First off, the point of this article is not to tell you who to vote for. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I want to remind you that voting is your right as a citizen of age, and more specifically, that you have the right to vote for any candidate and party with a platform that resonates with you. Voting is a critical part of a true democracy. While it is important that we are as informed as possible when we vote, it is equally important that we cast sincere ballots for our preferred candidates.
Strategic voting is the act of voting for the candidate/party you think is most likely going to beat the candidate/party you really do not want to win. While this defensive tactic can technically do some good, in avoiding the harm one may foresee if one’s least desired party wins, it is also harmful. Why are we voting for platforms we don’t wholly believe in? The answer seems simple: to avoid a greater evil by accepting a lesser one. But, it has actually proven to be an obstacle for change. Canada has parties other than the Conservative and Liberal and it’s time we stop automatically discrediting the others in favour of strategic voting. It has gotten to the point where we appear to have a two-party system.
If you ask most of your friends who they actually want to vote for, the chances are that they will not be voting for their preferred party in the upcoming election. This is nothing new. People around you may try to sway you towards splitting your vote to maintain the status quo and to be “safe”. They’ll say that this is common sense and is how voting works. There are also limitations to strategic voting; you cannot be sure that your actions will secure a specific outcome. Why waste the chance you have to make a difference with a choice you don’t really believe in? Your vote may mean something regardless, but it will mean even more if it is genuine.
While you may feel pressured to split your vote for this upcoming snap election, I urge you to really consider why it’s time to ditch that strategy. So many Canadians already think that this election is pointless, so why not make the best of it and vote for who you really believe in? If you vote for who you genuinely believe is right for the job, you’ll more likely be contributing to a constructive result. Vote for who you want, not for who you feel you have to. We need to break the cycle of strategic voting if we ever want to see the true power of electoral democracy.