24 April, 2019
In an eagerly-anticipated campaign, the PEI Green Party made history last night as it became the official opposition in Prince Edward Island – the first time that has ever happened. This was the strongest showing of any Green Party in Canada. The Liberal leader Wade MacLauchlan lost his own seat to a Conservative in an illustration of how unhappy Islanders were with the status quo.
The Progressive Conservatives (PC) won a minority government in a story that was second to the Green Party gains. The PCs were elected in 12 seats, the Greens in 8 and the Liberals, who were the government, elected only 6, for a total of 26 decided seats. The 27th seat will be contested in a by-election resulting from the untimely passing of the Green candidate, Josh Underhay.
In an additional vote, PEI voters were asked if the wanted to keep the First Past The Post system (FPTP), or switch to Mixed Member Proportional (MMPR) Representation voting system.
Although neither side clearly won the vote, a slim majority of Prince Edward Island voters rejected the proposed switch. The newly-elected PC government has yet to respond on what action they will take on MMPR, given the tight results – almost 51% for the NO side and 49% for the YES side.
“The IAM supports eliminating the FPTP system due to its inherent unfairness and hopes the opposition parties put pressure on the new government to implement the MMPR system. It would be a giant step towards a true democracy”, said Stan Pickthall, Canadian General Vice-President.