Citizen Action Monitor

Strategic voting has pitfalls warns Straight Goods News

No 148 Posted by fw, April 6, 2011

In a follow-up to yesterday’s post featuring an article by McGill Professor Henry Mintzberg recommending strategic voting as a way to deny Harper a majority, an article posted in Straight Goods News today by founder and president, Ish Theilheimer, warns of a possible “dangerous twist” in this approach.

Here’s the gist of Ish’s reasoning:

Now that Canada is in election mode, talk about “strategic voting” is back — with a new 2011 twist. Usually, Liberals tell voters their party is pretty similar to the NDP and the only party that can defeat Conservatives. So they encourage voters to switch their votes to them from the NDP in ridings where, presumably, so-called “strategic voting” will make a difference to defeating Conservatives.

The twist in this campaign is that this time the Conservatives are the ones who are making the case that the Liberals are the same as the NDP, thus obscuring the fact that the NDP is the Conservatives’ main competition in many regional and industrial ridings. By saying the two parties are the same, Stephen Harper wants to marginalize and weaken the NDP — opening the door to new Conservative seats and (potentially) a Harper majority supported by, at most, four in ten Canadians.

Strategic voting campaigns usually backfire. Stephen Harper, hyper-strategist that he is, understands this and is working hard to encourage backfires by promoting the idea of a one-on-one showdown with Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, whom he has dominated until now.

The article goes on to emphasize what Jack Layton and the NDP must do to position themselves as the “only voting option to protect families from heartless corporations.”

Voters need to understand that if the NDP is marginalized, and Liberals are allowed to define what is progressive, that Canada will become more American — a two-party system that works fine for wealthy interests but not so well for those seeking justice and economic equality.

To read the full story, Strategic voting 2.11 offers dangerous twist, just click on the title.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog, Citizen Action Monitor, may contain copyrighted material that may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material, published without profit, is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues. It is published in accordance with the provisions of the 2004 Supreme Court of Canada ruling and its six principle criteria for evaluating fair dealing.

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