Monday, January 23, 2006


It's here. The day when hang wringing, head shaking and general unease becomes all out stomach-churning nausea, hair pulling and hysteria.

Election Day in Canada.

Actually, I voted ten days ago. I prefer to go to the advance polls. It comes from always being too busy to vote on election day itself. I've done pretty much every task there is in an election, other than 'candidate'. I started out as a kindergartener putting leaflets in mailboxes (that was back in the days when it was safe for a six year old girl to canvass a neighbourhood alone). Just in the short time I've been blogging, I've been a poll clerk, an electoral office temp and a campaign office manager.

Also, in my lifetime, I've campaigned for all three main parties. Yes, even that EVIL party. But I can explain! I was working for the local candidate (a good friend), not for the party. This was during the 1997 federal election: it was the first I was eligible to vote in. I was somehow thrown into the spotlight when I was coerced into making a speech to introduce the candidate for Prime Minister during a campaign stop. What a circus that was! But I still think the candidate in question is a good guy. Befittingly, he converted to Liberal and is now the Premier of Quebec.

(Have I ever mentioned that I'm the daughter of a political scientist?)

This time 'round has been kind of strange for me because I haven't been involved in anything with any party or with Elections Canada. Well, I did attend an Olivia Chow/NDP fundraising dinner, but I didn't pay for that ticket myself. And I did sign up to volunteer on her campaign, but she's so popular that I wasn't needed. She lost by only 1.5% of the votes last time, so I'm hoping that she may just squeeze in today...

Strategic Voting: My Thoughts
People are always going on about how you shouldn't vote strategically. The main argument is that the party you support gets funding* in accordance with the actual number of votes it gets.
But, sometimes the party of your heart has no chance in hell in the riding where you live. You could just make a statement with your ballot but your vote could also go towards electing the lesser of two evils. Until our government has representation by actual percentage of votes, I say go ahead and use strategy. Make a small donation to your preferred party to make up for what they won't get without your vote, then go and make yourself count.

*I just heard that your vote is only worth $1.75 in funding to your party!


Hikaru said...

strategic voting, heh. on any conventional scale, i'm libertarian. though in order to properly move a country the mass of the u.s., i'd say anything short of totalitarianism will fail.

when i explain this to the typical two-party american, they just look at me and blink some.

btw, i noticed the name change. ;)

Netts said...

WTF! I leave the country for one second and all hell breaks loose!

Celtic Knitter said...

You introduced Jean Charest??? Cool.
I love Olivia Chow . .. I also wanted to volunteer but I'm not in her riding. She won!! Yeah!!

I also had an NDP rep. elected in my riding! How exciting.

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