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I’m Voting Strategically Because I Hate Strategic Voting

October 9, 2015

Canada, going purely by the numbers, is a left-leaning country. About two-thirds of Canadians prefer policies on the liberal side of the spectrum. And since we’re a democracy, where the government is formed according to the will of the people, our current government reflects this, right?

Wrong.

The system we use to elect our federal representatives is defective. I won’t get into how or why, because it doesn’t matter—what matters is this: In 2011, only 39% of voters voted for a party that ended up with 53% of the seats in the House of Commons. This is not just screwy and frustrating. It is undemocratic.

What this means is that, for nearly two-thirds of Canadian voters, we have one of two choices:

1) Normal voting: Vote for the party we like best. Likely result: The party we like least will probably win.

2) Strategic voting: Vote for the party most likely to beat the one we like least. Likely result: The winner might be our second- or third-favourite, but at least they’re not the worst.

Both of these options suck balls.

I hate voting for a party that has no chance of winning, and I hate compromising and voting for a less-awesome party. In the past, I’ve always thought, well, I have to vote for what I think is right. Maybe, eventually, by the time I’m 97 or so, things will start to change. Sigh.

In 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011 I used this approach and voted for my favourite—and watched my vote go down the toilet. My lofty and righteous values not only had no impact whatsoever on moving the government towards my ideals—in 2011, my vote in fact helped to elect the party I like least to a majority, so they had free rein to wreck the country for the next four years.

It felt pretty demoralizing. And it made me realize that I am not a member of a true democracy.

HOWEVER! This year, things can be different.


strategic voting parties statements

This year, finally, we have a commitment from the three left-leaning parties that they will work together to change our broken voting system. That means, if we can at the very least stop the Conservative party from getting a majority…

NOBODY WILL EVER AGAIN HAVE TO VOTE STRATEGICALLY.

We will get proportional representation, which means that 39% of votes = 39% of seats. Not 53%. It means we can vote for our favourites, and it will actually help them win seats in the House. It means we can stop feeling guilty for helping the worst party in Canadian history to win a majority.

BUT, for this to happen, this year, we must vote strategically one last time to make sure the other parties have the chance to do what they have promised.

It’s like a chess game. We need to think two steps ahead to the future. For example, are you a supporter of the Greens? Consider this:

strategic voting example green party

Voting strategically this year will ultimately help your favourite party more in the long run.

Here are a couple of objections I’ve heard, and my responses:

  1. “Strategic voting is unethical, because you should vote according to your conscience.”

I am voting according to my conscience. I believe that electoral reform is the single most important issue in this election, and will have the greatest impact on our effectiveness as a democracy. I am voting for the long-term future of my country.

  1. “Strategic voting is undemocratic.”

As mentioned above, it is our current first-past-the-post system that is undemocratic. Strategic voting is an imperfect response to a broken system. We have the chance to fix the system and ensure that nobody has to compromise again.

  1. “Politicians never keep their promises.”

We can only go by a party’s stated platform when choosing who to vote for. This is a big issue for a lot of voters, and once the election is over we can put major pressure on the parties to fulfill their promise.

  1. “All the political parties are the same anyway.”

I disagree, but even if you truly believe that, let me ask you this: Do you think it’s fair that a certain % of votes should equal the same % of seats? If yes, please get out there just this once and vote for fairness.

Please?

Please?

If you are ready for radical change in Canadian politics, follow this link to find out who to vote for.

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57 Comments
  1. Wendy Walker permalink
    October 10, 2015 10:28 pm

    Excellent article, and I support 99% of what you say here. The only thing that concerns me is the website you recommend. I’m suspicious of the suggestions offered by strategicvoting.ca. I feel that the information from LeadNow is more reliable. Please consider inviting your readers to check their website leadnow.ca or other sites that use their data, e.g., votetogether.ca or votebc.dogwoodinitiative.org/

    • October 11, 2015 7:28 pm

      Thank you for this information. Can I ask what makes you certain that LeadNow and votetogether.ca are more reliable?

      • Paul DeFelice permalink
        October 11, 2015 10:30 pm

        This was posted on FB…

        “BEWARE: StrategicVoting.ca is manipulating people to vote Liberal in ridings where the NDP had the best chance of winning! Please refer to http://www.votetogether.ca for strategic voting recommendations.

        There are a total of 22 ridings which had more NDP support in 2011 than Liberal support, yet they recommend people voting Liberal!! In Edmonton West, for example, the NDP had 9272 votes while the Liberals only had 5483 votes, and yet StrategicVoting.ca recommends voting Liberal. In Central Nova, the NDP had 9,412 votes vs. 5,614 for the Liberals and they recommended voting Liberal. In Brampton East the NDP narrowly lost to the Conservatives by 500 votes with the Liberals 3,500 votes behind, yet this site recommends voting Liberal. In Saint John, the NDP had 11,386 votes while the Libs had only 5,964 votes, yet there they recommend voting Liberal. Perhaps the worst is Sault Ste Marie where the NDP had 16,647 a very close 2nd to the Conservatives, while the Liberals had only 8,343 votes, yet StrategicVoting.ca recommends voting Liberal. There are several cases where the Conservatives were a distant third and the race in the riding was between the Liberals and the NDP, and in all those cases they recommend voting Liberal even though it’s not a strategic vote.

        A Liberal surge would take many seats away from the NDP and cement Stephen Harper’s victory. The NDP only needs to gain 35 seats to defeat Stephen Harper while the Liberals need to gain over 100 seats. If you choose to vote strategicly then check out as many sources as possible and please do refer to VoteTogether which conducts its own polls once 500 people pledge to vote together in a riding over StrategicVoting which is clearly trying to manipulate you. SPREAD THE WORD
        http://www.votetogether.ca/

      • October 11, 2015 10:34 pm

        Well, for one they actually have information pertaining to my riding (Vancouver Granville, which is a newly-created anticipated swing riding not listed at strategicvoting.ca). Among other things they have coughed up the funds to commission pay for local poling, and have their own pre-voting system for the different ridings to gauge which party to support.

        Leadnow is a country-wide activist organization that exists year-round, who have turned their focus on the election; I think they just have more resources to do a better job. Most importantly, I think that more people have heard of their campaign… both the Green and NDP candidates who showed up at my door were well aware of Leadnow and votetogether, for example. They are also all over the news. This will be the most important factor, since it would be bad if different vote-together-style sites ended up splitting the vote of like-minded people trying to vote strategically…

      • October 12, 2015 5:48 am

        Both sites have great intentions, but votetogether.ca (which is run by the excellent people at LeadNow.ca) has actual people on the ground conducting riding-level polls. When this is unavailable, they use 2011 election results. The other site, strategicvoting.ca, is run by a single individual (an information technology engineer out of Calgary) who uses riding level polls where available, then historical trends. Both are good, but I feel votetogether.ca has more up-to-date information. In most cases their recommendations are the same, however. CBC recently discussed both in an article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-election-strategic-voting-1.3265538

      • October 12, 2015 8:12 am

        Ok, thanks for all the feedback. The links have been updated.

      • Hope Aldridge permalink
        October 12, 2015 12:09 pm

        Funny, but I have heard criticisms that Lead Now are very NDP leaning, and now you say that Strategicvoting.ca is Liberal leaning.
        Who knows, but I have been advising people to consult both sites, *and* to use their own local knowledge of the Riding to decide which is the most *Strategic Vote!

    • October 12, 2015 2:22 pm

      Do you realize that Lead Now has a large portion of their finances coming from sources outside of Canada? If you want democracy for our country then letting outside sources influence our politics is the wrong thing to do!

      • Aaron Minchau permalink
        October 12, 2015 6:11 pm

        It may be from outside the country, but it’s all donated by people who want to see true democracy, and a better government than we currently have.

      • October 12, 2015 6:21 pm

        Oh no, the foreigners are subverting our democracy!

        Those filthy foreign job thieves. Subverting democracy is the job of the Conservative Party of Canada! Those scabs should leave undue influence in politics to domestic interests, not foreign interests!

      • October 13, 2015 3:58 pm

        Sources would be nice. But regardless, if you don’t like lead now, do your own research. Who is likely to win in your riding. If the top two are between the party you hate and the party you like then easy. If it is between the party you hate and a party you find acceptable, vote for the acceptable one. If it is between an acceptable party and the unacceptable has no chance to win, then show your favorite party support by voting true.

        When finding out what the polls show, find out who is paying for the poles as best you can and hope that someone with money or power isn’t influencing because you can never be certain, the more polls you check the more accurate the average will be.

  2. David Heap permalink
    October 11, 2015 5:13 am

    The Liberals are only promising to study options and do “something” about electoral reform — that something might or might not be proportional representation. A only a minority of Liberal candidates have taken a clear position in favour of PR: most of them simply repeat the party line about “studying options” or stay mute on the subject. Their party has historically benefitted from first-past-the-post elections, and a strong element of the Liberal establishment is unwilling to give that up. So “studying” typically means analyzing their own electoral results and self-interested prospects.
    Only the Greens and the NDP actually have a clear PR policy.

    • October 12, 2015 8:15 am

      I think “historically” is a key word here. They certainly have not benefited from it in the last 9 years since other strong left-leaning parties have emerged. I don’t necessarily trust the Liberal party to keep their promises either, though, and it has occurred to me that in a sense, a Conservative minority (NOT majority) might be the best result of this election, because it will provide more incentive for the Libs and NDP to work together to change the system.

    • Hope Aldridge permalink
      October 12, 2015 12:17 pm

      In actual fact the differences are not quite the way you try to frame them. Read their clear proposals if interested, its all online.
      The Liberals propose an ALL-Party committee to study the best option to replace FPTP.
      The NDP propose to impose one specific form of PR – MMPR.
      Personally, I think Canada is better served by ALL the Parties deciding together on such an important change. Especially since it is NOT at all clear which option IS the best. I much prefer the consultation/consensus approach than the paternalistic decided for me approach.
      The important thing tho is that ALL the Parties have promised this change before the next election.

      • October 17, 2015 7:29 pm

        Hope Aldrige, yes I prefer the idea of consensus first. I, immediately, have reservation about Trudeau just saying electoral reform as I don’t entirely trust the Liberals to make good on this promise. Also what is not known is by the NDP suggesting a particular type of PR are they not open to other ideas? They very well possibly could be. That would be a good question to ask a candidate. They may just be saying this system to make it more of a concrete commitment that something will happen.

        If we were to go by incentives. Both the NDP and Green would stand, historically, to gain more by a PR system than either the Liberals or Conservatives. I do hope the Liberals understand the reality as long as there is one strong “right” wing party and two strong left parties that the odds of FPTP benefiting the Liberals like it used to is not today’s political reality.

  3. Valeria Constanza permalink
    October 11, 2015 2:47 pm

    This is what you want the ruling class to become? Madness.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1269043/In-favour-hung-parliament-Read-damning-account-Italian-politics.html

    • October 11, 2015 4:10 pm

      Um, our version of a “hung parliament” is a minority government, and that already happens, frequently, with our current electoral system. Majority governments can still be formed under proportional representation if a given party has enough support.

      If the actual question you’re asking me is “do you think that a minority government where opposing parties have to cooperate to get anything done is better than a majority government elected by a minority of votes”, my answer is still yes.

      • October 11, 2015 11:19 pm

        Sorry but with the 4-5 party (national) system we have here, a proportional representation system will never allow for a majority government and with the whole thing about the “strategic voting” It more takes away from the democratic system we already have as we are telling people to vote for something they don’t want and support just to get what you feel shouldn’t be our government. Yes, you can argue that first past the post is undemocratic but in reality, it is. You vote and the one who gets the most votes is elected, that’s how a democracy works. Now, at the same time, proportional representation is also democratic but it is a different kind of democratic. Either one has it’s pros and cons but one does not make one less democratic than the other, it is just the type of democracy it is.

        The biggest issue with a proportional representation is things take longer to get done because you never have that majority (or won’t ever have it with our party system) because of the amount of parties we have and the split the vote goes. The pro of it is that no party will ever have too much power but that also doesn’t mean that corruption won’t exist either. The other issue that will problem with it is you’ll get two parties then combining themselves and basically merging with each other when also then means that your vote now because something that you didn’t vote for because you now have a party supporting ideologies that you don’t support. The other issues that this can give is it can bring in other parties with radical ideologies that would have no change of winning to the table which would then allow them to have their voice, even if it is one seat. The final biggest problem I see with the PR system is our countries population densities. With the populations densities being such a huge difference in areas, for example. Toronto (just Toronto, not the surrounding area either) having the population greater than Atlantic Canada, Atlantic Canada will not have nearly as much say in our government meaning that issues of Atlantic Canada would not be the focus of anything and certain areas would just get left out all together to cater to the greater population areas. People in less dense areas would effectively have their votes worth less while higher populated areas would have a much more powerful vote. Sure, as it stands now, Atlantic Canada only gets to represent 10% of the seats without current system, in a PR system, it will be much less which is why a PR system would be less effective for a country such as Canada where our population densities range is such huge numbers.

        Now, of course, there are cons to the first past the post as well as if your party doesn’t win, your vote is basically wasted and meant nothing on the federal side, it also means a party can get too much power and if the party with too much power has corruption, then you have a problem there. But things will also get done, it won’t take days, weeks, months just for something to get decided after bickering and such so both have their pros and cons. Now, the other problem with this though is it doesn’t easily allow multiple ideologies to actually be heard if the government becomes majority as their vote in parliament is usually outnumbered.

        Now, the thing you are also assuming here which can be a dangerous thing when it comes to government, is you are assuming that if you vote strategically for one party or another, they will be a “hero” and do good and change the voting system however at the same time, from what I have learned and observed by our North American culture, people who have more, are not likely to give up what they have. No government in power will want to enact something that would make them lose power. What does this mean? What is the likelihood that if the strategic voted in party decides, “Hey, if we do this proportional representation, that will take away our seats so lets not pass it!”? Will the party be willing to give up some of their power because really, the parties that would lose out, are the ones with the larger number of seats which is why you have all the other smaller parties/ parties will less seats wanting this hence why the three minority parties want this. But when they have the power, will they really fall through with it and be willing to give up that power.

        Overall, there are both pros and cons for the systems, it is then eliminating which one is the great of the two evils and which is best for our country. Personally, first past the post I see as being a greater system for Canada but that is just my opinion from when I look at the pros and cons of the two systems. The other thing that I also disagree with is the assumption that a a coalition would be better for change, at least for the greater good. You are riding a lot on assumptions there and seem to think their ideas will fall in place with one another and everyone will be happy which will probably not be the case as everyone has their own goals and agendas. At the same time, ideas also change when circumstances change. The little guy always wants to be the big guy and when he becomes the big guy, does his attitude always remain the same and can you trust that what he says will come true when he has that taste or that he has the competence to do as such? These are just some things that need to be thought about before making a decision. Going to a PR system will not just fix everything like some believe, it will fix somethings while creating new problems and these are what needs to be weighed.

    • Ken Piercy permalink
      October 11, 2015 5:21 pm

      Perhaps the greatest “benefits” of one-party or dynastic government is the long-term stability offered by such regimes. Businesses and citizens alike tend to know exactly where they stand, not only in the present but for their foreseeable futures as well. Democracy of any kind, on the other hand, is inherently unstable. Even with a strong majority government (such as the Harper Conservatives have enjoyed), inevitably an election must someday be held. The possibility of the electorate choosing a new government pledged to undo the incumbent’s policies cannot help but foster instability. First-past-the-post electoral systems only exacerbate this as newly elected governments, both of the left and the right, use their majorities to ram through as much “corrective” legislation as possible to counter the policies of the government they’ve replaced. The power of proportional representation and minority governments in general is the fact that it forces legislators to listen to each other and to compromise in order to enact legislation. No one necessarily gets everything he/she wants, but no one necessarily leaves the table feeling screwed. A ruling party is much less able to unilaterally impose its particular agenda, so any party eventually supplanting it is less likely to feel compelled to undo its legacy. The word “parliament” is derived from the French word meaning “to talk.” In a mature democracy, it should not be unreasonable for citizens to expect the people we elect to be able to talk to each other and hammer out compromises on our behalf. Expect anything less and we get the kind of governments typified by first-past-the-post majorities: elected, time-limited dictatorships.

  4. Dan permalink
    October 11, 2015 7:33 pm

    If your goal to eventually have the Greens gain more votes, than telling people not to vote Green this year is not actually helping them. If they don’t get a single seat then whatever influence they do have is gone. They won’t be invited to leader debates in following years. Some campaign support they have now could leave, etc.
    Of course there is the argument of splitting the vote. But I think you mentioned it in your post, you vote in your riding..so if in your riding the Greens have a strong level of support and you choose not to vote for them, then you could split the vote in your riding and then it is just a crap shoot as to which local MP gets office. One seat Green is one less Conservative. I hardly think a piddly the piddly two seats the Greens get in the West are going to swing the federal election. But I do agree that you should only vote Green in a riding where they are likely to win.

    • October 12, 2015 8:18 am

      If you look again, I didn’t tell people not to vote Green – I told them to vote for the strongest non-Conservative party in their riding (which in some cases is Green). So I don’t actually think we’re in disagreement here.

      • Tarla permalink
        October 12, 2015 11:07 am

        How does this work if we want conservatives to win? Which way do I vote to help the conservatives? They way I want, or strategically?

    • N. Melanson permalink
      October 12, 2015 5:16 pm

      Totally agree. It’s not the Green vote that is splitting the vote in a major way, it is the major two centre-left parties that are causing the real vote-split under FPTP.

      • October 12, 2015 5:31 pm

        It entirely depends on the riding. In my riding, for example, polls show the NDP and Conservatives two percentage points apart. In the last election, the Green vote was at 12%. So yes, those Green voters absolutely could affect the outcome in this riding.

  5. Bill Jackson permalink
    October 11, 2015 10:23 pm

    Why does everyone believe that the NDP would bring in proportional representation? Because Tom Mulcair says so?
    The same Tom Mulcair who went looking for a job with Harper’s Conservatives before he joined the NDP?
    The same Tom Mulcair who argued for bulk water exports when he was a Quebec Liberal cabinet minister?
    The same Tom Mucair who says we can expand the tar sands and reduce CO2 emissions?

    Proportional representation would transfer votes – and seats in parliament – from the NDP to the Green Party. About 10 seconds of thought should tell you that they won’t do that.

  6. October 12, 2015 1:01 pm

    Thank you for a well-constructed, thoughtful piece on strategic voting. I am an anybody-but-Harper voter, but even for me the level of vitriol seen elsewhere is a bit much. My stomach is in knots over the potential for another Conservative term, but I hope the strategic approach brings some positive results.

  7. October 12, 2015 4:47 pm

    Reblogged this on Valley Road Rambler and commented:
    This sums up exactly why I chose to vote strategically in this election, for the first and hopefully the last time. I didn’t write it, but I agree with the writer’s perspective 100%.

  8. Sotsov permalink
    October 12, 2015 9:50 pm

    No mention of how the same system kept a Liberal government in power for 10 years in the 90s with only 40% of the vote. How odd

    • October 12, 2015 9:58 pm

      What’s odd about it? I’m talking about the present election, not past ones. I am not a Liberal supporter and certainly wouldn’t be much happier with an unfair Liberal majority, but that outcome is unlikely in this election. And as I did mention in a comment above, the Liberals have not benefited from the FPTP system in the last decade since the NDP and Greens have gained ground.

    • October 13, 2015 2:08 pm

      The principal difference is the fractured Right united to form the #CPC. They understood what it took to beat a broken system. The Libs have always been right of center so there’s no chance they’ll cooperate with the Lefties. In today’s political climate proportional representation or ranked ballots is much more indicative of how the nation as a whole votes.

  9. pierreclouthier permalink
    October 13, 2015 5:03 am

    These are some good arguments. However, proportional representation is not all sunshine & roses. In Israel, fringe extremist parties are holding the government up for ransom in exchange for their support.

    • October 13, 2015 10:45 am

      But not all forms of PR are equal. Israel uses a very purist form of PR, the straight party list, and has historically used a low threshold. They raised it to 2%, but the fragmentation had already been done. In Israel if you have a spat the party splits.

  10. October 13, 2015 7:03 am

    Great post! Just shared it.

  11. October 13, 2015 11:40 am

    so why are “strategic voting” always targeted at the Green vote? Where are there NDP or Liberal candidates who will step aside for a Green one? There’s lots of cases where that’s viable, when you consider some 3rd place-can’t-win NDP candidates are also “vote spoilers”

    And when the NDP rant and hoax over and over that the Greens are really closet Tories, what sense does it make to claim the Greens are part of the “left”?

    The quick-stop fix for our electoral problems, which could be done long before 2019, is to institute the run-off ballot, with follow-up elections a week after the main one, with only the top two candidates listed; this would encourage people to vote Green the first time out, and also give folks supporting other parties a chance to re-cast their vote. Either that or the elimination/preferential ballot as used in the 1952 and 1953 BC provincial elections.

    I don’t trust the NDP to bring in the proportional vote system; they didn’t in Alberta, they fought it off in BC, and all analyses I’ve seen indicate the only part to notably benefit from it would be the Greens…..so whyever would the NDP EVER bring it in? ‘oh trust us, vote for us this time we’ll let you vote for the Greens next time’ ….. yeah right…..here’s a lollipop, kid….

    The REAL strategic vote is to vote for your FIRST choice – the one you’d rather vote for if not for the fear-of-Harper campaign that is really “vote NDP” and is all about “don’t vote Green”.

    • October 13, 2015 4:44 pm

      5% of Canadians will watch their vote swirl down the toilet, that’s why.

    • Robert Mitchell permalink
      October 14, 2015 4:07 pm

      Right on Mike, lets have all the liberals and the ndp come on over and side up with the green party then we will beat those bad conservative’s into the ground and then the world will be a better place , HOORAY Just saying.

  12. October 13, 2015 1:20 pm

    I appreciate your take on Proportional Representation. I like how you framed up the discussion, especially since I dislike this on the face of it, as I posted here: https://moreenigma.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/and-they-call-it-democracy/
    Looking forward to the election! r.

  13. Stephen permalink
    October 13, 2015 1:56 pm

    Proportional voting or at least the version that I have discussed would list all candidates for a party in order. The List. The top of that list would be the Leader of course and their top friends. On election day, when the ballots are counted, each party will be told how many members they elected.

    So if Part A was entitled to 60 members, that top 60 on the list would become members of Parliament.

    An interesting idea that would would have the house of commons truly show the makeup of the popular vote. Now the flaws with that system.

    The candidate who has a budget of $200,000 and does a lot of fundraising may be #300 on the list. Why would they mortgage their personal future and devote all the time to being a candidate if they have no hope of getting the job, even if they won their riding.

    We would never again get to see the look on the face of the leader that we despise so much, whom just got defeated in the home riding – resign as leader of the party on Election night. They would still have a job and be collecting a pension. That riding would in theory have the same MP as they did prior to the election.

    Our current system is broke and needs to be fixed. Just not sure how to do it.

    • October 14, 2015 1:58 pm

      Thanks Stephen. Part of the fix I would suggest, is the better accountability of the MPs to their constituency rather than to their party/leader. This would set politics on its head? – No – on its feet again. In the PR plan, I just don’t see the accountability piece. But as I noted, neither does there appear to be accountability with the current system. Every four years hardly seems good enough to turf an MP for not representing the will of their constituents.

  14. October 13, 2015 2:03 pm

    YES! Very similar to my post from yesterday too :) http://www.potatochipmath.com/2015/10/if-you-keep-doing-what-youre-doing.html

    I very much see this as a “short term pain for long term gain” situation. Also, if you keep doing what you’re doing you’ll keep getting what you get.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  15. October 13, 2015 4:30 pm

    Here is an argument that vote splitting is a myth. After all, we should hear both sides to the story. This was made by a Green candidate in the TO area.

    • October 13, 2015 4:31 pm
      • October 14, 2015 1:48 pm

        Ok, so first off, arguments #1 (Green voters are new voters that wouldn’t support any other party) and #2 (Green voters would equally support all the parties across the political spectrum) directly contradict each other.

        I’m disinclined to buy either statement at face value, and would like to see the data that proves either one. Anecdotally, most Green voters I know were already engaged voters who crossed over from other left-leaning parties, and would put a pencil in their eye before voting Conservative.

        Furthermore, even if argument #2 were true (which I don’t buy at all – there may be some right-leaning Green voters, but I highly doubt there are an equal number across all parties as shown), those (possibly imaginary) right-leaning Green voters aren’t the ones being targeted by strategic voting initiatives anyway.

        Argument #3 is the only one that has any merit, and it’s not an argument against strategic voting. If you’re not in a swing riding, you’re not in a position to vote strategically anyway, so obviously you’d simply vote for your top choice.

  16. jim permalink
    October 13, 2015 11:00 pm

    The problem with strategic voting on the left is that there are significant differences between the parties. If you’re a Liberal supporter you may not like NDP or Green policies (or vise versa). Strategic voting makes sense if you’re of the position that anybody is better than current, but it doesn’t really make sense if you have an issue with the other parties platforms and aren’t simply voting to get rid of the previous regime.

  17. October 13, 2015 11:40 pm

    1) Electoral reform is likely to be found to be a constitutional issue and thus outside the scope of parliament to change.
    2) Proportional rep or mixed member pretty much eliminates any future possibility of independents being elected and further roots the problem of divisive party politics.
    3) Prop rep and similar styles are more suited to countries with smaller geographic areas lacking regional divides with relatively culturally homogeneous populations. This does not describe Canada.
    4) Strategic voting is likely to land us with PM Justin Trudeau. Patently the WORST of the three options by a lightyear.

  18. October 14, 2015 8:48 am

    I would make absolutely certain they mean what they say.

    I voted for the Lib-Dems (sort of like Canada’s NDP) in Britain in 2010 because they supported a change to proportional representation. The Conservatives won and formed a government that was bad for many. The Li-Dems managed to get a referendum i return for propping up a Conservative minority government that was then hammered with propaganda and hyperbole by the Conservatives and much of Labour (Liberals for you).

    Good luck though.

  19. October 14, 2015 1:15 pm

    while I do think it is cool to have representational government like this. we must remember there are ridings where the mp is an independent individual who is not a part of any party. They would not get any representation in the government and many policies that these independent members advocate for will be drowned. this system is too macro orientated and does not think about the local area. where individuals might not support the candidate for the riding. Maybe the candidate for a party in your region forgot to say hello to you and you simply don’t like him

  20. October 14, 2015 2:03 pm

    Society has been dumbed down for decades, most voters are unable to suss out the real facts , when you vote for the Greens you vote for a satellite party. a satellite party that was created to direct your vote to the Conservatives. the greens do not shout out loud, at the last election if votes were of equal value the Greens would have 18 seats in Parliament, in the UK, a government was elected with a mandate????? two out of three voters , voted against the Party who won the election,,. two political parties received over 4.000.000 votes did not win one seat. the Conservative Democratic Unionist Party received 160.000 votes they won 8 seats , the Greens keep silent don’t want to know,,” why ????” because if they do manage one day to form Government the same system will keep them in power for ever, the australian-active-alliance.com.au has lots of info on corrupt politics, proof the Westminster system is the most corrupt political system ever created , I sometimes wonder what people have between their ears, it does not matter how you vote, you cant change the system, by voting.

    • Rob permalink
      October 15, 2015 3:00 am

      ” …proof the Westminster system is the most corrupt political system ever created”

      Except of course for all the alternatives

  21. October 15, 2015 12:15 am

    strategic voting only if a party has a clear vision of the future…

  22. October 15, 2015 1:43 pm

    Half of the Liberals do NOT support Proportional Representation. Those half include Trudeau who said Canadians don’t understand Proportional Representation. Trudeau and the big wigs in his party want another Winner-Take-All electoral system similar to what we have now.

    Liberals are dishonest – they have a reputation for campaigning LEFT and governing RIGHT.

    The only strategic vote is for the #NDP if you want a Proportional voting system where your #Green vote will count one day.

    Liberals and Conservatives vote in parliament for the same things – #C51, #CCFIPA, #CETA, The #BarbaricCulturalPractices Act, the Harper’s #CPC Budgets, and the Libs think Harper didn’t sell #KXL (the big oil bitumen pipeline to the U.S) hard enough.

    Liberals are in the pockets of Big Business, Big Banks & Big Oil. One of their key campaigners just got caught counseling Big Oil lobbyists on how to get the #EnergyEast pipeline approved.

    They also support the #TPP that will give mult-national corporations huge powers where they can sue government in secret courts for making legislation (labor or environmental laws) that will impede their ability to secure future profits. Prescription Drug costs will go up, education will cost more, good paying jobs will leave to cheaper labor countries.

  23. Trevor Ollie permalink
    October 20, 2015 10:15 am

    So what do you think of the system today (October 20)?

    • October 20, 2015 10:57 am

      I’m glad Harper’s out, but I would have much preferred a minority government (of any stripe) so that the three left-of-centre parties would have more incentive to work together and scrap FPTP.

      Major pressure now needs to be put on the Liberal party to keep their campaign promises. People need to write to their MPs and let them know they voted on the basis of promised change. The pendulum has swung one way, and it can swing back again.

Trackbacks

  1. TEA & TWO SLICES | On Strategic Voting And Killing Trees In The Name Of Limitless Luxury | Scout Magazine
  2. The Smart People Need to get Smarter | Joyous and Swift
  3. Is It O.K. if Your Vote Is a Lie? Ask a Canadian | Toni Monkovic/The New York Times | Verified Voting

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