PPC sees its share of local vote increase

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MacLeod says he got the support of many who had previously supported the NDP

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Stephen MacLeod’s first foray into politics may not have resulted in a victory, but he is proud of the significant increase in support the People’s Party of Canada has received from the riding of Timmins-Baie. James.

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“I like the progress made since the last elections. I think it’s incredible progress, ”he told the Daily Press.

The PPC finished far fourth in the constituency with 4,428 votes and 13.3 percent of the vote, well behind the NDP’s Charlie Angus (35.1 percent), Tory Morgan Ellerton (27.5 percent) and liberal Steve Black (24.1 percent). .)

In the 2019 federal election, the PPC won 3.4% of the vote in Timmins-James Bay, finishing fifth behind the Green Party.

While MacLeod, of course, would have liked to see even more support for the PPC on election day, one figure is truly disappointing: voter turnout.

According to the latest figures from Elections Canada, in the riding of Timmins-James Bay, only 52.8% of eligible voters voted.

“I hope that might change a bit with the mail-in ballots, because they’re counted the next day or so, but this is our country. This is the time when we have our say, and I’m a little disappointed to see so many people not voting, ”MacLeod said.

While the highly controversial timing of the election, during a lingering pandemic, may have discouraged some potential voters from participating this time around, similar themes emerge with each campaign, such as lack of transportation.

“In the future, this will be something that we are going to try to target – making sure people are informed and trying to organize trips for people if they need to. Just make sure we’re helping everyone we can, no matter how they vote. It is a democratic society, and that is part of it.

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It was a very quick campaign for each candidate. MacLeod and his team went down the home stretch trying to meet as many people as possible.

“We had a few gatherings and gatherings in Timmins and Iroquois Falls, one in Kirkland Lake also last week. The support we were receiving there was incredible, ”he said.

“I’m a bit disappointed with the final numbers because of the support we have been shown. So I don’t know what happened to this support.

Still, it was a better performance for the party in its second federal election, both nationally and in Timmins-James Bay.

“I can honestly say that we have grown in leaps and bounds, and I am absolutely grateful to everyone who came to vote, no matter who you voted for, but especially those who voted for our party and who voted for me. supported. “

Overall, he described his first political campaign as “quite interesting”.

” I learned a lot. In the future, there will be things that we will change, and some things for which we will be much better prepared for the next election. “

The riding of Timmins-James Bay is huge and is one of the hardest ridings to cover in the country.

“It sure poses a lot of logistical challenges, for sure,” MacLeod said.

“I have been blessed. I have a wonderful Riding Association support team behind me, as well as many volunteers who have helped lighten the workload. I couldn’t have done this without them.

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MacLeod said the increase in the number of PPC votes can be attributed to a few factors.

“I have had a lot of people who voted for me personally because they know my heart, they know how much I love helping people, and they voted because they know I will help.

“I got a lot of people to vote for the freedom aspect of things: to get rid of these mandatory vaccinations and mandatory passports, and all that. I also had a lot of farmers and a lot of hunters. It was also a big problem. They wanted gun laws changed to make things better. “

MacLeod said economic factors were of great interest to many voters as well, as other parties, he said, appeared to be basing their campaigns on who could spend the most “money we don’t have.” .

“A lot of people were worried about it. It seems there weren’t enough people, but that’s okay. “

So where do the PPC gains come from?

MacLeod shared some perspective.
“Every day, a lot of people told me that they had never voted before, or that they had not voted in years. As for people from other parties, it was actually very common. If I had to identify a single party from which we might have gotten more votes, it would in fact be the NDP, ”he said.

“There were quite a few people who said they were longtime NDP supporters but voted PPC this year. But quite a few liberals and conservatives too.
As has been discussed a lot at the national level, there was a view that the PPC would essentially divide right-wing voters across the country.

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MacLeod said he didn’t buy it.

“The whole myth of the division of votes, at least in our riding, has been exaggerated. “

MacLeod said he had gained a lot of good experiences throughout the campaign and provided some advice for anyone who might consider running in the next election.

“First of all, you can’t do it without the support of your family. My wife and extended family have been tremendous supporters and sources of encouragement. If you don’t have that behind you, I would highly recommend that you think twice before you run for office, as it’s not just a tribute to you, it’s a tribute to them as well.

He said a great team is also needed. People with a wide variety of skills are needed – from everything from signs and merchandise to keeping the books in order.

“Another person whom I cannot thank enough would be my financial advisor and official agent. She kept us updated, sometimes a few times a week, on our financial situation and kept us on track.

MacLeod recognized the need for a social media manager next time around as he now plays a huge role in election campaigns.

“There are so many different facets that are involved in an election. It is a very complex machine. We are a relatively new party. This party is only running for the second election. We are still in the process of resolving all issues.

MacLeod has said unequivocally that he will consider staying in the party and participating in future elections.

“Absolutely. If Mr. Trudeau keeps his word and calls another in 18 months, unless someone else challenges me and beats me for the candidacy, that will be my name back there.

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