Strategic voting

I really dislike First Past the Post as a voting system. It’s so incredibly flawed. It leads to situations that the current election in Ontario where I have a preferred party that has currently 0 chance of getting elected. I also have a strong preference of the remaining choices. I’m fine with the NDP who’s policies are similar to mine except often (IMHO) unrealistic in how they will achieve all (or any) of them concurrently. And there’s the conservatives which the leader (Doug Ford, which some of you may know as the brother of the late Rob Ford) is practically a caricature of how to be a terrible human being.

The problem is that the NDP and the Conservatives have been statistically tied in the race for a while now with the Liberals far behind. In a perfect world we’d have something like the preferential ballot which has a few other names but is basically that instead of writing an X you rank folks 1,2,3 etc. This has many advantages over the current system and has one very big advantage over all the systems political junkies try to get to referendum in that you can explain it in one sentence and folks will instinctively understand what you mean. In my current situation I would just vote Liberal 1, NDP 2, Green party 3, any random independent running 4, Conservatives 5 and all would be fine.

In the current context the choice would ostensibly be wasting my vote or voting the lesser of two evils. While I support people who want to always vote for the best candidate or the one who represents them the most, I find that in reality that leads to things like Stephen Harper, George Bush, Donald Trump, and potentially, Doug Ford. That’s too high a price to pay.

So at this point you could reasonably assume that I would vote NDP. The problem is my current riding. I live in Ottawa which is the only place the Liberals are actually still in  the running with polls showing the NDP with a slight lead but within the margin of error. The conservatives sadly are leading in the region (because of this split IMHO). From the latest polls I can see here https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/onvotes/poll-tracker/ the NDP has a slight lead. If that remains the case on election day I will sadly need to cast my ballot for them. Not because I think they are the best party, but because they are, by far, better than the alternative. Hopefully one day we’ll get election reform right and it won’t have to be this way.

One thought on “Strategic voting

  1. Yup, I’m starting to debate my choice in Quebec’s fall election. PQ? Forget it. CAQ? Right-wing panderers to racists. NDP? Statistically non-existent. Quebec Solidaire? They should be my first choice, but have spent too much energy and political capital talking about Quebec independence. So, I find myself in the position of having to vote Liberal just to keep the others out, even though I do not like the Quebec Liberals. Sigh. Maybe I’ll just vote Quebec NDP if they have a candidate in my riding.

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