Southern Alberta: Am I throwing my vote away by voting NDP?
June 28, 2004 6:38 AM   Subscribe

It's election day here in Canada, and I have still not made my mind up on who I am going to vote for. I am in Southern Alberta, so it is pretty much decided who is going to win here (last poll had the local Conservatives at 60%), Am I throwing my vote away by voting NDP? Or should I vote "strategically" with the second place party (the Liberal party, which I am not a huge fan of - mainly because of Paul Martin), as an "anyone but conservative" vote?
posted by Quartermass to Law & Government (13 answers total)
I've always been a fan of voting for who you think is best (especially as it seems that the minions of evil will win your riding anyway). New funding rules give parties funding for every vote recieved, so if you vote for the NDP, they'll get an extra $1.75 to campaign with next time, FWIW.
posted by transient at 7:18 AM on June 28, 2004

What transient said. Vote for the party that represents you best, and they'll get campaign dough for the next election. I thought it was $1.25, though.

I'm in the Parkdale-High Park riding in Toronto, and it's still neck-and-neck between Liberal and NDP. I'll likely make up my mind when the voting booth attendant hands me a pencil, and not before. This is the closest election I can remember.

Strategic voting has its place. If you're in a tight riding, you might consider voting for the lesser of two evils. However, voting against parties out of habit undermines the democratic process. By not voting for your favourite party, you deny them the power of your vote (and the $1.25), which ultimately impedes their progress as a party. Use sparingly.
posted by Succa at 7:33 AM on June 28, 2004

Don't forget to consider the worthiness of your local candidates as well. If I were anywhere else, I would likely be voting NDP, but Bill Graham is perhaps the only Liberal who hasn't disgusted me in the Martin era, so he'll likely be getting my vote tonight.

Also, what transient and Succa said. By increasing your favourite party's share of the popular vote, you increase their credibility, and thus in the long term, their ability to win.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 7:45 AM on June 28, 2004

If the Conservatives are at 60% locally, than there is no strategic vote available to you. That would only apply if there was a tight race between the Liberals and Conservatives in your riding. You might as well vote for the best candidate. (What a crazy idea!)
posted by teg at 8:18 AM on June 28, 2004

Hey QM, I'm in central Calgary, in the riding that went to Joe Clark last time.

I've decided to hold my nose and vote for the Libs, as it looks like the Liberal candidate (Julia Turnbull) actually has a chance of beating the Conservative candidate. And I really, really, can't stand Harper.

As for you, if it's not that close, I'd vote your conscience. NDP, Green, Natural Law, whatever.
posted by sauril at 8:46 AM on June 28, 2004

Since this didn't receive ANY attention at all when I posted it in the blue, I thought it would be worthwhile reposting it here in case anyone's interested. It's an attempt to predict the election outcome riding by riding. I think they've got my riding (Halifax West) correct - it should go Liberal, but the NDP's strong here (but Bill Carr? Honestly?). Should be a good fight.

The change in funding rules might have an interesting impact this time around. Every vote really does count for something now, even for fourth and fifth candidates. Too bad the result here's not a foregone conclusion, otherwise I'd consider helping out the Greens.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:06 AM on June 28, 2004

I was the first person at the polling station for my area this morning at 7am, casting my vote for someone who has no chance of winning (my bleeding heart liberal — not Liberal — self living in a riding where the preponderance of seniors out here have made the result a foregone conclusion).

Sometimes it's all about the principal, Quartermass, rather than the result.

Excellent link, GhostintheMachine!
posted by filmgoerjuan at 9:32 AM on June 28, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks all. I just voted - NDP. GhostintheMachine's link did the trick for me, knowing full well that the local Liberals have no chance in hell, made it easier to go with my initial gut choice.

"We won't vote Conservative/because we never have."
posted by Quartermass at 9:59 AM on June 28, 2004

You see? *THIS* is why we need some form of IRV. Then you could vote for the party you actually wanted, and not have to hold your nose and vote strategically to stop the bluehairs from electing that nice Harper boy with the sharp ties.
posted by Capn at 10:44 AM on June 28, 2004

Response by poster: Totally agree with you Capn.
posted by Quartermass at 12:29 PM on June 28, 2004

It was all I could do not to vote for the Marxist-Leninist party. Not because I want them in power, but it just seems the height of silliness to vote in a "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" leaning party. However, I didn't want to give them any funding so....

....Damn new funding laws, ruining my fun.
posted by Salmonberry at 2:27 PM on June 28, 2004

I guess it's too late to eat your ballot then...
posted by Mark Doner at 3:22 PM on June 28, 2004

Isn't the Marijuana party the default ballot-spoiler this year?

God I miss the Rhino Party.
posted by Succa at 5:31 PM on June 28, 2004

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