Strategic voting: It’s not who you like, but who you don’t
Project Democracy encourages strategic voting in “contested ridings” to stop Conservatives from forming a majority. Critics say the whole concept is undemocratic.
By Brett Popplewell
A group of “democratic” activists is advising voters in contested ridings not to vote along party lines but rather to back whichever candidate has the best chance of defeating the local Conservative.
Project Democracy, as the group calls itself, isn’t so much an advocacy group for democratic principles as it is a collaborative online effort to promote strategic voting to block a Conservative majority by whatever means necessary.
The group’s method: to persuade voters in the country’s “contested ridings” to strategically abandon weaker candidates at the local level and throw their support behind whichever non-Conservative candidate the group deems most able to win — even if that means voting for the Bloc Québécois in some cases.
Founded by a handful of self-proclaimed “geeks, web-nerds and non-profiteers” the only founding member of Project Democracy willing to publicly attach her name to the group is Alice Klein, editor of Now, the weekly Toronto-based news magazine.
Klein, who describes herself as “a passionate post-partisan progressive,” knows the group isn’t popular among many politicians. She’s also aware that her critics inside the country’s political parties are already accusing her of advocating against democracy.
To them she says: “The electoral system is imperfect.”
“The majority of (Canadians) do not support the Harper Conservatives, so how do we make sure that we have a Parliament that represents our majority concerns? Project Democracy is our answer.”