Sunday, April 10, 2011

Responsible Voting vs. Strategic Voting

You do have a choice. "Strategic" voting has done nothing but backfire. In 104 ridings in the previous election, the NDP came in second place (and they won an additional 37). Strategic voting does not necessarily mean voting Liberal.

Remember back in Chretien's day? The right wing was divided into the Progressive Conservatives and the Reform Party, which morphed into the Canadian Alliance, and finally the two parties joined to form the Conservatives. While they were split, they were decimated in the polls.

The same thing has happened to the left. The Green Party has siphoned a lot of crucial votes away from the NDP. A comparison of the parties reveals that the NDP is at least as "green" as the Green Party, and in addition it has a great deal of depth in other areas as well. The Bloc Quebecois of course throws off the balance of power between the parties, but thankfully they're pretty progressive. Unfortunately, no one wants to formally ally with the Bloc due to their avowed mission of breaking up Canada.

With the left split, a vote for the Green Party rather than the NDP is essentially a vote for Stephen Harper.

All that being said, I've always despised the idea of strategic voting. In Canada, why should I have to vote for a party I don't believe in? The solution is not strategic voting, it's electoral reform to introduce some form of proportional representation into Canadian politics. It's horrifying that Stephen Harper has been able to form governments when 62% of voters voted against him!

Nonetheless, I've always said that the only responsible vote is an informed vote. Voters need to actually read the election platforms of the various parties so they can understand what each of them actually stands for. Armed with that knowledge, voters can then vote for the party that best reflects their values.