In a spot typically taken by an NDP candidate, Liberal Matt Shaw was runner-up in the race to elect an MP for the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies riding.
Incumbent Conservative Bob Zimmer remains the MP, though as part of the official opposition. Shaw is with same party that has now formed our majority government – the Liberal Party of Canada.
Shaw said he is disappointed to not be elected, but found ‘a silver lining’ in the number of Liberal voters being bigger than expected.
Shaw thinks there are a few reasons the Liberal party did better this time compared to previous years.
First, he suspects that many Conservative voters are getting older, and more young people with socially liberal views are coming up to the riding.
“In the past, there’s never been a strong alternative, and I would like to think I had a small part in providing that alternative,” Shaw said in an interview. “Looking forward to the next election, there’s a base to build on now, which we never had before.”
This, combined with the appeal of the national Liberal campaign, Shaw thinks it helped shift some of the popular politics of this election.
He admitted that he is actually relieved to be done campaigning, and get back to his old life.
“It’s a fairly stressful life, actually. I never really knew that, I was kind of an amateur and I thought it would be a good idea to try this,” Shaw said, saying his campaign took on greater proportions than he anticipated when he started.
However, he does fondly look back on all the people of the North that he met during that time, and said he hopes there is a way he can be involved with Fort St. John and the Peace Region in the future.
For the future, Shaw is weighing his options now; he may write a book or go back to teaching. “I’m lucky enough to have lots of choices right now,” he said.
And as far as running for MP again for election goes? He said it’ll be a long time before that happens, but “never say never.”
Following Shaw, NDP candidate Kathi Dickie earned 8,014 votes, the Green Party’s Elizabeth Biggar had 2,672 votes, Libertarian W. Todd Keller had 559 votes, and Barry Blackman of the Progressive Canadians had 464 votes in total.
51,808 votes were cast in total.