Sunday night Ted Hsu became the Liberal nominee for Kingston and the Islands, replacing MP and Speaker of the House Peter Milliken after 22 years. Hsu said his success is due in part to his broad support base.
“I came across a lot of different reasons why people were voting the way they did,” Hsu said, adding that people voted for him because they were scientists, engineers environmentalists, or even just friends of friends.
After his win was announced at 9:30 p.m., competitors Bill Flanagan, Bittu George, Phillip Osanic and Harvey Rosen congratulated him, even taking t-shirts with the slogan TEAM TED .
Hsu said now that he’s secured the nomination he wants to take a break from campaigning to spend time with his family.
“I’m relieved that the nomination campaign is over and I’m looking forward to organizing things for the next election… although no one knows when that will be.”
Hsu was chosen as the Liberal candidate for MP through a system of preferential voting at Sunday’s nomination meeting.
A preferential ballot requires the voter to rank the nomination contestants. Assuming that there are five contestants, like in this race, a voter marks each one with a “1” “2” “3” “4” or “5”. If no contestant receives more than half of the first-choice votes, then the candidate with the lowest number of first-choice votes is eliminated from the race. Any ballot which indicated the eliminated candidate as a first choice is then reviewed. Since the first-choice candidate is no longer in the running, the vote is counted in favour of the secondchoice candidate.
This process continues until one contestant has at least 50 per cent plus one of the vote and is declared the winner.
President of Kingston and the Islands Liberals Ron Hartling said there was a high voter turnout for the nomination.
Polls were open from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and over 2,000 votes were cast out of approximately 2,860 eligible voters.
“It’s a pretty high turnout. There were only four spoiled ballots,” he said, adding that the overall ranking of the candidates isn’t made public. “The policy is from the returning officer … they only announce the winner.”
At the K-Rock Centre, where voting took place, Hsu’s supporters were jubilant when the results came in, Hartling said.
“It was down to the core supporters of the teams [and] a smattering of committed liberals. Ted’s team was ecstatic. [For] the other teams it varied from [a] quite strong [reaction], sincere applause and disappointment. You’ve got to absorb that,” he said, adding that Hsu’s large network of support is a big strength for the Liberal Party in Kingston and the Islands.
“[He] ran a really strong campaign and it showed in the results. And he got broad support in the community,” he said. “I think Ted will be very good in bringing people together … I’m very confident everybody is going to be welcome.”
Milliken was only at K-Rock for a portion of the nomination event and Hartling said he was there for the riding as opposed to any particular candidate.
“Peter would never say he favoured any candidate. It would be inappropriate for him to do so and totally out of character. I know he respects Ted and it’s mutual.”
Chief Scrutineer Adrian Brett said he’s been a Hsu supporter since first hearing his platform points.
“If you’re interested in making a difference, he totally supports that,” Brett, MPL ’10, said.“He’s the best person to tackle the problems of the 21st century.”
He said issues of renewable energy, environmental sustainability and the economy are priorities for Hsu.
“They’re issues people of all demographics are concerned about,” he said. “[Voters] came out because he embraced a message pertinent to the sustainability of our future generation, economy … and environment.”