With our system of government often it is not so important who you vote for, but who you vote against. Pollsters know that voting against someone is often a major motivation for any person casting a ballot. Meaning they much rather someone else (perhaps anyone else) to win than another candidate. The most prominent example of this are the left-wing parties in Canada (Liberal, NDP and Bloc) arguing that by supporting only one of them you can stop the Conservatives from forming a majority government. The support for each party varies riding to riding so it is not possible to say which one party can prevent a Conservative government.
Likewise Conservatives campaign arguing they are the only alternative to the Liberals/NDP/Bloc. Again, not everywhere, but they do offer an alternative. The question then becomes if you are voting against someone, who are you voting for?
I’m a passionate believer that people should not have to strategically vote, or vote for their second choice candidate because their first choice will not likely win. I feel like everyone’s first choice should be the choice they make on election day. But we do not live in a perfect world. For a video on how our democracy works and creates problems like strategic voting, please click here.
I have now come to a decision on who I will not vote for. While I have had positive things to say about the Harper government I now believe it is time for Harper’s term in office to come to an end. I believe my fondness (no matter how limited) for the Harper government came out of my own conservative tendencies. However, the specific governing style of Stephen Harper has me greatly concerned.
There are now repeated instances of the Harper government abusing power and ignoring parliament. From Bev Oda, a minister, changing a government document, to the misspending and misinformation on budget matters, there are too many problems to continue to support the Harper government. For those who have not heard, during the G20/G8 conference a billion dollars was spent on security an the conference itself. Part of the money allocated to border security found its way to Huntsville, Ontario in a prominent Conservative’s riding. There the money was used for pet projects that had nothing to do with the G20/G8 or border security. Oh, and Huntsville is over a hundred kilometres from the border.
My sincere hope is that the Conservatives do not win a majority government. As I’ve expressed many times on this blog majority governments are highly unaccountable to the public. I am not thrilled with the idea of a Liberal minority government either, but Harper’s power unchecked is not something I wish to see in the future, or reward by increasing his seat count in the House of Commons. Governments must be held accountable.