Outspoken Saint John-Rothesay MP-elect Wayne Long was already talking electoral reform before the official results of Monday’s Liberal minority government were in.
Long’s win over Conservative Rodney Weston was much closer than four years ago. He says Saint John tends to elect mavericks and rebels.
“I would say I’m a stand up MP and…people can call me a maverick or a rebel, that’s up to them to label me but certainly I am always going to do what’s best for this riding,” said Long.
Monday’s results meant Long’s riding was either bordering Conservative blue or the Green.
But Long also said the political system is broken with the Liberals needing to take a deep breath and look internally.
“I think what’s happening is we’re not connecting with constituents, we’re not connecting with voters and our message isn’t resounding with people.”
“I’m going to talk more about electoral reform,” Long said. “We need to find a way, we have to find a way to make people feel part of the political system.”
Electoral reform was also on people’s mind at the ballot box. “You go in there, you place your ballot, you only get to vote for one guy,” said Nick Martin, a voter in Shediac.
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“There are a whole lot of countries out there that have ranked systems. You make your first choice, your second choice,” he explained.
UNB-Saint John Political Scientist JP Lewis says this is what happens when parties fall on traditional regional voting patterns. “I’m sure all the parties will be looking back and thinking what could have been and what they need to do to now broaden their base.”
The conversation of looking forward by looking back has likely already begun.
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