“Strategic” Voting Websites Fail Test

Below is a letter from the Green Email list. Barrie was a “battleground”, which voteforenvironment.ca suggested was “a key swing riding” The site advised Greens and Dippers to vote Liberal. But, the Conservatives won! Alas, if only they had ALL “strategically” voted Liberal…..the Conservatives would still have won. Strategy is nuts without correct informtation.

Well, Barrie was a “battleground” riding, according to the pollsters.voteforenvironment.ca.

A “key swing riding” according to

In 2006 the Conservative beat the Liberal by only 1500 votes. Greens had
almost 4000. Just think how easily we could “swing” it the other way.

Critical that in this riding and others like it, green-minded voters vote
“strategically” instead of actually voting Green. All the “strategic” sites
agree. Gotta stop that Conservative from getting re-elected – vote Liberal.
Pull together and we can do it.

Great logic. So what’s the result when the polls close?

Conservative: 52%
Liberal: 24%
NDP: 12%
Green: 11%

Add those up carefully. Note that no amount of “strategic” voting – even if
EVERY SINGLE NON-CONSERVATIVE VOTER VOTED TOGETHER – would have changed the
result.

Same story in the “swing riding” to the north, Simcoe North. Probably in
countless other “key” “swing” “battleground” ridings.

Do you get it, “strategic” voters? Greens can’t be kingmakers. “Voting
carefully” in “strategic” ridings is worthless, no matter how
“sophisticated” your “non-partisan” calculator is. Past is not present is
not future. Vote for what you want – it’s as simple as that.

Strategic Voting RIP Oct 14, 2008″

Until we have an electoral system which both asks for and reflects public opinion, we will have governments elected by 22% of the electorate (37% Con times 59% turnout) and different segments of the population under- and over-represented.

UPDATE: From Ottawa Citizen’s Glen McGregor:

“An EKOS Research poll conducted over three days ending Oct. 13 found that Green voters were by no means unanimous in their second choice of parties.

The NDP and Liberals were tied for second choice of 28 per cent of those intending to vote Green followed by the Bloc at eight per cent nationally — or about 41 per cent in Quebec — and the Conservatives at a surprisingly high 17 per cent.

By redistributing Green votes to the other parties in those proportions, a different picture emerges. This “Green shift” last night was projected to swing only six ridings away from the Tories to other parties.”

And, I’ll add this: in order to vote strategically, you would need to know in advance – with no way of finding this out – that you were in one of these 6 ridings. And this result is after the strategic votes have shifted. Even after the stats are published, we still can’t make a good strategic move.

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5 responses to ““Strategic” Voting Websites Fail Test

  1. I will add that – thanks to the strategic voting websites, who mean well – the good people of Barrie have no idea which of the non-Conservative parties has broader support. Shall they now strategically vote for the Liberals again next time because of the results? When does this cycle end? It ends when people ignore strategic voting websites.

  2. So the Conservatives got 22% of the eligible voters to vote for them…. that’s still higher then what the Liberals, NDP, Blcok and the Greens got.

    Yes I admit 58% voter turnout is pathetic but it shouldn’t take away from the fact that those who educated themselves and took the effort to go out and vote, voted for the government we now have.

    As for strategic voting, it’s garbage, vote for the party you want to see in power.

  3. Hi, thegreattait. Welcome to the blog.

    At 22%, that is the historic all-time low in support. The real shocker is that had they received 33% like in the polls, they would still have formed the government, and received only 19% of elligible votes. I’m going to call that a growing crisis of legitimacy.

  4. Let’s also not forget that the Green Party was founded largely by former Progressive Conservatives (both Jim Harris and Elizabeth May worked in the PC party back in the 80s). To suggest that their support would automatically go to the NDP or Liberals is completely without any basis.

  5. Hi Evan,

    No kidding. All analysis of strategic voting fails to consider that not 100% of Greens would vote
    NDP in riding X, Liberal in riding Y, and Bloc in riding Z.

    As well, the numbers we have come after people voted strategically! So, we don’t even know how people would have voted if they were to have voted for their first choice.

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