Doherty sees Green growth

'I was hoping for double digits'

Last night held an air of cautious optimism for the Green Party.

The party improved its share of the popular vote by more than two per cent in Kingston and the Islands, to 8.8 per cent from 6.55 per cent in the 2003 election.

With early election results rolling in, Green candidate Bridget Doherty and her supporters were relaxing at Ben’s Pub to live Celtic music.

Doherty said she was disappointed with the party’s showing, however.

“I was hoping for 10 per cent. I was hoping for double digits,” Doherty said.

“I believe with each election we move up. For a small party, to keep moving up is the goal.

“The Liberals and Conservatives come with a lot of history, so politically speaking, we’re a young party.”

Ned Dickens, Kingston resident and Green Party supporter, said he’s glad about the increased attention the Greens are garnering.

“We’re earning our place in the default settings of Canadians and Ontarians. We’re becoming a legitimate choice.”

Bridget Doherty’s co-campaign manager, Eric Walton, attributed their success to Doherty’s ability to connect with a new constituency.

“I saw her really getting through to professional women … [it was] really quite remarkable how she connected with that segment.”

Walton, a past candidate for the Greens at both the provincial and federal levels, said he picked up some valuable lessons from watching Doherty campaign.

“I learned from her, watching her interact with people,” he said. “I didn’t expect a first-time candidate to be so good.”

Emma Daughton, ConEd ’11 and a Queen’s Greens member, said the party’s stronger showing will allow them to effect more change in government.

“We can definitely influence policy for the better,” she said. “We’re doing nothing but going up.”

Doherty said she hopes to run for the Green Party again next election.

“Definitely. I’m hooked.”

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