‘Strategic voting gimmickerists’

Reviewing the by-elections, Alice Funke focuses on the Green vote.

But, if you look more closely at the right-hand side of the second graph above, and examine the parties’ historic vote-shares in the three by-election ridings, you are immediately struck by what became in many ways the most unexpected story of the evening. And this has big implications for all those trying to “unite the progressive vote” like LeadNow.ca, 1CalgaryCentre.com, and authors like Paul Adams of PowerTrap.ca … The Green Party cut into the Conservative vote in Western Canada. Substantially.

… What this suggests to me is that strategies aimed at causing parties to withdraw from certain ridings may have quite different outcomes than their proponents predict. And the one riding that was the most beset with endless clumsy tactical manipulation and cross-party griping about who was splitting whose vote, also wound up (perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not) being the riding with the lowest voter turnout.

Meanwhile, the Greens have clearly delivered a scare to the three other political parties in english Canada in this round of by-elections, and have finally understood the importance of a beach-head versus rising tide strategy to a small party, especially during by-elections. But their continued existence is also in greater jeopardy from the cuts to the public subsidy, as they are not raising nearly enough just yet to replace it and be able to run a substantial enough national campaign to keep beach-head seats in the fold. Also, they have yet to be able to sustain an eye-popping performance from one campaign into the next, as the history of London North Centre, ON, Central Nova, NS,Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, ON, and Guelph, ON amongst others amply demonstrates.




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‘Strategic voting gimmickerists’

  1. Interesting. I’d like to play the game of taking the results and putting a meme on them, too. The Green Party of Canada increased its vote share, apparently the only one of the four parties to do so. You know what the Greens have that nobody else does? A leader who backs cross-party cooperation.

    • The other interesting point raised was the possibility that all the fuss around strategic voting MAY actually cause as many people to not even bother voting at all – that isn’t to the advantage of the opposition parties, and more importantly simply isn’t right. This is something for the opposition parties to consider. I’m beginning to believe that the unintended consequences may out weigh the good intentions. I think you’re right that a policy of cross party cooperation is one the public like more. Is there a lesson here for the LPC too i wonder?

      • Well, it could also be all the fuss around strategic voting, and then finding out that neither the NDP or the Liberals participated in the process in any numbers.

  2. Some good comments attached to the “focuses” link in Wherry’s post…particularly a call to look at absolute vote counts in addition to looking at % of vote numbers, perhaps instead.

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