The need to vote strategically

103 posts / 0 new
Last post
Coop
The need to vote strategically

We can only hope that Stephen Harper's coalition scare tactic will backfire, as it is likely that he is the one most worried that the majority of Canadians might see a coalition as a better choice than his jets, prisons and corporate tax cuts. Most other multi-party, parliamentary countries have coalition governments that serve their population very well, and it would be great to see political parties working together for the good of this country. Since Canada lacks a tradition of coalition governments, the only way for the majority of Canadians to ensure the next government best represents their issues is to vote for the candidate that has the best chance of winning. Most Canadians would prefer their government to invest in health, education, environment and culture and yet we have been stuck with a Conservative government that focuses on the military, resource exploitation, corporate tax cuts and cutting services. We have a crisis in democracy in Canada and the only way to get real representation of the majority is for everyone who wants change to get out and vote strategically.

Issues Pages: 
Regions: 
bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Welcome Coop, please don't take the following personally.

I have a suggestion for a tweaking of how babble operates, especially during elections -- that absolutely new members should have a 24 or 48 hour introduction period before they can generate new threads. They should be able to contribute to existing ones, but to stop the awful proliferation of threads, give them a settling in period.

Just a suggestion

[ETA - although having such a settling in, introduction period might also reduce spam... just saying]

Pogo Pogo's picture

Maybe we could make people pay for the right to use the 's' word.  I bet you that we could make a bundle.

Unionist

Pogo wrote:

Maybe we could make people pay for the right to use the 's' word.  I bet you that we could make a bundle.

True. But we'd make more if we taxed the Harpocons for every use of the "c" word.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Guys, I've been rethinking this whole strategic voting thing. And I think it's an excellent idea to talk about it.

As a left-handed person, I have to strategically vote all the time.

Mostly I like to draw the first line of the X from the bottom right to the top left, then I draw the second line from the top right to the bottom left of the box beside the NDP candidate's name. I find that efficient. I like to press firmly, but not so hard as to break the pencil or to rip the cardstock of the ballot. But not so lightly that the pencil marks of the X can't be seen. Strategically, I always have to watch where the side of my hand is, to avoid smudges.

Finally, when leaving the voting area, I must strategically ensure the pencil will not roll onto the floor, unless someone has already attached it by a string to the desk top, as I inevitably will vote in a school gym or church rec room.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Well, the last strategic voting thread, Say goodbye to Canada as we know it, is cryptically named and nearing 100 posts. So I'm going to keep this one open (although I'm moving it to Canadian Politics). Part of the problem bagkitty points out is that many new visitors use the "create content" link in their profile, which is a bit misleading, since it just, by default, creates a thread in the "Introductions" forum. So it's a problem. And one we can get used to during election time.

Nevertheless, thanks for your post, Coop, and welcome to babble!

Unionist

In the last thread, Pogo wrote at post #98:

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

The question is extremely revealing. The choice must be a "who". Why must it be a "who"?

I have posted way too much on babble over the years, but anyone who has read even a few measly thousand of my posts will know that I have only ever voted NDP or Bloc in Outremont.

The "choice" that I put aside to vote for these two grossly inadequate parties is my conscience - my principles - which urge me to abstain. But then I remember that if I do, the Liberal will win, so I drag myself not only to the polling booth, but to the campaign.

And, in some cases, I will vote based solely on the individual. It was so when Amir Khadir ran for the Bloc. Likewise for François Rebello. When Mulcair came along, I switched back to NDP - both because of Mulcair, his history and his uambiguous stand on Afghanistan and cultural communities and several other matters, and because it finally seemed that there was a chance of wiping out the Liberals (Jean Lapierre) by voting NDP. It worked - wonderful!

Sorry for the lengthy reply, Pogo, but I wanted to be very clear. The NDP and the Bloc have said and done some terrible things on some crucial issues facing the Canadian people in recent years. But they rank as mistakes (I hope), and pale in comparison with the others.

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Harpie wants a one on one televised debate against Ignatieff.

The King is getting a little too cocky...Arrogance and a condescending demeanor are not attractive character traits..It turns alot of people off.

And the King is a coward..Picking a fight with an opponent without legs....I doubt he'd pick a street fight with Layton and I know he's too much of a chickenshit to go to blows with Duceppe in a one on one televised debate.

Anyway,I wonder if anyone would actually even bother to tune into this debate.

KenS

Expecting people to actually look at evidence whether calls to 'strategic voting' actually harm or help meet their intended goals, is like expecting a dog to see that rolling in shit is not conducive to its well being in the world it actually lives in.

6079_Smith_W

Another response to that last thread that came to mind on the way to the store:

The whole notion that we are all somehow forced to betray our natural allegiances by voting strategically is ridiculous.

Some of the MSM are talking about 50 ridings in which the vote is close enough that they might swing. Many of the rest of us by contrast live in relatively safe ridings, so really if someone wants to spoil a ballot or not even show up it probably makes little difference (except for election funding). I have no intention of doing that because I think it is ignorant. As for casting a strategic vote, the fact is if I lived in a riding where the only candidate who had a chance of defeating a Conservative was a Liberal (or to protect that candidate from a conservative challenger) I'd cast that vote without a second thought.

Of course there are three-way races where things get a bit more complex, but for most of us this is really an academic exercise. 

Speaking of which, what happened to that website last election in which voters can trade votes with people in other ridings as a way of voting strategically, but still having a clear conscience (at least those who still have one and are feeling sensitive about it)?

 

KenS

Then there is the inescapable fact that no matter where in particular you direct your particular pitch for strategic voting, the real aggregate process is that the calls have a life of their own: they go everywhere, and the bulk of people that hear the call have little idea whether they are in a two or three way race, or who was closest or whatever. And what they take from the calls is 'yeah, I want to stop Harper, better vote for the Liberal'.

KenS

Real world 'strategic voting' is autoworkers in Windsor- where the Conservatives have no chance- voting Liberal. Thats why Buzz appeared with Paul Martin and gave him the jacket. Or people voting Liberal in Saskatchewan while the NDP loses squeakers to neanderthals.

It helped Linda Duncan beat the Conservatives. Name one other place it did that.

KenS

Fortunately, it appears that 'strategic voting' never happened as much as people think. And the influence appears over elections to be getting weaker.

[Buzz Hargrove supported the Liberals because he felt they would get more done for working people. 'Strategic voting' was just a cover for that. And the evidence from Canadian Election Studies is that much of what is assumed to be strategic voting for Liberals is [was] actually people weighing that all things considered, they would rather have a Liberal elected than the NDP. Period.]

So to the degree strategic voting did actually happen- rather than people just assuming it happened- it has gone from being directly harmful in a limited number of ridings, to probably just being mostly a distraction.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Ok, so lets get this straight, I have never, ever voted anything over then NDP. I have always voted NDP, even when I knew my candidate would lose. I voted for Max Melnyk in 1980 against Dan Mackenzie, in River Heights. Yep, I knew Max would loose, but I voted for him anyway. Why, because he was a New Dem, and I am first, foremost, and always a New Dem.

I am tired of this fear that seemingly is washing through this community that says everybody panic, and vote in a way you really don't want to, or the boogie man will end up in charge. Sorry, that is frankly, STUPID!

So ok, here is my strategy, I'm voting NDP. If you want to vote Liberal, go ahead. It's a stupid strategy, but its yours. Own it and stop trying to get everyone else to go along with it beacause, YOU ARE AFRAID.

Enough!

6079_Smith_W

KenS wrote:

Or people voting Liberal in Saskatchewan while the NDP loses squeakers to neanderthals.

Anyone voting strategically here is not going to be voting Liberal, with the possible exception of Regina or Moose Jaw. Strategic voting is usually done to AVOID what you describe there.

And Ken, I don't have federal examples at the top of my mind, but prime example I can think of is the poor fortunes of the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Liberal parties. When push comes to shove they always wind up getting squeezed between the two main parties, and a lot of people who would otherwise support them politically cast their votes elsewhere.

JKR

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Some of the MSM are talking about 50 ridings in which the vote is close enough that they might swing.

A lot of those ridings are ones where the NDP is challenging the Conservative. That means that in something like 270 ridings there is no reason whatsoever for NDP supporters to even consider voting for any other party then the NDP. So that leaves 40 ridings where NDP'ers might find themselves in a bit of a dilemna. My guess is that many in these ridings are aware of the poisiton they're in, due to FPTP, and have already decided, one way or another, how they will deal with it. I have no problem with people voting strategically on an individual basis in an "organic" way. But I have a big problem with large scale strategic voting drives that don't work.

In the case of the NDP, strategic voting backfires because the 270 ridings that should not be part of a large scale strategic voting drive will likely be "infected"by the well-meaning but counter-productive drive. In some of those ridings NDP'ers could lose because the ill advised large scale strategic voting campaign has gathered those ridings in its net. So the net effect of strategic voting would be negligible or even negative for the NDP. In any case the effort put into strategic voting is not worth the negligible resuts.

On the other hand, if the same effort was put into a get out the vote drive, everyone would benefit. If there was a drive to have 10 million people sign an internet pledge to vote in this election, wouldn't that be a lot better than asking people not to vote for their first choice in certain ridings?

So far this election we've had strategic voting drives augmented with drives to not vote at all!!!!

It would seem that our political system is offering Canadians too few choices. The way to increase the political choices available to us is PR/fair voting.

6079_Smith_W

@ JKR

Are you assuming that all strategic voting means voting liberal (something which makes no sense in this town)? Because that seems to be what you are describing, and I agree that would be bad for ALL NDP candidates everywhere.

The whole point of strategic voting is to check and see which candidate - lib, NDP, bloc, green, or independent -  is in second place and has the best chance of defeating the harper candidate. You vote for that person in order to reduce the likelihood of splitting the vote.  It doesn't mean just voting liberal in the hopes of putting Iggy in the big chair.

FYI, as I said already, I am not voting strategically. I just think it is a perfectly valid practice if one knows how to do it correctly.

JKR

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Are you assuming that all strategic voting means voting liberal (something which makes no sense in this town)? Because that seems to be what you are describing, and I agree that would be bad for ALL NDP candidates everywhere.

I think strategic voting can also be done succesfully when people choose Liberals or BQ candidates who are not their first choice. This happens all the time and will continue to as long as we have FPTP.

I think the question at hand here is: is the general call for strategic voting useful? My answer is no. Telling all the voters to vote for your party in order to prevent another party from winning is too broad and simplistic and often dosn't work.  But I think there is a place for strategic voting campaigns that specifically target specific ridings and make sure there is as little spillover effect as possible are of use.

Layton seems to be asking for such a campaign:

Jack Layton makes plea for strategic voting

Quote:

 

NDP Leader Jack Layton is urging voters to think strategically when they cast their ballots, so they can get rid of Stephen Harper as prime minister.

It's a risky call.

It makes sense in Saskatchewan for the NDP because the party placed second in almost every riding and didn't win a single seat because it split the anti-Harper vote with the Liberals.

But it will be a tougher argument for Layton to make Tuesday when he heads into southern Ontario and the suburbs around Toronto. There, the Liberals are often second place in Tory-held ridings, so a strategic vote would detract from the NDP.

"The way to stop Stephen Harper from getting a majority is to take Conservative seats one by one, and defeat the MPs who are there. That's how you stop Mr. Harper from getting a majority," Layton said in Regina.

"Here in Saskatchewan, just like in British Columbia, just like in Alberta where we've been to launch this early part of the campaign, the only way to do that is to vote for your New Democrat candidate."

Layton seems to be saying "if you want to reduce the chances of a Conservative government, vote strategically for the NDP in the ridings where the NDP is the party best placed to defeat the Conservatives." I think that's ok. The corrolory to that is that he then has to not critisize the other parties for advising people to strategically vote for the BQ and Liberals when they are the strongest opponent to the Conservatives.

If the NDP told all the voters that the only way to replace the Conservatives is to strategically vote for the NDP, they should rightly be critisized as should the Liberals when they do this. As a matter of fact the Liberals have done this many times in the past.

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I just think it is a perfectly valid practice if one knows how to do it correctly.

Hopefully they will vote "correctly" and not end up making a mistake and end up regretting that they inadvertently voted for the wrong party that let the Conservatives win.

But that's just one of the many unpleasnt aspects of FPTP.

In any case I think this election would greatly benefit from a huge get out the vote drive.

6079_Smith_W

Ah... gotcha

KenS

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Anyone voting strategically here is not going to be voting Liberal, with the possible exception of Regina or Moose Jaw. Strategic voting is usually done to AVOID what you describe there.

That is just the point, the aggrgate outcomes from calls for strategic voting does not arise from the locations [like babble] where you make your rational case for it.\

Did you read this:

KenS wrote:

Then there is the inescapable fact that no matter where in particular you direct your particular pitch for strategic voting, the real aggregate process is that the calls have a life of their own: they go everywhere, and the bulk of people that hear the call have little idea whether they are in a two or three way race, or who was closest or whatever. And what they take from the calls is 'yeah, I want to stop Harper, better vote for the Liberal'.

 

As JKR is saying, and I have said in previous threads, if you are serious about the goal of getting rid of Harper, and you dont want to put that into practice by working for one of the party campaigns, then put your energy into getting out the vote. Calls for so called 'strategic voting' are at best distractions from doing something useful.

janfromthebruce

I'm voting strategically for the NDP! Never would I vote for Iggy who is all for a bit of torture and is just a corporate lacky!

6079_Smith_W

KenS wrote:

As JKR is saying, and I have said in previous threads, if you are serious about the goal of getting rid of Harper, and you dont want to put that into practice by working for one of the party campaigns, then put your energy into getting out the vote. Calls for so called 'strategic voting' are at best distractions from doing something useful.

I hear you, and I agree on pretty much all points - particularly that people can do it in places where it is unnecessary and counterproductive, and that in most ridings it is just a big distraction.

Nevertheless, if someone actually DOES understand the concept and casts his or her vote accordingly it works and it is a valid choice.

But again, I think the question is largely academic, and I am feeling kind of finished with it. It doesn't affect me personally, after all.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Unionist wrote:

In the last thread, Pogo wrote at post #98:

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

The question is extremely revealing. The choice must be a "who". Why must it be a "who"?

I have posted way too much on babble over the years, but anyone who has read even a few measly thousand of my posts will know that I have only ever voted NDP or Bloc in Outremont.

The "choice" that I put aside to vote for these two grossly inadequate parties is my conscience - my principles - which urge me to abstain. But then I remember that if I do, the Liberal will win, so I drag myself not only to the polling booth, but to the campaign.

And, in some cases, I will vote based solely on the individual. It was so when Amir Khadir ran for the Bloc. Likewise for François Rebello. When Mulcair came along, I switched back to NDP - both because of Mulcair, his history and his uambiguous stand on Afghanistan and cultural communities and several other matters, and because it finally seemed that there was a chance of wiping out the Liberals (Jean Lapierre) by voting NDP. It worked - wonderful!

Sorry for the lengthy reply, Pogo, but I wanted to be very clear. The NDP and the Bloc have said and done some terrible things on some crucial issues facing the Canadian people in recent years. But they rank as mistakes (I hope), and pale in comparison with the others.

 

  Thanks, I appreciate the effort. 

EDawson

I received this from an unknown source and am doing everything I can to get it out.  If you agree with it, please send it to your email list.

Mathematically, Mr. Harper can actually win a majority without having to win one more vote than he did in the last election.  It all depends on how votes for opposition candidates are split.

If the opposition parties continue to try to defeat each other, Mr. Harper could pick up seats in ridings now held by other parties just by having them split the votes more evenly.  Opposition parties which target ridings already held by another opposition party or in which another opposition candidate ran a close second are feeding right into Mr. Harper's game plan.

On the other hand, if the voters were to vote for the strongest opposition party in each riding in the last election, Mr. Harper would be out, we would probably have a Liberal minority with the NDP picking up many seats, perhaps even official opposition status, and the Green party actually having one or two seats in Parliament. Mr. Harper would still hold many seats where the candidate had an absolute majority of the votes, but not enough to hold power.

To me, that sounds like a pretty good outcome. Certainly a lot better that a Harper majority without having to gain much support. If we don’t get a grass roots plan going for voters unhappy with Mr. Harper, nothing will change.  Too many people do not wish to see their party, Liberal, NDP or Green, destroyed.  This plan helps all of them, and can be a one shot deal if it causes Mr. Harper to step down.  No coalition required… just a combined action of voters for the good of the country.

 

If there is anyone out there who has the where-with-all to start a grass roots internet campaign for that, I’d be happy to send support. I’d even stick a hand made sign on my lawn. The opposition parties will never do it themselves. They would be targeted by Conservative attack ads. Also, they are too focussed on their own campaigns; don’t see that they all could benefit from this, and that even more vote splitting could be VERY destructive to our democracy.

KenS

The woodwork is beginning to ooze with desperation dropping in on is.

If you are really interested, how about reading some of the discussion and particpating, rather than just shouting out your assumptions from the sidelines.

Sean in Ottawa

Hi E Dawson.

Are you related to Liberal Senator Dennis Dawson? Just curious since I don't buy the unknown source stuff. I don't get stuff from unknown sources. Sometimes I might decline to give out a source but I sure know where I find it.

 

Tirumithir

For those who believe in strategic voting (or even those who don't), Pundit's Guide has a very nice historical analysis of match-ups by party http://www.punditsguide.ca/2011/03/one-campaign-many-battlegrounds/.

In only 135 ridings (44%) is there a straight-up Lib vs. Con battle, where the anti-Harper strategic voter should actually vote Liberal. In 70 ridings (mostly out West), the strategic voter should go NDP.

The analysis is actually much more detailed than that, and the historical trends since 2000 are particularly interesting.  Well worth reading.

Coop

Thanks for your patience everyone - that was my first attempt to blog

the need to be strategic is catching on with this news from yesterday:

"Ryan Dolby, NDP candidate in Elgin-Middlesex-London, withdrew from the election and declared his support for the Liberal candidate." (Van. Sun)

Obiviously, strategic voting will only work in those ridings where the Try candidate won by less than 50 percent of the vote in the last election.  Unfortunately, our riding here, which is dominated by the right-wing, is not one of those. What is needed is a website where people can find those ridings where strategic voting is needed (I think one is getting built now - by the Vote for the Environment group - it will be called Project Democracy). Canada's electorial system is un-democratic as it is desinged to deliver minority governments. Two solutions would be to either have run-off votes in ridings where the winner did not get more than 50 percent (as occcurs in other parliamentary countries) or to re-design the ballot to allow a second choice. Meanwhile, in order to oust Harper and his demonic government, some NDPers need to vote Liberal and visa-versa and no one should vote Green where it could split the vote and result in a Tory getting elected.

 

 

 

Ciabatta2

EDawson wrote:
Mathematically, Mr. Harper can actually win a majority without having to win one more vote than he did in the last election.  It all depends on how votes for opposition candidates are split.

Ding!ding!ding!ding!ding!ding!ding!ding!ding!  Somebody's got it!

I don't vote strategically and don't promote it at all but the above quote is totally bang on and I'm surprised it hasn't been clued-into a bit more here on babble.

This is an extremely local election.  Any focus on the Conservatives' national poll numbers is largely irrelevant unless they totally collapse.

A couple of non-Conservative incumbents, some local riding dynamics and a good/terrible candidate here and there and they're in.  The Conservative vote could drop and they could still win just enough seats to get a majority.  Pro- or anti-strategic voting, this is the situation this time 'round.

contrarianna

In response to Pogo from the previous thread:

Pogo wrote:

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.

Nope, only when the shoe fits --as well as "mindless" there are carefully calculated partisan attacks on it--As well, there are a few Disneyland democracy advocates, based on a faulty reasoning on what is morally correct voting.

As disclosure, I vote for what a think is the highest good attainable in these latter days of media-managed democracy: Harm mitigation.
Even if there was a party whose party platform or public rhetoric corresponded mostly to my opinions (which there isn't) I would not vote for them if I thought it would help enable a Harper majority.

====
As for dishonest advocates of Strategic voting. They exist, and the hallmark is most evident by the preferential favoritism for a particular party (Most often Liberal).
But the argument that the average voter isn't bright enough to vote stratergically presumes that these same people are bright enough to vote what is best for them or the country if they don't think about it.

There are also party partisan, would-be "detractors" of Stategic voting who are not above pushing another party's candidate, and even downplaying the danger of a Harper majority because they see it benificial to their own party's fortunes--my definition of real strategic cynicism.

KenS

contrarianna wrote:

But the argument that the average voter isn't bright enough to vote stratergically presumes that these same people are bright enough to vote what is best for them or the country if they don't think about it.

Trot out the straw person instead of what people say.

Which is an argument about empirical reality. Not that people are 'not bright enough'.

But that the bulk of people are not sufficiently engaged- including the bulk of the 'hate Harper and neo-con' voters.

In our culture nerds who dont have anything better to do than jaw about politics are the ones who know how strategic voting is supposed to work. And a small circle surrounding them. For the rest, its pretty viceral notions when it comes to anything even like a strategic choice. They aren't dummies, and their politics is equally valid to yours and mine. But they really are not paying sufficient attention. So they see the big images:

Get rid of Harper.

Whether I like Iggnatieff or not is immaterial, he's the one always talking about 'you have a choice'.

contrarianna

KenS wrote:

contrarianna wrote:

But the argument that the average voter isn't bright enough to vote stratergically presumes that these same people are bright enough to vote what is best for them or the country if they don't think about it.

Trot out the straw person instead of what people say.

Which is an argument about empirical reality. Not that people are 'not bright enough'.

But that the bulk of people are not sufficiently engaged- including the bulk of the 'hate Harper and neo-con' voters.

In our culture nerds who dont have anything better to do than jaw about politics are the ones who know how strategic voting is supposed to work. And a small circle surrounding them. For the rest, its pretty viceral notions when it comes to anything even like a strategic choice. They aren't dummies, and their politics is equally valid to yours and mine. But they really are not paying sufficient attention. So they see the big images:

Get rid of Harper.

Whether I like Iggnatieff or not is immaterial, he's the one always talking about 'you have a choice'.

I was deliberately speaking generally, but if wish to discuss your contributions in that context:

You are splitting hairs if you suggest "not bright enough" does not do justice to your "not sufficiently engaged" depiction. Particularly when you go on to say that their response is "pretty visceral" (that is, reflex rather than rational). A mind that isn't used might as well not be a mind .

Your anodyne about the equality of folks perceptions looks good:

KenS wrote:
They aren't dummies, and their politics is equally valid to yours and mine.

That is, unless they commit the sin of thinking they know what they are doing:
KenS wrote:
Expecting people to actually look at evidence whether calls to 'strategic voting' actually harm or help meet their intended goals, is like expecting a dog to see that rolling in shit is not conducive to its well being in the world it actually lives in.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Election posters have finally littered my neighbourhood.

99% an even amount between the Liberals and the Bloc and the other 1% NDP.

So it seems the race in my riding will once again be between the Libs and the Bloc.

So it's written in stone that I will show up to vote May 2.

KenS

contrarianna wrote:

You are splitting hairs if you suggest "not bright enough" does not do justice to your "not sufficiently engaged" depiction. Particularly when you go on to say that their response is "pretty visceral" (that is, reflex rather than rational). A mind that isn't used might as well not be a mind.

There are some philosophical differences lurking here. You take the Enlightnment dualistic notion of reason and 'un-reason,' and using that read in a way of looking at things that is not mine, which ends up attributing to me the opposite of what I think.

I do not see visceral responses as reflexive or not thinking. They are what they are. And I mean it when I say they are equally valid. While I subscribe to the political junky's mode of examining things, I'm not actually confident that all things considered it is overall a healthy way of looking at our humanity, or this piece of it we call 'politics' [the small 'p' kind].

As has been said around here a few times- rationality is not all it is cracked up to be. And that aint just an aphorism.

What I am saying is that the majority of folks that bother to pay attention to politics at all, do not do so in a calculative way. I fully respect that. More than you do I would suggest.

An argument about strategic voting assumes that people approach politics calculatively. We agree that most people CAN. But that would be under discussions where they have a discursive give and take with some real human beings who are proponents of strategic voting. That is not how most people are going to come across the information. They will be getting bits and snatches that come at them discontinuously from here and there.

Whether any of this is true, and how much so, is an empirical question. So it is certainly arguable. But dont try to dismiss it out of hand because of attitudes you attribute.

KenS

Remember that the whole idea of 'strategic voting' is quintessential pragmatism.

So it is the worst kind of utopian voluntarism to try to argue that 'it would work if everybody gave it a good try'.

This is something that should be judged purely on the practical merits of whether it has worked, or can be expected to work 'in the field' based on what we know.

That there is a rational argument for strategic voting no one disputes. But that does not say it works in the field according to the model.

Searosia

Does anyone else fear a Liberal majority more than a Conservative majority?  These strategic voting threads always remind me of coke vs pepsi...all these ABC asses trying to convince me coke cause pepsi's evil, yet it's all the same cola...somehow the liberal brand gets a free ride from it's red wrapper. 

Would anyone mind sending me a Bloc sign?  I always enjoy putting them up in my window here in calgary.

Fidel

Yes, the electoral paramilitaries seem to be trying, once again, to subvert even our mathematically absurd electoral system. They are telling Canadians we have to fear the Tories more than the Liberals for some reason. I fear a Liberal majority just as much as I fear the Tories if anyone asks. Two wolves not one. They are big effin timberwolves not no puppy dogs in bow ties. Don't be taken in again, Canada. Democracy is the right's most hated institution and always will be. Don't leave your pet vote tied up in the backyard on election night. The wolves will make sure there's nothin' left by morn'.

6079_Smith_W

....that or someone is sure to spin it into some kind of weird metaphor with questionable relevance.

Fidel

Just picture Iggy as Wile E. Coyote. It's not hard. It's like Warren Zevon said about him, he'll rip our lungs out, Jim.

6079_Smith_W

Fidel wrote:

Just picture Iggy as Wile E. Coyote. It's not hard. It's like Warren Zevon said about him, he'll rip our lungs out, Jim.

Dunno.... according to the globe he was having a hard time giving away food yesterday:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/ignatieff-l...

 

(hey.... it was a hot dog, not a spam sandwich. How come I got captcha'd?)

Fidel

Aw, he's so cute. They should have sat a puppy dog in his lap for full effect... and then removed it from harm's way as soon as the camera guy was finished!

Searosia

Fidel wrote:

Just picture Iggy as Wile E. Coyote.

Wile E. spent all his money at Acme on failed crap...wonder which company gets all of Wile Iggy's business.

 

 

 

Rabble's spam blocker failed to block this spam post.

contrarianna

Searosia wrote:

Does anyone else fear a Liberal majority...

When pIggy's fly

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

A Liberal majority is as likely as a Green Party majority.

Anyway,we have bigger problems to worry about at the moment. 

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

There are several problems with "strategic" voting:

  • The Liberals are not substantively different than the Conservatives and not the least bit progressive,
  • Few if any advocates of "strategic" voting provide the necessary granularity of analysis for voters to make informed "strategic" voting choices in individual constituencies.
  • The idea is both morally and intellectually bankrupt from start to finish.

In fact, "strategic" voting has consistently resulted in the election of MORE Conservatives as NDP voters in Conservative-NDP marginals are persuaded by political dilletantes and Liberal hacks to switch from the second place NDP to the third place Liberals.

Here's a link to the math again.

There are two types of people who believe in "strategic" voting:  people who are clueless about politics and people who are clueless about arithmetic.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

http:// accidentaldeliberations.blogspot.com /2010/01/ on-retention.html

 

Apparently trying to post a link triggers the spam filter now.

Hey guys, the spam filter is screwed up.  Please remove it until its fixed.

6079_Smith_W

Malcolm wrote:

There are two types of people who believe in "strategic" voting:  people who are clueless about politics and people who are clueless about arithmetic.

Nonsense.

Of course it doesn't apply everywhere, and I know there are people who do it wrong and don't understand the concept, but Edmonton Strathcona, where the NDP and Conservatives both got over 40 percent of the vote last time,  and the Liberals less than 10 is a good example of a riding where it works.

I would expect that there are a number of Liberal supporters in that riding who will decide to vote NDP in order to prevent the Conservatives from retaking that seat.  It makes perfect sense, it works, and it is perfectly ethical in that it accomplishes the only political objective they are going to be able to make happen. 

It makes political sense, and the numbers make sense.

And there are quite a few ridings - not all - across the nation where the same circumstances apply.

trippie

Oh i get it, I sell my principle out just so that I can pretend things will be different. Is that what strategic voting is?

 

Or is it, I have no understanding of how social power evolves so let me sell myself short by giving up my rights to someone I despise. In the hopes that maybe , just maybe, they won't be as bad as their historical record indicates.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

trippie, you and I don't usually agree on much, but on this, I think we come close.  "Strategic" voting - a convenient cover for those who prefer to act without principle.

trippie

Well basically you are just working against yourself.

 

voting is not about making sure someone doesn't win, it's about electing someone to represent you.

 

If you keep voting for that person and they don't win, you will eventually take matters into your own hands and fix the system.

 

Strategic voting works against this. It's delays the inevitable and you just come out a loser. Selling yourself out for nothing.

flatustheflower

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

Here we are again at another Election called of the reason of “Contempt Of Parliament” by the Conservative Party of Canada - first time in Canadian history i may add. We as Canadian's have been under a “Minority” government for pasted 5 years led my the Conservative Party “ruling” as a majority and “proroguing Parliament” any time of Contest (Dec, 2008/coalition avoidance, Dec, 2009/Afghan detainees) . Over the 5 years numbers of “watchdogs” have been “Fired” (Military Police Complaints Commission -Peter Tinsley, Nuclear Safely Commission -Linda Keen, to name a few) . Miss representation of fast rising Billions in bank bails pushed under the rug of CHMC. Number of Conservative MP's to say lightly caught “behaving badly”. Major Partisan private Business deals deing made like Lochead Martin, Partisan advertising plastered on any government spending calling it the “ Economic Action Plan “ all paid by the tax payer. And still in the courts election fraud surrounding the “in and out scheme “. The List goes on with corruption and misrepresentations directed by policys of privatization, Tax cuts for “Corporations” , insidious Militarily spending and More to “law/order”. The directions of foreign policy's tainting Canada's image on the World on world stage, resulting in loss of UN security council seat to total disregard to climate change, kyoto protocol, abandonment of UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and more direct involvement in Military actions. And now a direct attack on “Democracy”.

 

Enough with the History, and Reasoning We know what has got to Go . On to the The Campaign trail!

 

The Conservative party leader Immediately starting off on the the campaign trail “black facing” a idea of a Coalition – that simply transpires to real fear and distaste of “Democracy”, and timely enough with election fraud charges against them looming in the courts closets , then to family taxes cuts in limbo of the success of the economy in the future. To stating under a Majority Conservative government, all federal funding to all political party's will be cut.

 

Lets get on with the Campaign... We really know what we don't want!

 

We are all aware of the current electoral system and cracks that exist Vrs. the prospects of proportional representation. Well that is not here and dose not seem to be any time soon. The Statics are out there in relative current figuring s of ( 39% Conservative – 33% Liberal – 16% NDP – 9% BLOC -4% Greens – 2% Others). There is high chance of another minority and great danger of having a Majority bringing alot more or worse of what we have been witness to in passed 5 years.

 

So lets Vote to turn Canada back in the direction we can again recognize!

 

The media has been very interesting, with the new age Web 2.0 and main stream media of the age. To pull out a few particular stellar examples where the Greens are getting alot more recognition out there, for example the “CBC Vote Compass” has a interesting “Left View” bias toward greens from the NDP and the Liberals given as default middle. And then The almighty election event of it all is the “Nation Leaders Debate” to which is refereed by “Main Stream” media, not parliamentary charged, denying “Elizabeth May” a invention has Further Pick up the Greens recognition, and support. By Design or by Default?

 

The Greens are Recolonized, Now lets vote in a Green MP!

 

The possibility of Greens getting a seat or maybe two are slim at best - Sounds awesome closer than ever before. Now the reflect on the the passed 5 years, minority government with the opposition party's holding more than 10% of the seats individually had a affect, has not appeared to.. and any great contest has resulted in a prorogued Parliament. So really is one seat not going to further green party “ideologys” to reality's, The opposition has been split up. Leads one to question, is it done statically?

 

Reality Check!

 

It really Boils Down to A Vote For the Greens is inadvertently a vote for the Conservatives, remember the party's Percentages in the running, splitting up the opposition toward the Conservatives in the first past the peg electoral system operating this May 2011 Election. Ultimately will result in the the demise of “Democracy” as Canada knew it.

 

Reconsideration

 

Now by not voting Green the party misses out on the $2 a vote it would achieve toward the Federal party that it has been relying on heavily. Lets not get ahead of out selfs here remember now, what was heavy conversation rumbling and now stated concerning Federal funding toward Political party's .... substantial funding decrease to straight up, abolishment. Its very clear the first priority is to deflate the opposition even more and castrate “Democracy” .

 

The Peril

 

Splitting the opposition by Voting Green incidentally paving the road toward Majority a Conservative Government. The worst thing we can do in Canada right now, Canada will be further un- recognizable by the next election. when ever that may be? I urge you to evaluate what is at stake.

 

Proposition , Vote strategically

 

Vote NDP, it is the best option that feeds closest to a “Green platform” if thats what you support if not overlaps, has substantially more support percentage than Green's, and has been gaining much more support and is much closer to winning over more riding's, than Greens will, To the party leader I firmly belief Jack is in it for all Canadians well being not just the partys welfare, Jack has not deferred coalition talks if fact is open to invention... got to say its the Best option! Or only option to save Canada. Vote Bloc, if in Quebec, Vote Liberal. Any thing But Conservative or Green! So as it lay's the probability and how many feel this is the particular May 2, 2011 election is the tipping point that is going to decide Canada's ultimate Direction.

 

 

Lets Not kid ourselves there is many more issues that need to be put much higher in priority than have been ie. Environment, Social funding, Education, ... There is no time to play Partisan politics Democracy is in threat, lets bring this government back into the light of whith Democracy as it is the only salvation Canada has.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pages

Topic locked