There was no celebratory drinking of Orange Crush by the NDP on November 7. Photo by Josee St-Onge.

by Josee St-Onge

 

Despite his loss, Pedersen hasn’t given up on his dream of greening up the NDP.


“That dream is not over. That’s the one of the big reasons that I got involved in politics and that remains a passion of mine,” he said.

 

“Our ideals are not done. We will survive to fight again. We did a fantastic job of organizing and I want to thank everyone on my team because we have nothing to be ashamed of.”
 
 
That team included Larissa Shasko, the former leader of the Green Party, who had resigned from that position back in September. Her decision had shocked many in the province, and her choice to back the New Democrat candidate for Regina-South, Yens Pedersen, was even more surprising.


At the time, Shasko had said that she no longer felt that the Green Party was the best way to achieve the goal of a "sustainable, ecological future" and mentioned frustrations with internal issues in the party.


Instead, she preferred to focus her energy on helping elect a candidate with a stronger chance of success. In the end, 36 year old Pedersen was once again defeated by Bill Hutchinson of the Sask. Party, by more than 800 votes.
 
 
Pre-election polls had predicted that the race was going to be tight. Pedersen’s dedicated campaign on the ground, which included knocking on almost every door in his riding, was thought to be giving him an edge.
 
 
“I’m blown away by our fantastic team on the ground. I couldn’t have asked for a better campaign team, and a better set of volunteers,” said Pedersen. “Leading to the campaign, all the numbers that we could track were so positive because of that team and I’m just disappointed that we couldn’t finish it with a win.” 


Yens Pedersen, who is a lawyer in Regina, was known within the NDP as a credible advocate for a green economy. He lost the 2007 provincial elections to Bill Hutchinson by a margin of only 255 votes.


Pedersen still managed to keep his sense of humor, despite his loss. When asked what the next step was for him, he replied “Putting winter tires on my car.”