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Greens make gains in Canada and worldwide

In recent elections here in Canada and around the world, Green parties have either held their ground or made significant gains.

In Sweden, Greens retained all of seats and have formed a coalition govern with the Social Democrats. Sweden now has its very first Green cabinet ministers, with Greens heading up the ministries of the Environment and Education, as well as controlling Sweden's overseas aid agency Sida and the consumer affairs ministry. Read more here.

In New Zealand, the Green Party retained 14 seats, including one that deprived the ruling National Party of its outright majority in parliament. The National Party will now rely on collaboration with other parties as it continues to govern. The Green vote grew in both Auckland Central and Wellinton Central, placing second in each at 21.1% and 29.5% of the vote respectively. Well known candidates with good track records and an appropriately organized ground campaign could see the Green party take these two seats in a subsequent election. Read more here.

In New Brunswick Green Party Leader David Coon won his seat by 334 votes running against the Conservative Minister of Energy, 30.7% to 26.2%, with the Liberals and NDP trailing at 21.6% and 19.8% respectively. Clearly a good ground campaign allows a Green candidate to win in a four way contest, noting that 71.3% of registered voters turned out in Coon's seat - the ninth highest turnout in New Brunswick where the lowest turnout was in Saint John Harbour at 47.4%. Such a turnout can be turned around as instanced in Glasgow in the recent Scottish independence referendum, where turnout is usually below 50% but increased to 75% with a grass roots ground campaign.

Subsequently, the Green Party of New Brunswick was granted official party status in the New Brunswick Legislature, making it the first Green Party in North America to obtain this status. Not bad for a Green Party just out of its second election! Read more here.

All of these breakthroughs and gains should come as encouragement to Greens here in BC, where Green Party support is among the highest in the world. Electing many more Green MLAs - and even entering government - is within reach. Let us all commit to the next BC breakthrough by helping organize where we live, and by demonstrating a willingness to talk to our friends and neighbours about the vision and values of the BC Greens.

Written with contributions from Andy Shadrack, Stefan Jonsson and Jordan Bober.

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