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Greens must 'reach out' to other parties: Kettlewell

Damian Kettlewell, the deputy leader of the Green Party who ran and lost in Vancouver-False Creek, said the Greens will have to explore "every avenue possible" in order to have an impact in the provincial legislature.

"I think Gordon Campbell is going to want to do something to address the drastic decline in voter turnout rate," said Kettlewell. "I wouldn’t be surprised if he does something in the next couple of years."

When asked if the party was considering a coalition with the Liberals or NDP, Kettlewell said it was too early to say anything definitive. He said there would be a chance to discuss options at the party's annual general meeting in Victoria later this month.

"We are entrenched as the third party in this electoral system," said Kettlewell. "That's one of the challenges we face. We are going to have to look to partner with other people and other parties to have an impact."

The Greens had good reason to be optimistic this election. Climate change and the carbon tax emerged as key issues early on. Environmental voters, dismayed with the NDP's 'axe the tax' campaign, were searching for a new home. The Greens secured a place at the leaders' debate and a candidate for each of the 85 ridings.

Despite that, they failed to win a seat in the legislature.

Former Green party campaign manager Chris Parent saw the full-slate strategy as flawed. At the end of March he stepped down from Victoria-Beacon Hill candidate Adam Saab's campaign.

"If the Green Party were to focus on having 30 strong candidates, they could pick the ridings that would work best for them," he told The Tyee. "Otherwise you're looked at as the freaks and the geeks."

When asked if he thought the party should have run fewer, but stronger, campaigns, Kettlewell said, "at this point, anything's open. Thirty or 50 or 20 candidates....we need to think outside the box to have more electoral success. What we've been doing hasn't worked."

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