Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Liberal vote splitting fallacy

Liberal supporters use fear mongering to weasel left-leaning votes. They say vote Liberal or the neo-con party will win because of vote splitting. But that’s not how it works.

Certainly vote splitting is an issue. It’s what allows the conservative party to win an absolute majority on 40% of the vote instead of 50%. But only voting reform will end that nonsense.

The real danger is letting the conservatives win 40% of the vote. And the battleground for that vote is on the right-side of the political spectrum. The NDP has nothing to do with it.

Liberal/con vote splitting

The Liberal party straddles the center. So they need to reach leftwards and rightwards to win. It’s their job to split the moderate right-leaning vote to keep the con party away from majority territory.

Mike Harris and Stephen Harper won majorities by moving into Liberal territory and getting 40% or more of the vote. In short, they won because Liberal leaders failed.

For example, during 2011 federal election campaign, Michael Ignatieff handed Harper the economy on a silver platter — even though it was Liberal policies responsible for Canada’s relative resilience (“sound public finances and banking regulation” according to The Economist — plus stimulus spending.)

Liberal-NDP coalitions

In 1985 Ontario and 2008 federally, vote splitting between the Liberal and NDP parties didn’t allow the conservative parties to win a majority. In fact, it put the Liberals and NDP in a position to oust the conservatives by forming a coalition government — the norm in the developed world.

In 1985 that exactly what happened: the Peterson and Rae coalition.

In 2008, the NDP supported a coalition, but the Ignatieff Liberals turned it down because they thought they could do better by winning the next election. But obviously propping up the Harper Government did not work out well for them.


Vote splitting between the Liberals and NDP will not help the conservative party in any way, shape or form.

The real reason Liberals want NDP votes is so they can win a fake majority of their own.

But although the Chretien Liberals won the biggest chunk of NDP vote in history, they did not represent left-leaning voters. Instead they governed from the right, slashing spending and cutting corporate taxes.

A Liberal majority is clearly not in the interest of progressive voters whatever promises are being made. The Chretien Liberals made big promises too.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this, it's an issue I've been pondering, because the Harper government must go, and I want to vote NDP but have been worrying about it for this precise reason.


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