Those who want to vote strategically in the coming election are often find it challenging to decide which party to vote for. This is again true in the current election. I will begin a series of posts here endorsing specific candidates and, where possible, identifying pairs of ridings where (say) NDP and Liberal interests are balanced. My posts will be summarized here.
The Green Party have betrayed their lofty ideals and haughty denunciation of the other parties. Murray Dobbin continues his fine work and analysis with another very significant blog.
Come clean, Ms. Green Posted on September
Dead cat on a table strategy
Some 3,000 Canadians have crowdfunded polls by Leadnow of 31 crucial ridings across Canada where the margin of victory of the Conservatives was small enough to be vulnerable to strategic voting. You can read about it and access each riding’s results here. What seems to be emerging is that the primary question on the lips of the (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Strategic voting taking root in Canada 3 weeks before election day
Some are confused by their choices. Others are not sure how strategic voting in their own riding might work.
If your main objective is to remove Harper and replace him with another more progressive government, then these people can help you decide how to vote on election day: Nationally, the organization Leadnowis working on a well-designed strategy to defeat Stephen Harper in 12 key ridings, and is active on the ground in 70 others. If you’re in one of these ridings, you’ll be able to find out which candidate is best suited to defeat the Conservative. Leadnow is also (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: How to vote on October 19 to replace the tired, low-energy Harper government
Shorter David Beers: We should start demanding that candidates drop out if a single poll shows them running behind because there’s absolutely no history of voters’ minds changing in the month before election day.
In the 2011 election Harper managed to eke by with the slimmest of margins, driving up the middle between two opposition parties. How thin was the Tory victory? Check this:
In the 2011 election, Harper won his majority with just 6,201 votes out of 14.8 million votes cast. Those 6,201 votes were the difference between the Conservative win and the second place finisher in the 14 closest races across Canada.
In other words, a small shift in votes could have taken the majority away from Harper and the Conservatives.
Don Valley West in Toronto was (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Exchange highlights the World Economic Forum’s observation that countries can do far more to combat inequality. And Angus Reid finds that Canadian voters are far more receptive to Tom Mulcair’s progressive economic plan than to more of the same from either of the major competing leaders.
- Meanwhile, the Leap Manifesto offers an important target as to the more fair and sustainable society we should be aiming for in the long run. And Bruce Campbell, Seth Klein and Marc Lee discuss how it’s well within our means.
- Aaron Wherry takes a look (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Jordan Brennan details (and expands on) how corporate tax cuts have served solely to further enrich the people and businesses who already had the most: (F)ar from improving economic outcomes, there is evidence to suggest that corporate income tax reductions depressed Canadian GDP growth. I present a detailed explanation of why that’s the case in a forthcoming study to be published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Given the election debate around raising the CIT rate, I thought it worthwhile to summarize my findings.
In my study I contrast three Canadian (Read more…)
Richard Hughes-Your Humble Blogger
The conundrum of electing our governments based on a ‘First Past the Post’ system has never been as clear as it is today with an October Federal Election just around
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Elias Isquith talks to David Madland about the connection between increasing inequality and the breakdown of trust in the U.S. political system. CBC and Larry Elliott follow up on the IMF’s findings about the economic damage done by income and wealth disparities. And Philip Longman thoroughly examines the cross-generational inequality which is putting every generation after the Baby Boomers at a severe disadvantage: Start, for example, with the twentysomethings of 1979. They had a lower real income in 1979 than twentysomethings did in 1969. And as fiftysomethings now, they not only make (Read more…)
This and that for your Saturday reading.
- Keith Banting and John Myles note that income inequality should be a major theme in Canada’s federal election. And Karl Nerenberg points out that voters will have every reason to vote for their values, rather than having any reason to buy failed strategic voting arguments.
- PressProgress charts the devastating effect of precarious employment in Canada. And Wayne Lewchuk writes about the precarity penalty, and the need for public policy to catch up to the reality facing workers: Uncertain future employment prospects can increase anxiety at home. Lack of benefits can (Read more…)
David Moscrop laments the role of opinion polls in shaping political events – and there’s certainly reason for caution in presuming that immediate polls will have a lasting effect. But I’ll argue that at least as politics are now covered, polls in fact serve as an important check on the tendency of campaign coverage to become completely detached from the views of the public.
After all, the same citizens whose votes determine the outcome of a campaign are generally expected to follow that campaign with varying levels of care through media intermediaries. And I discussed the problem with the direct (Read more…)
Some time ago, I put together this list of principles worth considering when talking about structured cooperation between political parties. And consistent with Ian Gill’s own warning about his lack of connection to party structures, his proposal for a secret pre-election pact manages to fail on nearly every front.
But while there’s some reason for question about Gill’s intended direction, the bigger issue is his presumption that we need our political parties to drag us there. So let’s clarify the options available to Canadians who want to further an “ABC” agenda in the lead up to this fall’s election.
While (Read more…)
Shorter Justin Trudeau: When I say I plan to do politics differently, what I mean is that I’m willing to leave Stephen Harper in power based on the most petty and frivolous excuses anybody’s ever heard.
No longer is there any pretense that a flat “no” to a coalition with the NDP is based on policy differences (however implausible). Instead, Trudeau is ruling out the possibility of cooperation based on personal hostility toward Thomas Mulcair – which of course couldn’t be further from matching the public’s perception of the NDP’s leader, particularly among people with whom Trudeau supposedly (Read more…)
“Strategic” voting is a bad idea. Organized “strategic” voting improves nothing. Worse, “strategic” voting creates an illusion of trust where there are no possible checks and balances. It’s a scheme just asking to be gamed. Participants in “strategic” voting schemes will get taken advantage of and lose their voices. The aberration of “strategic” voting results from a poorly structured democratic system. We still have a flawed, first-past-the-post system in Canada but that flaw does not justify “strategic” voting’s ina … Continue Reading →
Regular readers will know that I’ve spent plenty of time discussing all kinds of plans for multi-party pre-electoral cooperation – and that I’ve been highly skeptical about whether the ones we’ve seen in Canadian politics can be either justified in principle, or made effective in practice. And I’ll readily acknowledge that those questions are worth some serious attention any time somebody raises the issue.
But can we at least agree that the mere act of talking about cooperation across party lines shouldn’t be treated as a scandal?
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Joe Cressy argues that we need to take strong progressive positions to highlight the kinds of public investment which need to be made, rather than buying into right-wing spin about slashing taxes and eliminating public institutions: Public investment is about social justice, taking care of people and making sure our communities have affordable housing, public transit, child care, clean air to breathe and water to drink.
Now, when progressive candidates talk about investing in communities, we are often labeled as ‘tax-and-spenders,’ as if that were something to be ashamed of.
The reality is (Read more…)
Toronto Spadina MP Chrystia Freeland, a Liberal, after speaking at the University of Alberta Faculty Club last week. Below: Eleanor Olszewski, nominated Liberal candidate in the federal Edmonton Strathcona riding; Linda Duncan, NDP MP for Edmonton Strathcona.
Last Wednesday night, during an engaging talk at the University of Alberta Faculty Club, Chrystia Freeland pretty clearly laid out the arguments for why voters in Edmonton Strathcona should re-elect New Democrat Linda Duncan in the next federal election.
The Toronto MP, who is one of the bright lights of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s caucus, wasn’t aiming to make that point, of course. (Read more…)
Anyone who plays chess, as I like to pretend I do, knows there comes a time when surrender is the only strategy left to you. Having matched wits with your opponent and found yours lacking, knowing defeat is inevitable you lay down your King and concede. That happens at the end of the game though, […]
Unfortunately, for those of us who think that some form of Liberal-NDP election deal or coalition would be vastly superior to the PCs forming a government with the largest minority, Kathleen Wynne has said that she won’t form a coalition with the NDP. Unsurprisingly, as this move changes the possible outcomes, it also has an effect on strategic voting.
For most ridings, this has little effect. Either the riding is “safe” with the outcome largely determined. In this situation one can vote for any number of different reasons but doing it explicitly to strategically prevent the PCs from winning need (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Buttonwood weighs in on the disproportionate influence of the ultra-rich when it comes to making policy choices which affect all of us: But the analysis backs up earlier work by Larry Bartels of Princeton, author of a book called “Unequal Democracy”, and the general thesis of the late political scientist, Mancur Olson, that government can be in hock to special interests. This may be truer in America than elsewhere since its campaign-finance laws are so liberal: $6 billion was spent on the 2012 elections. This system forces candidates to spend much of their (Read more…)
The NDP has sent several emails to supporters before and during the campaign premised on the idea that the best way to stop the Conservatives is to vote for the NDP. Here is the latest: “This election, there is one simple trick you can use to stop a Conservative majority: vote strategically.
We’ve heard about strategic voting before – casting your ballot to stop a conservative government.
This election, strategic voting is important. Stopping Tim Hudak’s plan to kill 100,000 middle class jobs is critical.
Here in Brampton-Springdale, there’s no doubt: the strategic vote is NDP.
In (Read more…)
I’ve always advocated for strategic voting on this blog where we vote based on promoting certain goals given the constraints of both our local riding and the broader election. This can take many forms; for instance, in “safe” ridings where the outcome is all but determined I often advocate voting for third parties that help to push the relative importance of particular issues. In contrast, in closer, contested ridings, I am often going to stick closer to making sure the better of the two likely winners has the better shot. Or perhaps we have a particularly powerful local candidate who (Read more…)