Strategic voting is essential

• The Conservatives may be a disaster at governing a nation, but they are experts at manipulating electoral wins. In the last two elections, they improved their position by six percent in the weeks just before the elections.

The Conservatives are noted for their propaganda and negative advertising. The corporate media will explain the wisdom of “staying the course.” And now the Conservatives have recruited the highly successful spin-doctor from Australia, Lynton Crosby, also known as the Wizard of Oz or the Lizard of Oz. In Australia, he is sometimes called the “attack dingo” and in Britain, a “political Rottweiler.” His favourite phrase is “below the radar,” meaning sneaky.

So we better brace ourselves for a struggle. He was behind four successive conservative wins in Australia and also behind the majority win of David Cameron in the recent British election. The polls, at the time of writing [mid-September], show Canadians to be in a vulnerable position: the NDP are at 32%, Conservatives 30%, Liberals 30%, Greens 5% and Bloc Quebecois 3%. If the Conservatives make their usual 6% increase (with Lynton Crosby’s help), they will end up with 36% – knocking the NDP down to 29% and the Liberals down to 28%.

This situation is a threat, but only if we lose sight of the real battle. The critical struggle is between the vast majority of progressive Canadians (70%) and the corporate controlled Conservatives (30%). It is the struggle of the combined forces of Liberals, NDP and Greens to regain a caring society. But we must work together for the common cause, through strategic voting.

There is terrific power through strategic voting. The Conservative may gain 6% through a propaganda campaign, but that is nothing to what Canadians can do through strategic voting. In the last election, the Conservatives had won 21 seats in BC, but are currently polling to win only seven seats. In four of these ridings, the Conservatives are leading by only 2%, 4%, 6% and 7% – and could easily be defeated by a relative handful of voters swinging their votes to the party most likely to defeat the Conservatives. There is real power by working together. Divided we fall.

Strategic voting can defeat almost any Conservative candidate in Canada. In this election, we must abandon our old habits of voting for the party we think is best. Instead, we should vote for what is best for Canada – removing the Conservatives. Does it really matter whether the Liberals win a few more seats than the NDP or vice versa? They are both essentially progressive parties and so are the Greens. They all promise to bring in “proportional voting.” They all are concerned about climate change; they all are concerned about the unfair distribution of wealth; and they all believe that peacekeeping is more important than war making. They all want the restoration of democracy. These are exceedingly important issues, but not shared by the Harper Conservatives.

Great things can happen with the removal of the Conservatives. This will happen as long as we do not split the progressive vote.

For those who feel that voting is frustrating and insignificant, be assured that every vote done strategically will actually count. Every vote goes directly to defeat the Conservatives. Just vote for the candidate most likely to defeat the Conservatives and that will make the difference.

– Doug Carrick, Hornby Island

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