Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Last Post Before the Vote

This will be my last blog posting before the election occurs on May 2nd, in six days. That means there is a lot to cover in a short period of time. In this post I want to talk about predictions, strategic voting, and the Orange Tory endorsements.

A prediction six days out are not wise. That being said, this is my last opportunity. First, polls are shifting radically. If the growth of the NDP continues unabated, and the Liberals and Bloc continue to stagnate and collapse, the forty-first parliament of Canada may look incredibly different. Seriously. I won’t give a list of polls, but nationally it appears that the Conservatives are holding in the mid-to-high thirties, the NDP is in second in the low-to-mid twenties, and the Liberals are in a close third. The Bloc and Green are in the mid single digits.

The predictions are hard to read, and I deeply hope they are not over optimistic. Presently I predict the following:

CPC – 151

LPC – 64

NDP – 53

BQ – 38

Ind – 2

This is a somewhat hesitant prediction. There is a very strong possibility of vote splitting between Liberals and NDP resulting in a Conservative majority. The NDP could give a knockout blow to the Bloc and reach into the sixties, seventies or higher. Also, the second independent is not that likely to win, but I’m going out on a limb. I have a provincial breakdown as well, I may post it to show how I did after the election.

DemocraticSpace, a pretty solid predictor, says that the numbers look like CPC – 161 (majority), LPC – 57, NDP – 53, BQ – 36. This is my second assumed result. On the other hand I believe it is possible for the NDP to form the opposition. In the end, there are too many uncertainties based on what is happening in Quebec.

Voters are flocking to the NDP in surprising numbers. It isn’t just a small phenomenon, in my experience. Several members of my family have expressed a desire to vote NDP. Most of them live in the ridings in Brampton, which have never elected a New Democrat. Still, they want to vote NDP. I’ll be curious to see the growth of NDP vote across the country.

A friend of mine asked me to discuss progressive voting strategies. Two good examples are Vote Pair and the Catch 22 Campaign. These campaigns are designed to unite the progressive parties in Canada, the parties on the left (Liberal, NDP, and Green (sometimes Bloc)). They encourage left-wing voters to vote for the party most likely to win.

These strategies favour the Liberals, who are the most likely to win in most ridings. If these programs succeeded they would result in consistent Liberal majority governments. It does not help New Democrats or Greens very much. Canadians are free to do with their votes as they please, so long as it isn’t sold. Trading is fine. Vote pair is an idea that progressive voters trade votes with others. I really feel people should vote for who they want, but I understand that isn’t the reality. Other ABC (Anyone But Conservative) voting strategies are out there, if you don’t care the difference between the other three or four parties then it makes sense to me.

If you do care about the difference, I feel like you have a responsibility to cast your vote for the person or party you feel best to lead. If you have to plug your nose and vote Liberal even though you believe more in the NDP... well, that’s your choice.

Finally, my endorsement. My current riding is Welland, Ontario. I would like to endorse Malcolm Allen and the NDP. Of the five federal parties I would like to endorse the NDP. As I said a couple of weeks ago, my key issue is electoral and government reform. I feel a large NDP opposition (hopefully the official opposition) will be beneficial to the advancement of Canadian democracy.

I would also like to endorse a minority government. Hold the Conservatives to a minority. Majority governments ARE NOT accountable. We need a government that answers to the people and other interests.

Finally, go out there and vote! Good luck!

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