September 25, 2008

Canadian Election: Seeking Solutions to Avoid a Harper Majority

By liam

Across Canada, people are lobbying for "Anything But Conservative", hoping that we will come to our collective senses and ensure that the Conservatives do not run this country any longer.

However, every day, we are pushing them closer to a majority because we all have different views on who the strongest party should be.  LIiberals?  NDP?  Greens?  The Marijuana Party?

Our muddled structures devoted to democracy are preventing us from actually having democracy.  It’d be OK if we had proportional representation (a platform of the Greens and occasionally for the NDP) and then we could vote as we pleased, knowing that our party of preference would still have a voice in the Canadian House of Parliament.  But we don’t.

As it stands, we are about to hand a majority to the Conservatives because the progressive vote is too interested in pursuing individual seats for individual parties and not interested in collectively abolishing the federal Conservatives.

With that in mind, I’d like to go on record and suggest that we start considering some fairly radical strategies.

The main one that comes to my mind:  get relatively ‘weak’ candidates in split ridings to withdraw from the election.

It’s grossly undemocratic, but then, so are the Conservatives.

The strategy would have to be something similar to vote-swapping, but it’d be more like candidate swapping. Here’s a theoretical example (I didn’t bother to make numbers add to 100%):

Riding Con Lib NDP Green
A 25 23 15 12
B 25 12 10 18
C 25 15 18 12

Each riding has an obvious winner in the progressive camp, but because we split the vote, the results will look like this:

Riding A:  Winner = Conservative
Riding B:  Winner = Conservative
Riding C:  Winner = Conservative

Now, in Riding A, the NDP and Green candidates withdraw with the Liberal and NDP withdrawing from Riding B.  Similarly, in riding C, the Liberal and Green candidates withdraw.  Here’s what the results might (in theory) look like:

Riding Con Lib NDP Green
A 25 50 0 0
B 25 0 0 40
C 25 0 45 0

Riding A: Winner = Liberal
Riding B: Winner = Green
Riding C: Winner = NDP

Losers:  Conservatives in all ridings.

So many questions:

1.  Is this legal?

2.  How do we orchestrate this for immediate ‘consumption’ of the public?

3.  How do we expand the concept by marketing / PR etc?

I know it’s undemocratic, but in each riding, the progressive candidate that should have won actually wins , so we all get what we’re after:  The Conservatives are pushed out.