Thursday, October 16, 2008


Now that the election is over, I can tell you who I voted for. In our riding, the incumbent is a Liberal and it was expected to be a hot contest between the incumbent and the Conservative candidate. Well, at least everyone thought it would be a hot contest. I've never met either candidate, although I noticed one's campaign strategy was to stand on busy streets in a suit, waving to commuters, and the other recruited several Chinese people to help phone other Chinese people to sway their vote.

In the week before the election, both the NDP and the Green Party candidate were hinting strongly (or saying outright?) that strategic voting would be, at the least, not a bad thing. You know how it goes - vote Liberal even if you normally vote NDP or Green so that we'll have a chance of defeating the Conservatives. Actually, I considered the opposite - voting Conservative to keep out the incumbent, who I don't particularly like, and who I thought would win. Strategic voting is somewhat controversial. To me, it doesn't represent true democracy, because you'd be voting for someone you didn't really want in office, just to prevent someone you REALLY REALLY didn't want from coming to power. It requires holding your nose when voting, and is that the picture we want to paint during an election in a first world country?

So up until I got to the voting booth (if you could call the cardboard science fair display a "booth"), I wasn't fully decided on how to vote. I eventually went with my gut and voted NDP. I know next to nothing about the NDP candidate, but I like what the NDP stands for, generally. I then fretted over whether I should have voted strategically. Fortunately in the end, it didn't really matter because the Conservative won by a comfortable margin.

Of course, what this reinforces is that proportional representation through a single transferable vote system would resolve the problems seen in a multi-party system like our own. I looked for a site that explained the STV system the best and here is what I found. It has pictures! Though I think their picture of chocolate could have been a little better. Anyway. No doubt at some point, some person much smarter than me will be able to analyze what just happened in our election and tell us roughly who might be sitting in Parliament if we had an STV system. That'll be interesting.

1 comment:

vespertine said...

wow - this is like a recap of our conversation last night!

And what you just described was EXACTLY how I felt/what I did on election day. Down to a tee.