Green Party makes history: Elizabeth May wins seat
Published Tuesday, May 3, 2011 9:07AM EDT
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says she intends to be a "powerful" voice in the next Parliament, after securing the first-ever seat for her party in the House of Commons.
May won the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands on Monday night, knocking out incumbent Conservative candidate Gary Lunn.
Lunn had held the British Columbia riding since 1997 and had served as a Conservative cabinet minister for the past five years.
With 244 of 245 polls reporting, May had won 46.3 per cent of the ballots cast by Saanich-Gulf Island voters, putting her well ahead of the 35.6 per cent of ballots that went to Lunn.
This was the third election in which May tried to win a seat for the Greens, and the current election marked the first time that she had run for parliament in B.C.
As May is the only Green member with a seat in the House of Commons, she will be a caucus of one when she arrives in Ottawa.
But May insists that she will make her voice heard in a completely new parliament that features a Conservative government with majority control and a New Democratic official opposition.
"Whether I'm one vote or one voice, I'll be a powerful one," May told CTV's Canada AM on Tuesday morning, speaking from Sidney, B.C.
May also said she would like to see a more civil and more co-operative Commons when Parliament resumes.
"Now's the time to find a way in this new House of Commons to bring back our traditions, respect democracy and try to find ways to work together," May said.
Prior to voting day, May had spent the majority of the election campaign in her own riding, instead of a party's leader traditional national campaigning.
Her party put all their marbles into her riding, which received a lot of local attention, especially after she was not invited to participate in the televised leaders' debate.
May acknowledged her party's lack of professional polish.
"More than once, it's occurred to me one of my favourite phrases, which is of course: Amateurs built the arc. Professionals built the Titanic," she said to laughs on election night.