Edmonton Green candidate dropped from party as he urges supporters to vote NDP
EDMONTON -- An Edmonton-area Green candidate has been dropped from his party after urging supporters to strategically vote for the NDP.
Edmonton Strathcona candidate Michael Kalmanovitch says he's ending his campaign five days early because the climate crisis is "too important" for politics as usual.
"I ran this campaign with the goal of winning the Edmonton Strathcona riding, but based on polling projections, it has become clear that success is unlikely under our first-past-the-post system," Kalmanovitch said in a statement.
"My goal has never been personal political power. My goal has always been policy change. That is why I am ending my campaign effective today, and calling on supporters to consider voting strategically for the candidate and party with the next best climate action plan. I believe that candidate is Heather McPherson of the NDP.”
But his bid to redirect votes to another candidate may not have sat well with Kalmanovitch's party.
The Green Party of Canada announced on Wednesday that it had removed Kalmanovich as its candidate in Edmonton Strathcona and that he was no longer a member of the party.
The party said it would not issue further comment.
Kalmanovitch announced his decision to cease campaigning at a forum at King's University on Wednesday.
He said he's proud of the campaign he ran "despite scant resources and limited historical Green Party success" in the riding.
He also apologized to voters who may have cast their ballots for him in advance polling.
“I deeply appreciate their support, and hope they share my conviction that advancing policy change is more important than personal or party power," said Kalmanovitch.
The Edmonton Strathcona riding has been firmly orange for the last 11 years, but analysts say it could be a closer race than ever on Oct. 21.
Incumbent NDP MP Linda Duncan is not running, leading some to believe that the Conservatives and Liberals could have a chance at winning.
"If we don’t see strategic voting happening, then there's a chance of a surprise. But if we see strategic voting for the NDP candidate, they're likely to pick up that seat," MacEwan University political scientist Chaldeans Mensah told CTV News last month.
The NDP won the riding in 2015 with 24,446 votes. The Conservatives netted 17,395 votes while the Liberals came in third with 11,524 ballots.