Green party starts rolling

Robert Mellalieu is the candidate leader for the Green Party

The Green Party of Canada remains committed to federal politics, with the announcement of a candidate for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding on July 11.

Robert Mellalieu, a Green Party organizer and IT professional with F1 Computer Services in West Kelowna, was chosen as the riding’s Green candidate for the Oct. 19 election.

“There were two candidates: Silverado Socrates from the west side and then there was Robert Mellalieu,” said Dave Cursons, fundraiser for the Green Party riding association.

Mellalieu said he is taking a realistic approach to running against incumbent Conservative candidate Dan Albas, NDP challenger Angelique Wood and Liberal Karley Scott.

While the Green Party has little chance of gaining more than a few seats nationwide in the next election, Mellalieu said his drive is to give people a choice.

“We are not in a sprint, we are in a marathon,” said Mellalieu. “During that marathon, we want to stick to our long-term goals and to our principles. That is one of the big goals.”

Then there is the popular vote when the election is over. More people voting Green across the country, showing their support, the more influence Green policies can have on the parties in power.

“Although we will not be in power, the pundits at the different parties will see the support,” said Mellalieu. “The Liberals now have pasted some of our policies into their platform.”

In the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding, the Greens have yet to declare a candidate. Though he can’t say when they will have an announcement, riding organizer Dan Bouchard said they are planning to field a candidate.

“We are actively on the search,” said Bouchard, noting that the new riding boundaries encompass a large area, making the search more difficult.

Declared candidates for South Okanagan-West Kootenay are Dick Cannings, NDP; Connie Denesiuk, Liberal and Marshall Neufeld, Conservative.