Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Anyone But Harper

According to the Globe & Mail, 52% of Canadians say they're anxious about the prospect of a Harper majority, but 81% of those people say they won't change their vote to prevent it.

Let me try to persuade you otherwise.

In a parliamentary democracy such as Canada's, a vote is a very blunt instrument. We have one act to signify our choice of a local representative, a national leader, and a party. How we prioritize those options determines whether we use our vote to try to elect a government or whether we let others decide who runs the country.

Strategic voting does not mean that you have to vote Liberal. A vote for any party other than the Conservatives will help - but smart voting can help keep Harper from getting a majority. The question is: in your riding, who is best able to beat the Conservatives? That's the person/party/leader to support.

And support means more than one vote. It means: speak out; put up a sign; volunteer; donate moeny; persuade your friends; get out the vote.

After the election, if they have enough votes, the Liberals, NDP and Greens can work together to oppose Harper - at best, as a coalition, or if not, as an opposition with teeth. The Bloc may not cooperate in such an endeavor, but they may also be our strongest stalwart against Harper by holding seats in Quebec.

The differences between the policies of the Liberals, NDP and Greens are minor compared to our differences with the Harper Conservatives. It's great that we have a plurality of voices on the left - we are stronger and more vibrant because of it. But we need to come together to stave off a common threat.

To see current polling projections for your riding, click here. For more polls, look at the links in the right pane of this blog.


Anonymous said...

I thought the Liberals were a centrist party? Why side with the left then?

And are you saying you'd prefer to elect separatists than Conservatives? That's pretty shocking.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

This poll is almost meaningless imho, unless it's been misreported (which is possible of course).

So, 81% of voters won't change their vote to stop a Harper majority. SOUNDS like a lot of people aren't really that worried. But let's break this down.

First off, about 36% of that 81% are people who are PLANNING TO VOTE TORY. So, d'uh they're not going to change their votes to stop the Tories... they LIKE the Tories. So that leave 45% of voters who wouldn't change their vote to stop a Tory majority.

Now, how many of those people actually NEED to change their vote to stop a Tory majority? If I plan to vote Liberal, and I live in a solidly Liberal riding (or a riding where the Liberals are most likely to come in second), then I don't plan to change my vote to stop the Tories, because I'm ALREADY DOING EVERYTHING I CAN to stop the Tories. If I'm an NDP voter in a solidly NDP riding (or a riding where the NDP are most likely to come in second), same thing.

So, the 81% figure is TOTALLY bogus. Hell, even saying "45% of voters won't change their vote to stop the Tories" is bogus. If the intention of this poll is to measure how many people would vote strategically to stop the Tories it ignores one very big question. How many voters are ALREADY planning to vote strategically in order to stop the Tories (or, aren't "voting strategically" but are voting out of pure conviction for the party for whom they would need to vote strategically if they wanted to vote strategically, and therefore don't need to change their vote in order to do what they're already doing).

Long story short, silly question, meaningless figure, doesn't tell us ANYTHING.

If the headline of this poll was "1 in 4 'progressive' voters plan to vote for whichever party they need to to stop the Tories" wouldn't that seem like an awful LOT of strategic voting (16% of all voters is about 27% of "progressive" voters).

Yappa said...

To lord kitchener's own -

The way I interpreted the Globe, and the way I wrote it, is that it's 81% of 52%, not 81% of the country. But your point about people who are already voting to stop them is good.

Bert said...

I plan on wearing Conservative Blue on October 15th, in celebration of the Conservative majority. It must REALLY suck to be Liberal now adays, especially with their supporters grasping at straws like this.

While I'm at it, you can really see that none of the leader's at the debate last evening has anything really important to say. The only thing they are interested in is "bringing down Harper". They were, in effect, like a school yard group of bullies ganging up on one kid.

Yappa said...

Hi Bert -

Yep, these are scary days indeed. ;-)

But about the seeming ganging up: there were four leaders who have similar policies, and they strongly disagree with Harper. Of course that had to come out.

It would be one thing if the disagreement was about how best to achieve goals, but it's not: it's about values and a vision of Canada in the future.

Harper has a very aggressive agenda to change Canada - to put more people in jail, to cut NGOs and arts, to have a bigger military, to have less social services, and on and on. Other people feel passionately that his agenda will wreck the country.

What you call "bringing down Harper" is standing up for nearly 150 years of Canadian values and opposing his radical agenda to remake Canada in George Bush's image.

dol said...

Go to before you decide on anything else.please help.this government is hiding things from you.