Finally the counting is finished in Saanich North and the Islands. All of us were kept in suspense for a further two weeks following the general election on May 14th as we waited for first recount and then absentee ballots to be tabulated. For British Columbia, this was an unprecedented three-way race, with three individuals representing three different parties each polling more than 10,000 votes.
When the margin between first and second is just 163 votes, and the margin between second and third just 216, let there be no doubt now that every vote counts. With over 70 per cent of our riding’s people turning out to vote compared to a provincial average of about 58 per cent, let there be no doubt that participation and engagement are vital to the success of our democracy.
And after seeing every vote counted in a process that was simple, clean and fair, let there be no doubt that we have an efficient and secure voting system of which we can be very proud. It was inspiring.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Gary Holman (NDP) on his win and Adam Olsen (Green) on his strong campaign. Together we conducted a civil and respectful election dialogue.
I should also congratulate John Plantinga, Electoral Officer, and Anton Boegman, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer for Elections B.C., on a well-run election, count, and recount.
Please also let me take this opportunity to thank those who supported me with their vote, and those who supported me with their time, energy, prayers, and best wishes.
In every election campaign and with every party, these are the people that make things happen, give life to ideas and vision, and ultimately ensure the continuing success of our democratic system. I am humbled by their faith in me.
I would also thank all of you who turned out to vote, and who participated in this sensational election. It was one to remember.
So when the next opportunity to cast your vote comes along, think of Saanich North and the Islands 2013.
Remember how every vote counted. Remember how well candidates treated each other and respected the process. Remember how important it was that people participated. Remember that this is the way to bring citizens back in to the process of choosing our representatives in government.
I am grateful I had the opportunity to present myself as a candidate to the voters of this great riding.
Stephen P. Roberts
B.C. Liberal Candidate, Saanich North and the Islands