By André Faust
The Alward government took a chance on the referendum like campaign with the following format yes for shale gas and prosperity or no to shale gas and poverty. Had the outcome of this election have been any different it would have given the Alward government the ticket to do whatever it pleased. The pillar for shale gas exploration and development was former energy minister Craig Leonard was defeated by the party leader David Coon who is diametrically opposed to shale gas development because of the potential of catastrophic environmental damage created by the shale gas technologies.
Symbolically, this is very important, because this election was based on the yes and no premise. David Coon’s victory represents the no vote and what makes this victory significant is, not only is David Coon the first person to win the green seat in New Brunswick but that he defeated the minister of environment, had it been any other minister the impact of David Coon’s victory would not have had a significant impact on the political front however this not the case.
When it was known with certainty that David Coon was going to win his seat in the Fredericton South he spoke with his many supporters and volunteers at the “I” Rock which was the designated postelection gathering spot for the green party. David’s honesty and sincerity shone through as he humbly thanked his volunteers and supporters.
One of the first things that was noticed at the green party’s gathering was the age demographics, the biggest percentage in attendance was the age group between 20 and 40. While this is just a sample at this location and at this particular time it may be an indication that the younger population who have not been indoctrinated into the world of profits are more socially-environmentally conscious than their counterparts from the other parties.
If you look at the population base of Fredericton South you can see that there is a high percentage of university students from the two major campuses, Saint. Thomas University and the University of New Brunswick.