A word about Strategic voting, or “progressives” don’t let progressives vote Liberal

Progressives, by which I mean those concerned with issues of a thriving democracy, the environment, and social and economic justice, are once again not being well served in the coming election. Indeed, the middle of political discourse has shifted so far to the right that Rob Ford appears “reasonable” rather than bat shit crazy.

Owing to an outdated and profoundly flawed electoral system, “strategic voting” has reared its ugly head once more. Considering that one of the few strengths of First Past The Post (FPTP) system (i.e. electing a local candidate) is already continually undermined by voters who scarcely consider the merits of their local candidates in their choices, “strategic voting” only contributes further to the dysfunction in our electoral system. Thus, all progressives should at the very least demand electoral and democratic reform from our political parties.

Ah yes, “strategic voting” the last bastion of desperate Liberals. Strategic voting is a Liberal ploy to steal progressive votes. Don’t let them frighten you into abandoning democracy. I found it very interesting that as the NDP overtook the Liberals in the polls in the last federal election, Liberals went silent on their pleas for strategic voting. Not one Liberal suggested sacrificing a Liberal vote to help an NDP candidate win over a Conservative one. It’s fine to ask Dippers to sacrifice their votes, but not to ask it of those who see themselves as having a natural right to govern. It should be noted that Harper’s majority came precisely on the backs of Liberals in Ontario who rather than opting for the greener pastures of the NDP ran into the waiting arms of Stephen Harper.

Strategic voting is stupid and worse not at all strategic. Don’t take it from this hack, read it from one of Canada’s most knowledgeable and respected political pundits: Alice Funke from a Pundit’s Guide to Canadian Federal Elections. The following piece is essential reading on the topic of strategic voting:  Ask yourselves why aren’t Conservatives enraged when they see strategic voting websites and such ganging up on them? Conservatives benefit from strategic voting, usually because strategic voting is deployed unstrategically.

Here’s Alice’s wonderful summary:

“A vote “against” someone or something is a vote in favour of nothing. It gives no mandate to elected officials, creates all the wrong incentives for the politicians who are elected that way, and guarantees that Parliament will descend even further into the partisan barking we see there now. Indeed the perverse problems with the methodology itself have led respected website Democratic Space author Greg Morrow to stop publishing his “strategic voting guide” from previous elections.

In this election, read the platforms, watch the debates, take a measure of the leaders and the candidates, and vote your heart. If everyone did that, who knows what we might come up with together.”

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Posted on September 26, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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