Chris Turner on Calgary Centre and vote-splitting -

Chris Turner on Calgary Centre and vote-splitting


The Green candidate in the Calgary Centre byelection finds lessons in the result.

Once party nominations have occurred and staff has been assigned, strategies and platforms established, signs and literature produced, it’s not just logistically difficult but fundamentally undemocratic to insist on co-operation. This is for the simple reason that every vote counts and every voter remains entitled to a free choice on the ballot. Once the race is on, there’s no putting the horses back into the barn.

What’s more, the presumption that a strong third horse in the race splits the vote is often ignorant of the facts at street level on the campaign trail. This was certainly the case in Calgary Centre, where my campaign saw a huge gain in momentum throughout the latter half of the campaign – not by eroding Liberal backing (which remained steady at around 30 per cent throughout the campaign), but by capturing substantial wedges of support from disaffected Conservatives, NDP voters looking for a better chance at backing a winner, and unaligned voters. My campaign did not split the vote in Calgary; we built our own coalition on the Green Party’s broad, moderate platform.


Chris Turner on Calgary Centre and vote-splitting

  1. Conservatives keep vote in the house with just 37%. QED

  2. Fundamentally undemocratic?
    You do realize you don’t *need* a party to run, right Mr. Turner? If you’ve already put together a staff, strategy, platform, etc, then it’s pretty easy to run without the official nod from the Party if that’s what you really want to do.

  3. This is petty, but Mr. Turner would have more credibility with me if he wouldn’t have rounded down the Liberal popular vote in his Globe and Mail piece (32.7 down to 32), and his Green number up (25.6 up to 26).