Myth of strategic voting

Letters

Editor:

Liberals are busy in B.C. these days appealing to voters in ridings that it won in 2015 to “vote strategically.”

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There is something broken about a system where one’s vote is determined, not by what a voter wants or thinks is right, but by what he or she doesn’t want or the wish to avoid some “greater evil.” The Liberals’ hypocrisy in making this argument is particularly galling. In the last election, they looked voters in the eye promising it would be the last held under the “first-past-the-post” system. And yet, having welched on that promise, here they are exploiting the same insidious feature of the system they vowed to do away with in the last election to try to seduce your vote in this one. 

The trouble for the Liberals is that the math just doesn’t work for them this time. In many B.C. ridings, the Greens or the NDP (depending on the riding) are either keeping pace with the Liberals, running in second place behind them or in a three-way race with the Liberal and Conservative contenders. Under those conditions, a vote cast for the Green or NDP candidate – if that is the voter’s true choice – doesn’t increase the chance of the Conservative candidate winning one bit. Rather, it improves the odds of the Green or NDP candidate winning – or, in other words, of the voter actually getting what he or she wants. Imagine that!

In ridings where Green or NDP candidates are running strong, therefore, the fear Liberals are peddling that voting for anyone but them will flip the seat Conservative is a sham and an illusion. It is a hobgoblin, and nothing more, trotted out conveniently just in time for Halloween.

Jeff Scouten, West Vancouver

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