Island Party running in next provincial election

Ryan Ross
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Island Party members have decided to run a campaign in the next election and have announced four candidates. Front: Gary Chipman, left, Paul Smitz; in back: Todd MacKinnon, left, Keith Kennedy.

Paul Smitz takes over as interim leader

Some Island voters will have a little more choice on their ballots after the Island Party’s members decided to run a campaign in the next election.

Party members met Sunday to decide what to do in the expected spring election and during that meeting they also chose a new interim leader.

Former candidate Paul Smitz will take over that role and said the support was there for another election campaign.

“It was overwhelming yes,” he said.

Smitz is one of the party’s founders and a candidate in the last election who ran in Kellys Cross-Cumberland where he finished fifth with 37 votes.

In December, Smitz told The Guardian the Island Party members were uncertain if it was worth running a campaign in the next election.

RELATED: Island Party to decide its future in the new year


But that’s what the party will do with members choosing Smitz as interim leader.

Smitz said one of the catalysts in the decision to have the party run a campaign was the Liberals acclaiming Wade MacLauchlan as leader, which in turn meant he became premier.

“The whole thing is totally undemocratic,” Smitz said.

The Island Party is fighting an uphill battle against parties that have more money, more resources and have been busy naming candidates in preparation for a spring election.

During the last election the Island Party ran 12 candidates.

As of Tuesday they had four.

Those candidates were Smitz, who said he will run in his riding if no one else wants to, Gary Chipman, who plans to run in Morell-Mermaid, and Todd MacKinnon, who will run in York-Oyster Bed.

Former Charlottetown mayoral candidate Keith Kennedy plans to run in Charlottetown-Brighton.

Smitz said the party, which finished with less than one per cent of the popular vote in 2011,

plans to run on the same platform it used in the last election.

And while he said he will be ready to lead, if necessary, during an election he doesn’t consider himself a leader and is more of a backroom worker.

“That’s where I shine.”

Organizations: Island Party

Geographic location: Iceland, Kellys Cross-Cumberland

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Recent comments

  • Todd mackibnon
    March 04, 2015 - 16:10

    Hello fellow readers, My name is Todd MacKinnon, the bald guy in the photo. I plan to run in my district and believe it Wade , the current premier lives in my riding. My reasons are in stark contrast to his. My agenda is to measure islanders starting with the bottom of our list, not the top. See..I grew up poorer than poor is poor. As the youngest of 5 we lived in a two bedroom house, where I slept in the top bunk with my sister while in the lower bunk lied my two brother...albeit with my parents in a double bed in the same room. The second was occupied by widowed war vetern grandfather and eldest brother. I believe Islanders will resonate with the way I was raised and lived well below the poverty line. Currently I have secured my future to date, I'm a single father of two and work everyday as a tax payer. most other islanders. It's those that I wish to represent under the Island Party banner. I ask all islanders whom ever thought they'd like to become involved with us and help. Please have the courage as it takes a lot of courage for anyone, for example Kieth Kennedy is a courageous individual. If more people, like him would step up we can once and for all...finally make a better government. I look forward to anyone who would like to become engaged in and with our party.

  • Peter Johnsson
    March 04, 2015 - 13:08

    Smitz said one of the catalysts in the decision to have the party run a campaign was the Liberals acclaiming Wade MacLauchlan as leader, which in turn meant he became premier. “The whole thing is totally undemocratic,” Smitz said. So what's undemocratic? Pierre E Trudeau became Prime Minister of Canada after being selected Liberal leader after Lester B Pearson announced his retirement. Kim Campbell became Prime Miniser after Brian Mulroney retired. John Turner was an un-elected Prime Minister for a short while, then lost the election. Didn't Kathleen Wynne become the un-elected Premier of Ontario, before winning the election to make her the "elected" Premiere?

  • david
    March 04, 2015 - 10:48

    Obviously the island Party must be desperate for candidates. Keith Kennedy shows he really stands for nothing seeing just 3 months ago he was running for leadership of the Liberal party and has now jumped parties shows he is about himself and certainly NOT about the voters. if the island Party wants to be taken serious they have to get credible candidates.

  • Brother
    March 04, 2015 - 09:32

    Why wouldn't they just join the Green or NDP? Why do they exist? What is their platform? They will take votes away from PCs, Greens, NDP and elect more Liberals. I thought Keith was a Liberal?

    • Patrick
      March 04, 2015 - 10:07

      Probably because they aren't a radical party like greens and NDP. They stand for good government for the people.