Posts tagged ‘vote-splitting’

Day 34: NDP Split May Result in Harper Majority

Avoid Vote-Splitting at ProjectDemocracy.ca

I’m a little concerned over the way the election campaign is headed. Unfortunately, it seems that the Conservatives are a shoo-in to win this election. But what’s even more concerning, is the shift of support away from the Liberals and Bloc to the NDP and how that can actually result in a Harper majority government.

I’m not anti-NDP. I’m quite thankful for their insights and contribution in elevating the issues important to me as an Anishinaabe person. My biggest concern is how the poll results may send a lofty reassurance to NDP supporters, that will only result in damaging vote-splitting.

According to Wikipedia: “Vote splitting is an electoral effect in which the distribution of votes among multiple similar candidates reduces the chance of winning for any of the similar candidates, and increases the chance of winning for a dissimilar candidate.”

The intangible factor remains that polls and the popular vote doesn’t always translate into seats. In 1988, the NDP enjoyed an unprecedented lead in the polls of up to 41 percent. It didn’t translate into a significant amount of electoral seats. The Green Party had over six percent of the popular vote in the 2008 election. However, they have never elected a single MP.

My analysis indicates the Liberals will form the official opposition. The NDP have little chance in picking up enough swing seats to meet or exceed the 77 seats currently held by the Liberals. Even with their surge in Quebec, I can’t see the NDP picking up that many seats at the Bloc’s expense.

Remember, there is absolutely no mathematical chance of the NDP forming the government. Period.

Yet, Jack Layton’s personal likability and surge of poll support has pleased a lot of NDP supporters and new voters. If NDP supporters vote their conscience, or the they pick up Liberal and Bloc support – the result may be a Conservative majority government.

Remember, a Harper majority will spell untold catastrophe for First Nations issues and respect for aboriginal and treaty rights. We could possibly see an end to the post-secondary student support program and non-insured health benefits under Harper’s slash-and-burn approach.

What is the solution to this quandary? The answer lies in strategic voting.

First Nations have long debated the use of strategic voting. As First Nations don’t have strong voting numbers, with the exceptions of a dozen key ridings across Canada. First Nations are in a prime position to use strategic voting to skew the results in a few more ridings to our favour. In this case, our goal should be to work together to ensure Harper doesn’t get a majority.

In this election, thanks to the influential environmental lobby, we have the use of a powerful tool called Project Democracy. The primary goal of Project Democracy is directly aligned with our goal: to ensure Harper does not get a majority in the House of Commons.

The website, ProjectDemocracy.ca makes use of a riding-by-riding, statistical-based analysis to provide voters with up-to-date information on how to use strategic voting to ensure the Conservatives do not achieve a majority.

I urge you all to carefully consider your vote. Sure, you may be happy to vote your conscience and mark your ‘X’ next to the NDP. But when you wake up the next morning to a Stephen Harper majority government, because the NDP/Liberals/ Bloc vote-split, you may be filled with regret.

Especially, when you have to pay for your eyeglasses, prescription drugs and college tuition.