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NDP's Dale Jackaman happy for Layton, not happy about Harper

Dale Jackaman and his wife Amy celebrated the NDP’s rise in fortunes and mourn the Conservative victory in front of the NDP’s campaign office in Richmond. - Bhreandáin Clugston photo
Dale Jackaman and his wife Amy celebrated the NDP’s rise in fortunes and mourn the Conservative victory in front of the NDP’s campaign office in Richmond.
— image credit: Bhreandáin Clugston photo

It was a good news, bad news night for Richmond NDP candidate Dale Jackaman.

Jackaman was delighted to see NDP leader Jack Layton set to become Official Opposition leader after New Democrats won more than 100 seats.

“I think people are going to take us a heck of a lot more seriously now and in future elections,” he said. “And we can have a real go at the Conservatives. They really need some serious opposition and I don’t think the Liberals have been doing it in their time in the opposition.”

It was an historic election for the New Democrats, who surpassed the Liberals for the first time and more than doubled the party’s previous best showing of 43 seats in 1988.

“I think it’s a combination of the Liberals...being ineffective in opposition and...of Jack Layton actually getting things done in Ottawa, regardless with who he was to work through. He has managed to put his shoulder into both the Conservatives and the Liberals to get bills through.”

Jackaman, running in his third federal campaign, had the best showing for a New Democrat in Richmond since the 1988 election, capturing 18.27% of the vote, up from 11 per cent in 2008. He trailed former MP Joe Peschisolido of the Libearls by 172 votes for second place.

Jackaman said there were a lot more volunteers working this election, which helped make a difference at the polls.

“It was a big change,” Jackaman said. “We even ran out of campaign signs. We should have had more.”

“We’re proud to carry the NDP banner in Richmond. We know it’s a very difficult riding.”

And the bad news?

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have won a majority and Jackaman thinks there are dark days ahead for Canadians.

“We cannot trust Stephen Harper. He is a bad prime minister. He’ll go down in history as one of the worst prime ministers in Canada once people figure him out.

“He’s a dictator. He’s a very, very controlling individual.  He is very un-Canadian and undemocratic.”

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