Strategic Voting — Anything But Conservative

The upcoming federal election presents challenges for those of us who are very concerned about the direction that Stephen Harper is proposing for Canada. In almost every riding we have a set of often reasonable alternatives to his mean-spirited and socially divisive approach – alternatives espoused by the Liberals, New Democrats, Greens (and in Quebec, the Bloc).

Tactical voting is important. While I find the NDP’s opposition to a carbon tax appalling, and I view Elizabeth May as the Ralph Nader of Canada (given Stephane Dion’s environmental commitments), I still would not hesitate to vote NDP if I thought that the party had the best chance for electoral success in a given riding (I don’t think the Greens have a good chance of electoral success in any riding, and, as a consequence, I wouldn’t vote for them).

My personal inclinations lean toward the Liberal team and its talented leaders – Stephane Dion, Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff. But I would vote for New Democrat Libby Davies in Vancouver East, and New Democrat Don Davies in Vancouver Kingsway. In 2006 my own riding was very close — a Liberal seat, with the Conservative candidate close behind – about 24,000 Liberal, 23,000 Conservative, 12,000 NDP and 4,000 Green. Former Liberal Blair Wilson has now fouled the pitch by running for the Greens; he doesn’t have a hope of re-election, but his candidacy threatens to divert a few thousand votes and hand the riding to John Weston and the Conservatives. The NDP has struggled with its candidates, and the Liberal Ian Sutherland is the only realistic possibility, should those leaning Green and/or NDP decide to vote strategically. For me, the most important objective is to keep the Conservatives from power. In West Vancouver-Howe Sound that means voting Liberal.

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