SUMMERSIDE – There’s new hope for some Island politicians thanks the Corporate Research Associates’ recent poll, which saw the Island’s Green Party move into second place among preferred political parties.
While the poll saw the Green party jump nine points, reaching 34 per cent, deputy party leader Lynne Lund doesn’t put too much stock in an individual poll. Instead she looks for the bigger picture and its trends.
“The political landscape has changed. It’s no longer just a two party system. And with the next election, we have the potential for this to be a three way race, and that’s unprecedented on P.E.I.”
Lund says the poll shows more opportunities for Island politics, but there is still progress to be made.
“We know there is still a lot of work to do. But it’s exciting to have the potential to show Islanders what a third option could look like.
“When you examine the outcomes of the last few polls, we have consistently stayed in the 20 per cent range and the trend there is that Islanders are looking for a new option, which is really exciting.”
Joe Byrne, one of the candidates in the Island’s NDP leadership race, says it’s interesting to see the electorate break traditional ground.
“I’m happy to see the voting patterns are shifting. There is enough diversity on P.E.I., and if we can get some proportional representation here, we’ll end up with a better government.”
“We’re still seeing the effects of people saying, it’s time we change the way we vote,” said Byrne.
“In the last federal election, the NDP finished second in its Charlottetown riding. There is enough signs that trends are changing. And certainly, the election of Hannah Bell and Peter Bevan Baker have added momentum.
“Islanders are willing to do the work to see change and that’s great.”
Byrne says it’s a good sign for the future of politics.
“It’s very helpful. It shows the number of people engaged and if we look over the trends of the last six to seven years, it’s not that long ago that we saw over 22 per cent of Islanders pick a non-traditional party.”
Margaret Andrade, also a candidate in the NDP leadership race, says “It shows Islanders are ready to make changes. The best part about it all is that they are very progressive, good changes for people.”
As for the NDP party, she says it’s phenomenally good news.
“It’s opening up that path… it’s going to be a very positive thing for us and I’m very excited about it.
“It shows the people on the Island want to be heard and they are tired of being hurt by their own government. This is a really good indication of that. It can shake up the way Island politics have gone for many years.”
The Journal Pioneer reached out to both the Liberal Party of P.E.I. and the Progressive Conservative Party of P.E.I. but failed to receive a comment before deadline.