John Streicker will not be running in the next federal election.
The former Green Party candidate made the announcement last week at the party’s annual general meeting.
Streicker was a key figure in the 2011 election. He placed third in the Yukon riding, behind incumbent Larry Bagnell and winner Ryan Leef.
He finished with nearly 19 per cent of the votes. As percentages go, it was the second highest share of votes any Green candidate received that election, next only to party leader Elizabeth May. May would win the Greens’ only seat in the House of Commons that year.
But when Leef ended up winning by only 132 votes, many accused Streicker of inadvertently helping the Conservatives by splitting the vote.
Streicker, now a Whitehorse city councillor, says he’s proud of the campaign he ran.
“I really feel I earned the votes last time. It was a positive campaign we ran,” he said yesterday.
As the 2015 campaign ramps up, Leef and Bagnell are once again slugging it out. Streicker said he’s already hearing accusations of vote-splitting again. So he decided to take himself out of the equation.
“It’s clear to me that with my involvement that would be a major focus, and I don’t want to help promote that. I don’t want to be the central part of a fear-based campaign,” he said.
Streicker said that he hopes his withdrawal from the race will help ensure Yukoners get to hear more about candidates’ ideas, and less about vote splitting.
“I don’t like having to take this choice. But I felt it was the right thing to do for the Yukon,” he said.
Since losing in 2011, Streicker won a seat on Whitehorse city council in a convincing fashion. He got more votes than anyone else on the ballot, including the mayor.
He’s also stayed active with the Green Party federally. He’s been national president of the party and was advocate for Arctic and northern affairs in its shadow cabinet.
Even though he won’t be on the federal ballot, Streicker said he would like to stay involved in politics in some capacity. He hasn’t decided exactly how.
He said he’s enjoyed being on city council – particularly the non-partisan nature of it – but has no interest in unseating current mayor Dan Curtis.
“I feel we’ve got a really good mayor. So I wouldn’t want to try and run competitively against him.”
The question of which banner Streicker would run under if he wanted a seat in the territorial legislative assembly is also up in the air.
Over the years he’s been asked to run by all four territorial political parties, he said.
“It’s an unanswered question for me, if I run territorially who that would be with. I’m not hyper-partisan,” he said.
The next municipal election would be in late 2015. The next territorial election has to be called by 2016.
“Regardless of what I choose to do, whatever level I choose to run or with whom, I will continue to carry the principles that brought me to the Green Party,” Streicker said.
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