After the Conservative party’s success in the May 2 federal election, re-elected Conservative Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod says she is very happy to have won in her riding.
She adds the surge of the NDP’s popularity had less impact than some predicted in British Columbia.
“It was a much wider margin than we expected it would be. We thought is was going to be certainly much closer instead of the decisive victory that it was.”
McLeod garnered 29,682 votes to claim 52 per cent of the votes in the riding, finishing about 15 per cent or 8,700 votes ahead of NDP candidate Michael Crawford (at his 37 per cent).
McLeod notes she had “very strong” support in the 100 Mile House area.
With a majority government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, she adds her party will have the ability to move forward with its initiatives.
“The long-gun registry continues to be a big issue in that area and we will now finally have the opportunity to do something about that.”
She says the successive minority governments had created a real challenge to staying focused on the long-term objectives.
“This is a real opportunity to settle in for four years and really get some focus to what we’re doing, so it’s great – fantastic.”
Crawford picked up 20,983 votes, and explains that while the local result was disappointing, he and his team are “absolutely delighted” in the national success of their party.
“I think Mr. Harper is going to have a very different experience in Parliament. Even though he has his majority, he’s going to be opposed by a very effective [Opposition Leader in] Jack Layton.”
Crawford says he continues to be “very concerned” about Harper going ahead with “his assault on democracy.”
He expects the prime minister will remove the elections subsidy allowing corporate donations to “influence” political parties, and will use his majority position to proceed with enacting corporate tax cuts, while putting big money into fighter jets and prisons.
The riding’s Liberals sank in popularity with candidate Murray Todd getting 5.3 per cent of the votes (3,020). He says it was “pretty tough” to see his results on election night, followed by his party’s leader Michael Ignatieff resignation the next morning.
“It’s going to be a long road back, but I think we’re going to do it.”
Todd adds he doesn’t know when a new leader will be chosen, but the Liberal convention in June will narrow down how to proceed from their current position.
He expects to remain in politics for a while and help the party “put something back together,” but says that after the hectic pace of the election race, he plans to settle back down to “some semblance of a normal life.”
Green Party candidate Donovan Cavers says the local results of 5.4 per cent (3,062) are about what he expected after the barring of federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May from the national debates and a lack of national media coverage.
“It was nice we came in third place this time. It was the first time we’ve ever done that in the riding. Coming out ahead of the local Liberal campaign was pretty exciting.”
Christian Heritage Party Chris Kempling got 188 votes in the riding, and says he is pleased to see a majority government and congratulates McLeod on her convincing win.
“Personally, I am disappointed with my results, as I was hoping to improve over my 2006 total (505 votes). Nevertheless, almost 200 people stood up for Christian principles in the public square and for the defence of innocent life, and for that I am grateful.”