Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ranked ballot: Anyone But Conservative voting

The Green Party was polling as high as 10% before the 2011 election. Yet they dropped down to 3.9% at the ballot box — lower than their 2008 showing of 6.8%. Why did the Green Party lose half it's voters? Voters were trying to vote strategically to stop a Harper fake majority: that is, Anyone But Conservative voting.

Strategic voting unreliable

The problem with strategic voting is that it's almost impossible to properly organize — as the 2011 election results clearly attest to. Since there's a swing vote in each riding, it's hard to know what party to back to beat the Cons.

The 4% of Green strategic votes therefore ended up canceling each other out. Harper's sleazy practice of micro-targeting voters in key ridings proved much more effective.

Ranked Ballot to the rescue

A simple and effective voting reform can solve the problem: Preferential Voting. This merely changes the ballot from single-choice to ranked. That allows voters an alternative vote if their #1 choice is no longer in the running.

So instead of voters guessing, they will get guaranteed strategic voting. One can vote: #1 Green, #2 NDP, #3 Liberals, #4 Marijuana Party, #5 RhinocerosAnyone But Con!

Liberals running on ranked ballot

The Liberals have promised to bring in PV ranked ballot voting. Justin Trudeau has made it part of his Democratic Reform platform. Canadians have a rare opportunity to fix our broken voting system and stop the perverse effects of vote splitting for good.

Although PV is not as good as PR, it will accomplish a great deal as an intermediate step. The Liberal initiative would not be the final word on voting reform.

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