May 1, 2011

Strategic Voting

In tomorrow's national elections, I'm unabashedly and enthusiastically voting strategically. It's often bashed and often mis-used, but I believe it's the best way to go.

Strategy 1: Vote. It's the simplest strategy, yet only half of us do it.

Strategy 2: Encourage others to vote.
Encourage young people, disenfranchised people, women, people with the most to lose if Harper gets back in.

Strategy 3: Vote with my kids.
From the day my first boy was born, my children come with me to every election, from national to neighbourhood council. My boys will grow up treasuring their right and responsibility to vote.

Strategy 4: Vote for my kids. When analyzing platforms and wannabe leaders and parties, I'm not looking just at what they'll do for my pocketbook and inflated standard of living for the next 4 years. I'm looking at how they'll help build or continue destroying the world my children and grandchildren will inherit. The Council of Canadians has a great analysis of parties' stands on right to water, climate change, public health care, and respect for our democracy.

Strategy 5: Vote like it means something. It does. True, there are no Obama's among the party leaders, but a clear message needs to be sent that we will not tolerate Harper's fascist regime. Every vote that blocks his return to power matters.

Strategy 6: Make it mean something. This is the point of controversy, of course - do I vote for the person/party I believe in most even if they don't have a reasonable chance of winning? Normally I'd fall more in that camp, and in the long run press for electoral reform to scrap the first-past-the-post craziness and bring in a system that would respect the true will of the voters. But at this point in our country's decline, the prospect another Harper reign is so potentially disastrous that I do believe that people in tight ridings should vote for the candidate best poised to oust the Conservatives.

Interestingly, this year it appears that in many cases that means Liberals voting NDP, not the other w around. I don't know if Jack Layton will be the greatest Prime Minister in history, but I inherently don't trust Ignatieff, and apparently a growing number of Canadians believe the time has come to give the NDP a try.

So don't just vote tomorrow. Vote with your kids, for your kids, with your friends, and for whatever candidate/party can help put Canada back on the road to democracy, sustainability and freedom. Anyone but Harper's Conservatives.

PS. - Now reading this a few days after Jack Layton's death, I wonder if I couldn't have had more faith in his potential to make real change in our country. I've posted these updated musings at:


  1. Hi Rick, Thanks for your thoughts. I may bring the boys with me after reading your posting. Since none of the parties truly reflect the world I want to live in, I am often torn between green or ndp. Do you think it is more strategic to vote ndp at this time, even if Jean Crowder will probably get in anyway? I appreciate your thoughts. Cathy

  2. I would like to think that jean crowder has a solid chance at this election, but also recognize there have been elections lost in the past simply b/c voters viewed a seat as 'secure'.

  3. And here we are, with Harper getting a majority government in a country where two thirds of the voters clearly indicated they don't want him to ru[i]n Canada. What else needs to happen in order to bring end to the first-by-the-post nonsense?

    On the other hand, it might be too late...