Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I find strategic voting odious and disgusting. The idea that if you vote for the lesser of two evils means you think you will get something different than evil is delusional at best.

Bill Tieleman has a good piece on the failure of strategic voting in Saanich - Gulf Islands.

I find the anger some people have towards the people that voted for the NDP interesting. Most people vote more for the party than the individual, not something I like but something I accept. If your party is the NDP, why would you not vote NDP if the party is on the ballot? With how the parties are now funded based on the number of votes cast for them, there is a lot of sense in voting for the NDP even though the party will not win. I was surprised more people did not vote for Andrew Lewis of the Greens.

I personally think the result in Saanich - Gulf Islands was a good one for everyone. Gary Lunn is a good man that has been a good MP for 11 years now. He is also someone that will be in cabinet, which is important for our region and he is also in favour of electoral reform.

Gary's re-election is also very important to democracy in Canada because it shows people that the most hardcore strategic voting campaign we have seen in Canada did not work. It showed that the public can think for themselves.

Across the country, the people pushing strategic voting and vote swapping have showed themselves to be unable to understand how elections work and how the public thinks. The people pushing strategic voting have assumed that the results in 2006 were the basis of how the election would turn out in 2008 and that strategic voting could influence the result. As an example, they assumed that Vancouver South was safely Liberal when in fact it was won by the Liberals on election day by only a handful of votes. The also said that in Vancouver Centre than the Conservatives were not a factor when in fact they came second.

The fallacy of strategic voting is that people will vote the same as last time and only a small change is needed to change the results. Strategic voting is the utter bottom of negative campaigning and suffers because it offers nothing positive. In this election the message in almost all the cases was for people to vote for the Liberals to protect the environment. The clear sub text here is very damaging to the Liberals - "Yes we know the Liberals party is bad, but they are not as bad as the Conservatives." The people advocating strategic voting are admitting that their recommendations are not the best people to be elected.

Most of the active strategic voting activity was put into action for the environment. If this energy had all been put into supporting the Green Party - the strongest advocates for the environment - odds are that the Greens would have polled much higher across the country and may have been able to win in several locations. Some examples of the stupidity of the Vote for the Environment negative campaign is that they did not put energy behind the Greens in Bruce - Grey - Owen Sound where the party had a chance, they did not even recommend strategic voting in that case. They also did not recommend Adrian Carr in Vancouver Centre, Blair Wilson in West Can Sunshine Coast Sea to Sky Country or Andrew Lewis in Saanich - Gulf Islands. All three of them had the chance to make a much bigger impression on election day and in the case of Adrian Carr might have been elected. Several Green MPs in Ottawa would make a much larger impact than electing a bunch more Liberals.

If they had come out strongly in favour of one party - the Greens - their whole campaign would have been much more positive and had a much higher impact on the vote.
Post a Comment