My Relulctant Strategic Vote

Here’s an irony. I’m forced to vote Liberal (again) because Justin Trudeau betrayed me. No, it doesn’t make any sense and, furthermore, it pisses me off. But that’s just the way it is.

In his 2015 campaign, Justin promised that that election would be the last under the grievously undemocratic first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system. He reiterated his promise in the throne speech. He then established a committee to study the issue and they did, thoroughly, spending hours of their time and effort, and that of others, on the project, and concluded by recommending a referendum that would propose a “proportional (Read more…) system.” Trudeau then flushed the recommendation down the toilet, in effect dismissing the entire exercise, including his promise.

I suspect he intended a form of ranked voting system to win the day because it would favour the Liberals, but when he lost control of the process he lost interest in the whole idea. Under a proportional system he wouldn’t have gained 100 per cent of the power with the support of only 40 per cent of the people, and politicians really, really don’t want to give that up.

So why am I voting Liberal? This week the Liberal candidate in my riding, Kent Hehr, knocked at my door and I explained it to him. I chastised his leader for betraying us on what is a very important issue, but assured him that he would still have my vote, even though I’m a member of another party. Two reasons. One, because he has represented me as both an MLA and an MP and I think he has done a good job. And two, most importantly, because he is the only candidate who can beat the Conservative. He assured me that he too felt betrayed on voting reform and would take my opinion back to Ottawa.

Under a democratic voting system I could vote for the candidate that most closely represents my views but under FPTP, in my riding it’s either Liberal or Conservative. My preferred parties simply don’t get enough share of the popular vote to win the constituency. A vote for one of them is a wasted vote. It does nothing but help the Conservative. So, once again, I’ m back to second-rate democracy and strategic voting. Thanks, Justin.