volunteers knocking on more doors that either federal campaigns locally achieved and with more money. The result was 5% of the vote on only 2,400 votes. One issue we kept hearing while campaigning was a real worry over Tim Hudak winning and talk of strategic voting again. Others were voting liberal because they were tired of Rosario and we heard this from NDP supporters as well. I met a lot of people who said they were debating between the NDP and Greens and I think we lost many of those individual debates in the end.
The main wake up call that the Greens need to pay attention to is the collapse of the youth vote in both elections. Many Greens will argue that social media and the internet are fertile battle grounds and I'm still not convinced that this is true. In a survey conducted by Apathy is Boring it was revealed that the majority of students felt that they would pay more attention to a politician if she/he made a visit to their school as opposed to having a facebook account or strong web presence. Many young voters federally still see the party as an environmental party but don't see a major difference between the NDP defence of the environment and the Green defence of the issue. This is where the difference is the most poignant as they see the NDP much further ahead in social issues dealing with poverty, education and other important issues. They aren't registering any serious messaging from the Green party on other major issues that are relevant to them. Yet the Greens insist they are a party of youth. How do we explain being elected as the official opposition in 2007 and then being wiped out in the next election. Keep in mind as well that many of the students who voted in 2007 were eligible voters in 2011 when you consider the secondary school share and even more who participated in 2006 federally.
Both Rob Strang and Mike Schreiner were elected in the student vote in this election with the third to the Green candidate in Parry Sound/Muskoka. This was a reelection win for Strang who won in 2007. The only Green to achieve reelection.
Percentages rise and fall with the participation level. The actual amount of votes won tells a different story. There is still a core vote out there that hasn't changed since 2004. That is at least some good news. In Trinity Spadina we took a big step forward but only a small one backward. Rachel Barney (federal) still hung onto the core vote won in 2006 and some of the gains we made in 2008.
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Mike – Simcoe Grey - 4,084 votes 8% Federal vote – Jace Metheral 3482 votes 5.4%
Student vote 2007 - Mike Schreiner Green Party of Ontario 1229 votes 29.8% elected
2007 - Peter Ellis – GRN – 5,051 votes -- 11.61%
Leader comparison - Frank de Jong GPO leader - 2007 Davenport – 3,061 votes- 10.26% --- 2011 Davenport - 840 votes – 2.6%
Rob Strang – Dufferin-Caledon – 14% - 5540 Federal vote – 7,137 14%
Student vote 2011 - Rob Strang Green Party of Ontario 1405 30.20 elected
2007 - Rob Strang GRN 6, 408 16.31%
Tim Grant - Trinity Spadina – 2,405 votes – 5% Federal Vote – Rachel Barney – 3279 votes – 5%
Dan King - GRN - 4,549 -- 11.65%
Student vote – Trinity Spadina - Tim Grant Green Party of Ontario 300 votes 16.1%
Student Vote 2011 - Green Party of Ontario 3 seats 54302 votes 16.53%
2007 student vote - Greens captured 17 seats – enough for Official Opposition status – with 24.2 % of ballots cast.
Student vote 2011 - Federal results 5 seats 17%