Friday, January 13, 2006

Strategic Voting

Here is the quandary I find myself in, along with many, many other Canadians:

Neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals have earned my vote. They won’t do anything to help the people of Canada, and the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. For the Liberals, it’s because they just won’t do anything, and for the Conservatives, it’s because they’re actively evil, and will work hard to make sure anyone in the middle class ends up in poverty as soon as possible. And then take away any social services which might have helped us. And then, when we’re all poor and broke and living in the gutter, they’ll give us hefty fines for living in the gutter, which will be considered trespassing. And then they’ll take the money from those fines, and give it to rich people. Who will use it to pollute the environment, and lobby to try and enact laws making it legal to hunt homosexuals for sport.

So what does this mean? It means that I should vote for another party, like the NDP or the Green Party. My understanding is that the Green Party in Canada is a joke (as opposed to many other countries in the world, where the Green Party is a very progressive party), which means that it’s the NDP who would probably get my vote. In fact, in the last little while, I’ve been pretty impressed with what the NDP has been able to do for Canadians, by strategically playing the Liberals. So they should get my vote, right?

But wait. There’s a problem. Because so many Canadians have a “two party system” mentality, they have it in their heads that they should vote for either the Conservatives or the Liberals—the two “real” parties. So now, because everyone is so disappointed with the Liberals, a lot of people are shifting their votes to the Conservative party. And therein lies the quandary: I really don’t want to vote for the Liberals, because they won’t do anything, but if I vote for the NDP or the Green Party, it will “split the vote”. What this means is that the votes needed to defeat the Conservatives will get split up among the other parties, and none of them will get enough votes on their own to defeat the Conservatives—meaning that the Conservatives will win. (And thus the whole “two party system” mentality becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy...)

So now I have to seriously consider voting Liberal, just to keep the Conservatives from coming to power, and killing us all. (Quickly, by making us all poor and eliminating social services, and also slowly, by poisoning the environment.)

GAH! My brain hurts.


Anonymous said...

I refuse to vote therefore my brain's not hurting at all.

Anonymous said...

I advance-voted and, shy of telling you who I voted for, I will tell you that I dislike the idea of having to vote for someone I don't believe in or agree with, purely to prevent someone else from winning. I refuse to vote "Liberal" in order to really vote "not-Conservative" or vise verse (sp?).

But, by not voting, I think you throw away the right to complain about any of the incoming policies or mandates brought about by the new government, whoever they may be.

I just dislike them all, really. They're all pretty heinous.

David Hunter said...

I agree, that I strongly dislike the whole idea of "strategic voting".

Unfortunately, it's a lose-lose situation. If I vote Liberal, I'll kick myself for it for the entire term, as they continue not serving the Canadian people; but if I vote NDP, and the Conservatives get in power (because no other single party got enough votes to defeat them), not just Canadians but the whold world will suffer.

(The Conservatives have made it part of their platform that they will not support Kyoto, and they will support putting weapons of mass destruction in space with the Americans.)