Say goodbye to Canada as we know it

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Pogo Pogo's picture

I think that votes count for far more than the choice of a local reprentative.  Politicians almost immediately after getting elected begin preparing for the next election.  Strong levels of support for opposition parties are considered when government plans its agenda.  Media give added voice to those who show some level of support in the general public.

For me that is the key reason why strategic voting is wrong.  You vote for what you believe is right whether it is NDP, Green, Liberal or Communist.  That way politicians will have a better understanding of the intentions of voters.  Strategic voting in the rare instances that it makes mathematical sense serves to hide the wishes of the voter and allows politicians to build policy taking into account the narrow platform of a single party.

Doug

Here's Heather Mallick with a fear piece that really goes overboard. I wasn't aware that the federal government owned much in the way of schools or hospitals to privatize or that CSIS might make Michael Ignatieff and his family disappear if the Conservatives win.

 

This sort of thing is not helping.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Strategic voting is a perversion of our system and it is unlikely to have the intended outcome.  In various BC ridings the collapse of the Liberal vote went almost 2 to 1 to the Cons rather than to the NDP.  It cost the party Vancouver Island North and almost Burnaby Douglas.  

The people who vote Liberal are not necessarily very progressive and given a choice they more often than not go right with their votes to the Cons. if the Liberals become too unsavoury.  No one owns the voters and they are not really pawns to be moved around the great electoral chessboard. As someone in another thread said the FPTP system is the problem.  The Liberals had the better part of a hundred years to fix the democratic deficit but they just never saw the need.  

JKR

M. Spector wrote:

And every time I post this question: When do we get to vote for what we really want?

When we get electoral reform?

Stephanie

Wading in for the first time here, we must get rid of Harper.  He is an evangelical Christian bent on turning Canada into a theocracy.  He has managed to keep his extremist views completely out of the media for several years now, but today's tax announcement which benefits families was endorsed  <http://www.imfcanada.org/article_files/Family_Income_Splitting_Press_Rel...   by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC), an evangelical "research" group started by the U.S. based Focus on the Family <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focus_on_the_Family_Canada>

 

I don't think the NDP gets this, and if they do, they're certainly not talking about it, never have.  The Liberals don't get it, and probably don't care.  So in my view, that leaves it up to us to stop a Harper majority.  And if he gets another minority, and if the opposition parties end up forming a coalition in the house of commons, we will have succeeded in stopping him.  If he fails in getting his majority, he will likely be out of a job before the next election and who knows what will happen with the other parties.

There are a few sites talking about strategic voting (a previous post asked)

http://catch22campaign.ca/

http://www.votepair.ca/

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=292671928599&v=wall  <Canadians Rallying to Unseat Harper>

http://unseatharper.ca/

I feel very discouraged about our political system.  I would like to trust the NDP but I live in Saskatchewan where they only look like the NDP when they're in opposition.  All I know is Harper must go, or we will live to see the complete erosion of our social democracy.

http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/thesearch/archive/2008/...

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

JKR wrote:

M. Spector wrote:

And every time I post this question: When do we get to vote for what we really want?

When we get electoral reform?

In other words, never, unless we vote for parties that promise electoral reform (chicken & egg problem).

But who would they be? Do any of the federal parties promise electoral reform? I heard Jack Layton call today for abolition of the Senate, but I can't remember the last time I heard an NDP MP call for electoral reform.

racial_realist

Other things you can kiss goodbye, if Harper gets a majority;

- Goodbye to the Senate, so there is no one to challenge Harpers changes

- Abortion rights

- Gay marriage

- Charter of Rights & Freedoms (if not eliminated, severely edited)

- Gun control

- Public Health care (will be starved of funding to encourage for-profit healthcare U.S style)

1) Half-truth.

2) Nonsense.

3) Nonsense.

4) Nonsense.

5) True.

6) Half truth.

Sean in Ottawa

Zoesmom wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Ok I admit I am not someone who votes strategically-- I vote for my first choice. I am in a riding that the Liberals now have and the Cons want to take so I should think strategically right?

Ok. I can do that, if only for the exercise since I have been clear I think democracy is only served by voting for my first choice.

Sooooo, strategically speaking. I want to stop the Harper Agenda and Harper policies in parliament. Ok, so my goal is clear.

Now which parties oppose the Harper Agenda in the House?

Conservatives? Umm no, that is Harper.

BQ? Not an option here so no need to consider.

How about the Greens? Well they have no record-- I don't know but I guess they could oppose Harper.

The NDP, well they oppose the Harper Agenda and almost never vote for the government except the rare times when they can get something for it that we all want. They have a leader who even ill and down in the polls would rather fight an election than agree to vote for bad policies. Looks like that is my only choice that has a chance at being elected-- or at least has ever been elected to the House before.

So, what do you know. My strategic choice is my first after all. See this voting thing is not that complicated after all.

You live in denial of what is at stake and how our country will be Americanized to the point of no return. I wish I was able to tune it all out, as you do. Believe me, I really do.

Such comments should be preceded by "I think" since that is just your opinion. I published books on the Americanization of Canada and it is a long-term trend that the Liberals have participated very heavily in.

You, in my opinion, ought to re-evaluate that fact since that is our point of disagreement. If you were to see that you would see how my post still makes sense -- even in light of the massive damage being done to Canada that is ongoing. The fact that I see the NDP as the only brake on this trend reflects pessimism on the part of the Liberals rather than optimism either with respect to Canada or the NDP's political fortunes. I think I am well aware of both and happy about neither.

Please tone down the you are in denial type comments-- it does not help debate at all. Better to try to find the point of disagreement and argue it.

As I say it seems our point of disagreement is based on my pessimism regarding Liberal positions, intentions and actions and your perhaps ever so slightly more optimistic view of same. And I am not accusing you of being Liberal-- I can see the difference and this is something people do struggle with which is more of a reason to engage rather than sling the insult ok?

Kanada2America

Well unfortunately there are some of us who are going to be spitting in the wind because first past the post means Ontario and Quebec decide electoral outcomes.

And not only that, Canada has no real federal party that can really win my vote. Surprising considering this country always says that unlike the US, there is real plurality here. It's a country with five major parties running in an election. Why is there no proper choice?

NDP in the west? The prairie west? Irrelevant. They abandoned that to the Conservatives a long time ago. And before anybody paints the NDP in a glowing nostalgic light, did anyone ask about why Canadian taxpayers forked out billions, about $13B worth of bailouts to two gigantic auto companies?

Ironic considering the roots of the NDP and prairie populism. The common working man has to wonder why the NDP thought that was a good move.

Meanwhile the Liberals are putting up token efforts  in my riding or any riding I've lived in just like the NDP. And the Bloc, well that's self explanatory.

And sorry but there's misinformation on this forum too. The Senate for the Conservative Party is a gold mine now. Stuffed chock full of loyalist lieutenants who raised funds for the Conservative Party. Abolishing that? No way. Gay marraige and abortion? No way. Hot rock topics that no crooked politico in their right mind touches even in the best of times.

Kanada2America

politicalnick

I know this is a little off topic but...

I don't think that electoral reform is the big solution that everyone makes it out to be. Yes it will make some changes for the better but we really need complete governmental reform. I have stated this position many times in babble and it seems to always get tossed aside. Electoral reform will change the make up of government but not the way it operates, this does not mean I am not for changes to the election process but I don't think it does enough. We need to have drastic changes in campaign finance (no corporate, union, or any other group donations), have each member accountable to their constituents instead of their party and its donors, remove corporate and special interest lobbyist, etc. We need to form a system that is government for the individual people and their communities.

Return to topic....

I happen to agree that there must be some form of strategy to prevent a Harpo majority. He is bound and determined to make us the 51st state of the union and give control of this country to big corporations and force us into the NA Union. It goes against my principles to encourage people to vote against who they believe best represents their interests and ideals but this happens to be a special circumstance where the most important overriding issue of all is preventing the election of the 'Royal President Harper' to a majority.

It is important to consider the implications of that one particular outcome this time around and the cast your vote as you see fit.

Sean in Ottawa

genstrike wrote:

Isn't it interesting that Zoesmom's arguments for strategic voting is almost exactly the same as the arguments used against people considering not voting NDP in the "Reject the election" thread.

I just find it curious how there seems to be an unwritten undercurrent of "vote your conscience, unless your consciense tells you to do something other than vote NDP" in the babble discourse.

This statement holds no water. It looks like a possible conclusion only because the vote for something other than your first choice seems to be a Liberal message directed at the NDP.

In fact I have never tried to change someone from voting their first choice. If a person is a Liberal vote Liberal even if it is in an NDP seat-- same thing with Green or BQ. I am against all strategic voting even if it is designed to help an NDP candidate.

I, for one among a few others here, have always argued against any form of strategic voting which I think is a moral fraud on the electoral system. I agree we need to fix the system to no longer be FPTP-- in the meantime we need people to vote their conscience and track the difference. At least when people do that we can see and imagine the real intent even if it does not come through in seats. When people don't vote their first choice we lose even that and the election becomes even less relevant.

Fidel

I think it might be Zoesmom in denial. We were Americanized about 15 years ago. What will she say when the Yanks can no longer afford our corrupt stooges, and China and India start buying governments in Ottawa?

genstrike

M. Spector wrote:

And every time I post this question: When do we get to vote for what we really want?

We both know that the answer to that question is "never"

janfromthebruce

Totally funny, each election the same recent joiners do their strategic "vote liberal" I mean vote strategically. Sorry but I'm not entertaining any debate here. Hopefully this so concerned people need to go beg those soft conservative leaning supporters, the ones that often vote liberal. I think they would have better luck but they are again - for a minute - entertaining but so not worth the type.

Stephanie

Researching some of the hate-filled rantings of Harper's inner circle.  This is his speech writer:

http://faisalkutty.com/editors-picks/the-man-who-writes-stephen-harper%2...

I'm sorry, but I believe we have never had these kinds of people in the corridors of power in Ottawa.  Or maybe I'm just fooling myself.

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Lying Brian had some real nasty people around him. He is likely the only PM who comes close to Harper, but then he is Harper's role moel.

 

Doug

Stephanie wrote:

Researching some of the hate-filled rantings of Harper's inner circle.  This is his speech writer:

http://faisalkutty.com/editors-picks/the-man-who-writes-stephen-harper%2...

I'm sorry, but I believe we have never had these kinds of people in the corridors of power in Ottawa.  Or maybe I'm just fooling myself.

 

 

You're fooling yourself. Being nice and being successful in politics only rarely come together. There's a long history of political assholes on all sides.

contrarianna

Zoesmom wrote:

.......doesn't change the FACT that every single person in this country who votes for the NDP or the Greens or anyone other than the Liberals is CULPABLE.

 

Utter nonsense. There are many ridings in which the NDP have previously won, and many which they have a better chance of winning than the Liberals.  Your claim for "strategic voting" is not.  If you convince enough people in those ridings (which you won't anyway) the net result is a greater Harper majority.

contrarianna

doublepost

Sean in Ottawa

Northern Shoveler wrote:

Lying Brian had some real nasty people around him. He is likely the only PM who comes close to Harper, but then he is Harper's role moel.

 

thought that was baby Bush

Pogo Pogo's picture

I wonder if there is a Craigslist ad looking for Strategic Voting trolls.  Maybe they could find somebody who can put forward a better argument than the current bunch is doing.

contrarianna

Real strategic voting is less culpable than mindless- groupthink-myparty-Canada-be-damned voting.

Voting for any of the recognizable parties necessitates a gas-mask,
but knowingly voting in such a way that enables the Harper majority requires an oxygen-deprived HazMat suit.

Pope Teddywang Pope Teddywang's picture

I am not a sock puppet, i am a genuine crackpot.

I have voted fuckin' socialist workers party in every election, fed or prov, since 1980 EXCEPT for last time around when i voted for Briony Penn.

The Orchard/Dion Liberals that have taken over the SGI riding are a radically different animal from the Gordo Campbell Liberals represented by past SGI Liberal candidates like Sheila Orr.

Only a last-minute dirty tricks campaign kept Briony out of office, and now E. May has appeared on our doorstep, fresh from shoring up the vote-splitting in Central Nova in favour of Peter MacKay (boo, hiss).

I have spent the last 23 years wishing I had held my nose and voted for Turner.

Pogo Pogo's picture

contrarianna wrote:

Real strategic voting is less culpable than mindless- groupthink-myparty-Canada-be-damned voting.

Voting for any of the recognizable parties necessitates a gas-mask,
but knowingly voting in such a way that enables the Harper majority requires an oxygen-deprived HazMat suit.

  Are you implying that the anti-strategic voting posters on this thread are the mindless groupthink-myparty advocates.  If so I think you should read a little deeper.  That is definitely not what is being said by a number of the anti-strategic posters.

nskinskinski

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

we need people to vote their conscience and track the difference. At least when people do that we can see and imagine the real intent even if it does not come through in seats. When people don't vote their first choice we lose even that and the election becomes even less relevant.

As someone planning to sv, Sean's argument as articulated above makes the plainest case for the purism that might otherwise frustrate me*. But I'd think it might require a parallel - and energized - movement around PR. And I think PR isn't the kind of emotive issue that gets people going, like cuts do. (In places where people are residually political, at least... I welcome thoughts on why the UK's on fire and Canada is made of asbestos.) For my part, I'm willing to work towards PR - just not right now. Maybe that's something that could be floated as a kind of meme ... 'Anyone but Harper, IF every vote counts'.

But Harper has got enough steam going to do fearsome and long-term damage, I think. My view: that wound has got to be cauterized before sepsis sets in. The other issues can bear to wait for rehab. I feel Zoesmom is genuine and motivated by the same concerns. 

*I continue to be astonished and afraid of the rightward creep here and everywhere... I didn't think Toronto could be won by someone like Rob Ford. Or that David Cameron could gut his country in such an openly ideological way.

Apologies for my atrocious use of metaphors. 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
 I feel Zoesmom is genuine and motivated by the same concerns. 

 

Zoesmom seems very fixated on voting for the Liberals.

 

Wouldn't someone genuine about stopping Harper be fixated on voting for WHOEVER can unseat a Con? It practically had to be dragged out of her that it's OK to vote NDP if they're the front runner, and in her VERY NEXT POST she was back to talking solely about voting for Liberals.

 

That was the "tell" right there.

nskinskinski

I dunno... probably a slip... maybe Zoesmom is from Southern Ontario, and therefore struggles (as I do) to contemplate a local reality in which there's a viable non-Liberal option.

6079_Smith_W

nskinskinski wrote:

I dunno... probably a slip... maybe Zoesmom is from Southern Ontario, and therefore struggles (as I do) to contemplate a local reality in which there's a viable non-Liberal option.

Clearly, and I am sure you are right.

Though no one out here where the NDP are the only viable alternative would ever make the absurd mistake of assuming that our political reality applies across the entire country.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Is this where I get to chime in about Central Canadian Overlords?

Maysie Maysie's picture

NO!!!

(Is that you waving, demon bagkitty?)

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

nskinskinski wrote:

I dunno... probably a slip... maybe Zoesmom is from Southern Ontario, and therefore struggles (as I do) to contemplate a local reality in which there's a viable non-Liberal option.

Zoesmom said she is from Burlington, which is right beside Hamilton. I asked her whether this meant she was urging everyone in the 3 Hamilton ridings with incumbent NDP MPs to support them, but she did not answer.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Harper must go..Harper must not achieve a majority.

This does not mean anyone has to vote Liberal.

6079_Smith_W

alan smithee wrote:

Harper must go..Harper must not achieve a majority.

This does not mean anyone has to vote Liberal.

erm..... 

perhaps you should do the math on that. I am counting on quite a few people voting liberal and Bloc in order to achieve our common goal.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

@Maysie

Taunt me at your peril.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

alan smithee wrote:

Harper must go..Harper must not achieve a majority.

This does not mean anyone has to vote Liberal.

erm..... 

perhaps you should do the math on that. I am counting on quite a few people voting liberal and Bloc in order to achieve our common goal.

I got that covered.

I'm voting Bloc.

Pogo Pogo's picture

If you vote for a party that is not closest to your personal viewpoint you are doing a disservice to yourself and the system.  The value of a vote to a party finishing below 1-2 is not insignificant.  It shows that campaign team that their work was not in vain, it is a clear indication of what people are supporting, and provides a starting point for the next campaign.

Ever since the Mulroney took power stopping the boogey man has become an election theme.  Yet the boogey man is still here.  We need to stop putting out the fire and work on creating a place where fires are unwelcome.

6079_Smith_W

@ Pogo

Nonsense. 

I don't think there are too many voters who agree with absolutely everything the party they support does. To go back to quebec.... how many people support the bloc but are not in favour of sovereignty?

I know there are points on which I disagree with the parties I vote for - federally and provincially. But they are for me the best choice. End of story.

It's all a compromise, and a voter's right to ust a vote however he or she wishes, including a strategic vote, takes a bit higher precedence than chiding someone for lack of presumed political purity (speaking of oxymorons).

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I don't think there are too many voters who agree with absolutely everything the party they support does.

I don't think there are any - except one or two on babble.

Quote:
To go back to quebec.... how many people support the bloc but are not in favour of sovereignty?

I know of one for sure. Laughing But lately he's been voting NDP. He doesn't agree much with either party, so he tends to look at bigger pictures ("strategic") and smaller pictures (the integrity of the individual).

Quote:
It's all a compromise, and a voter's right to ust a vote however he or she wishes, including a strategic vote, takes a bit higher precedence than chiding someone for lack of presumed political purity (speaking of oxymorons).

Exactly. And political purity is often an oxymoron - as in, a bunch of morons in urgent need of oxyclean.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Sure it is a compromise and if it was a one off thing like the Free Trade End Of Civilization As We Know It event, I can see the use of voting for a party that you would not support all things being equal.  However it seems that every election since then has been the mother of all elections where any other considerations must be put aside to the binary question of candidate/party #1 or candidate/party #2. 

That builds a system where the status quo trumps new ideas.  When we used to have Communist candidates I had many friends that voted for them and they valued their votes.  If I won my riding as the NDP candidate but the Communist Party had won 10% of the vote I would know that there was a significant chunk of my community that wants serious change.  If they all held their nose and voted NDP then I would just think what a great job I had done.

If you think that the strategic vote outweighs building for future change, go ahead but don't be surprised when things don't change much.

JKR

Pogo wrote:

That builds a system where the status quo trumps new ideas.  When we used to have Communist candidates I had many friends that voted for them and they valued their votes.  If I won my riding as the NDP candidate but the Communist Party had won 10% of the vote I would know that there was a significant chunk of my community that wants serious change.  If they all held their nose and voted NDP then I would just think what a great job I had done.

If you think that the strategic vote outweighs building for future change, go ahead but don't be surprised when things don't change much.

There's probably no riding in Canada where the left could split the vote whereby the Communists get 10% and the NDP wins. Even Vancouver East would be in jeaporady if 10% went Communist in that riding. Almost every voter who is closest ideologically to the Communists, votes NDP because they don't want to waste their vote and see a Liberal or Conservative win a left-leaning riding. Strategic voting is inherent in FPTP. That`s how FPTP works. Wishing it away won't change anything. Attacking strategic voting, done on the level of the individual, without attacking the FPTP system that creates it, is meaningless.

The only way to get rid of strategic voting, done on the level of the individual, is electoral reform.

Pogo Pogo's picture

It was a hypothetical example.  Drop it to 5% if it makes you less scared. 

Yes electoral reform is the long term answer.  In the meantime (which is likely the next generation) we have the system that exists.

Sean in Ottawa

As long as we hide our intentions by voting for second or third choices we hide the need for electoral reform. How does voting for parties opposed to electoral reform like the Liberals give us anything other than a Liberal MP just as likely to vote for a right wing budget as not?

Slumberjack

You can display the need for electoral reform and a host of other desirable things all you want through the ballot box.  On what basis though does one retain any hope of achieving success against a crap table where loaded dice are employed.

Sean in Ottawa

On what basis does one retain hope of winning when you vote for the other guy?

Slumberjack

Well, obviously that's another condition entirely.  I'm trying to figure out why leftists continue to bother at all with being humoured.

Unionist

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

As long as we hide our intentions by voting for second or third choices we hide the need for electoral reform.

So in some ridings we should vote, knowing that we will elect a Conservative, because if we do otherwise, God (or some other outside observer) will be confused and not see our need for electoral reform?

You are advocating the vote as a symbol, or metaphor. Many many Canadians (and Quebeckers, for sure) see it as a weapon to either elect the ones we like, or eliminate the ones we don't.

Why is it a sin to use my vote to avoid the worst evil, rather than (as you suggest) use it always to support the least of the evils (even when they have no chance and even when it could elect the worst)?

Quote:
How does voting for parties opposed to electoral reform like the Liberals give us anything other than a Liberal MP just as likely to vote for a right wing budget as not?

Why not ask: How does destroying Harper and his acolytes help save some bits of Canada so that we can gather our strength in less unfavourable conditions?

Your approach is a tad dogmatic. Voting is not like sharing food with a starving stranger. One is forever. The other must be judged on a case by case basis.

 

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

OK...I give up.

Some people here flaunt their apathy or promote a 'protest' to spoil votes and now people are ready to give their support to Stephen Harper because we all know a Harper government will just be like any other government.

It's one thing not to vote or spoil you ballots (incredibly counter productive but you do what you feel you need to) but musing that Harpie 'ain't that bad'?

I have to wonder where alot of people's heads are at...Talk about mass insanity...I guess the Conservative propaganda machine really is that effective afterall.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Unionist who is your choice that you put aside to vote NDP or Bloc?

Sean in Ottawa

If the Liberals opposed the Cons more often then the point would be there but they have voted for the most horrible of Conservative policies so I don't see how they are less bad. I don't see that they have a hope of governing -- no they have only a hope of taking enough seats to keep Harper in the business of wrecking Canada. The fact that they are chiefly enablers rather than participants is almost hair-splitting in the grand scheme of things.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Closing for length. Please continue here.

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