No 161 Guest post, April 23, 2011
Thanks to my friend, Marjorie, for the following email —
Many reports suggest high turnout in recent advanced polls. Encouraging! Let’s hope the university vote mobs have raised our youth vote! However, getting out the vote May 2nd –especially the strategic vote and the new vote–is crucial.
Lower voter turnout and unreadiness to vote strategically were at least part of why Julio Fantino had such an easy by-election win in the traditionally Liberal riding of Vaughan in November 2010.
The recent by-election in the “905” behind the riding of Vaughan show how the Conservatives can benefit from low voter turnout. Analysis by the Rideau Institute’s Jim Thompson shows “voter turnout was down by about one-third in the by-election compared to the general election in 2008. The Liberal vote fell by about the same percentage. But the Conservatives were able to turn out almost the exact same number of votes during both contests.”
If Liberal votes had held, they alone could have saved their own seat. Even if the Liberal vote had declined, third place NDP voters alone– had they maintained their turnout and voted strategically for the Liberals –could also have prevented a Fontino win.
Getting the vote out is a big challenge.
Getting the strategic vote out is an even bigger challenge! If people can be convinced how powerful and successful such action can be, perhaps they will make the effort.
A majority of Canadians has never voted for Stephen Harper. Traditional Liberal and NDP voters — if they work cooperatively, reciprocally, strategically–can restore governance reflecting a solid majority of Canadians. If now is not the time, when is??
Please do everything you can to encourage your fellow Canadians to VOTE , and vote wisely!