Dr. Dawg

Strategic voting, my eye

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Batman on strategic voting.jpg

I understand the impulse—I really do. “Anybody But Conservative” has its appeal. But I don’t much like the concept of strategic voting, and here are my reasons:

First, we shouldn’t be reinforcing a system where voting for someone other than your own preference is actually encouraged. Strategic voting subverts democracy.

Second, strategic voting tends to uphold the status quo. The front-runner, Liberal or NDP, will always be the front-runner with a strategic ABC vote. Ask yourself this: if large numbers of people had voted strategically in 2011, would there have been an Orange Crush, especially in Quebec?

Third, as we have just been reminded by the Dan Gagnier scandal, voting Liberal to beat a Conservative is like exorcizing one demon by replacing it with another. The victim is just as possessed as before. I don’t see much strategy there. If you like the police-state C-51 bill, pipelines and patronage, why not just vote for Harper?

And fourth—the whole concept has now been twisted entirely out of whack by the Liberals. They are telling people to vote “strategically” against NDP front-runners, like Paul Dewar in Ottawa-Centre, so they can form the next government. That’s not strategic voting. It’s just, you know, voting.

In any case, whether it’s Liberals or NDP who finish first on Monday, one election pledge must be honoured: reform of the electoral system, with the introduction of proportional representation. Every vote should count in a democracy. If and when we get that, “strategic voting” will fade away from the political scene, as well it should. Electorally speaking, it has always been a symptom, not a remedy.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on October 17, 2015 1:24 PM.

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