Gateway Gazette

Election 2015: Green candidate in Calgary-Klein throws his support to the NDs

 

Noel Keough asks his supporters to vote for Craig Coolahan and help bring progressive change to Alberta

At an all candidates community forum this evening Green Party of Alberta candidate in Calgary-Klein Noel Keough announced he is going to stop campaigning and encourage his supporters to vote for the ND Craig Coolahan.  “It’s always hard to acknowledge you aren’t going to win, but Noel is doing a brave and good thing” to ask his supporters to vote for the ND candidate in Calgary-Klein” says Janet Keeping, leader of the Green Party of Alberta.

The race in Calgary-Klein looks to be close.  A poll conducted a few days ago shows that of decided voters 32% favoured Wildrose and 27% were planning to vote ND.  The PCs had 26% of decided voters.  With Greens polling at much lower levels, Keough wants to do what he can to ensure a progressive wins in the riding.

Green candidates across the province find themselves in a variety of circumstances.  For example, in some ridings they are the progressive candidate most likely to win and in others the election will be won by one of the conservative candidates (PC or Wildrose) no matter what any of the progressive candidates do.  But in Calgary-Klein, the NDs appear capable of taking the seat.  Both Keough and Keeping want to see that happen.

Keeping adds, “I admire Noel’s desire to do the non-traditional but right thing.  I also admire his courage – it’s not easy to admit defeat and direct your support to another campaign.  Greens say we are committed to doing politics differently and Noel is walking that talk.”

Statement by Noel Keough, Green Party of Alberta candidate for Calgary-Klein, April 29, 2015

Noel Keough - Green party Calgary-KleinI believe passionately that Alberta needs a fresh start. The ecological and economic disaster that looms with climate change is the number one threat to the safety and well-being of our children and grandchildren. In the midst of unprecedented wealth we have the biggest gap between rich and poor in all of Canada and shameful levels of poverty. Our tax system favours the rich and penalizes the poor. We need electoral reform. The number of seats you get in the legislature should be proportional to the votes you get at the ballot box.

I entered this race to take on the Minister of the Environment and shine a light on the deplorable record of his government. Our Greenhouse Gas emissions continue to rise and our province produces 25% of Canada’s emissions. The waste and pollution of our water, life’s most precious resource, is criminal. We have treated first nations communities with disrespect, soiling their land, ignoring their treaty rights. We continue to allow resource exploitation in natural habitats of the woodland caribou when we know this unique species is in danger of extinction. We refuse to create policies that will control urban sprawl with all of its environmental, social and economic costs.

I entered this race with high hopes but it has become clear that The Green Party will not win this seat. The Greens in Calgary-Klein could celebrate the votes we win and live to fight another day. But Green policies and principles are too important to leave it there.

We are in desperate need of a progressive forward looking government with new ideas and new energy. People from all over the province recognize the injustice of our electoral system and have pleaded with progressive parties to collaborate. I hear it at the doors all the time.

It is never an easy decision to put your name forward as a candidate. We all put in long hours. We invite volunteers to do the same for the cause. We ask people for financial support. And we like the rush and thrill of an election campaign. But this is not about me. This is about what is best for the future of our kids, our communities, our province and the global village we all belong to.

So, with a heavy heart, but a firm conviction in my decision I am stepping out of the race immediately and putting my full support behind the New Democratic Party and their candidate Craig Coolahan. The policies of the NDP are not in perfect alignment with The Green Party but they are the most closely aligned. A win for the NDP in Calgary-Klein will advance Green principles and will make Alberta a better place to live.

Thank you to all my volunteers and supporters. Thank you to the people of Calgary–Klein for the kindness and respect you have shown me and for the engaging conversations on your doorsteps.

For the poll referred to go to:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/elections/alberta-votes/alberta-election-6-ridings-where-the-pcs-are-faltering-in-the-polls-1.3047764

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