Lead Now just lost a lot of credibility

Strategic voting, that thing you say you'll do even if you have no idea how! Because you know, if a journalist asks you if you are considering voting strategically, you want to sound smart and aware of the situation and will therefore answer that yes, you are totally voting strategically.

I'm really glad to see that 80% of the population will do it as I'm sure these people read projections daily and that will make me rich.

The problem? It requires a lot of information and coordination. If you want to make recommendations, you need to identify the right ridings and then convince enough people to switch to the other option. In this election, it mostly means voting for the "right" candidate between the Liberals and NDP in order to defeat Harper (even though I'd argue that Conservatives voters can also do it, especially now with the Liberals possibly ahead, but that's another story).

One of the leading (no pun intended) organization for this is Lead Now. They went as far as polling key ridings, mostly to avoid making recommendations in the wrong ones and doing more harm than good (for their cause) like what happened in 2011. So you go on their website and they'll tell you if you live in a riding where you shouldn't simply follow your top choice but instead vote strategically.

For the record, I see no problem with people voting strategically, absolutely zero. People are free to vote for whoever they want for whatever reasons they want. I find it incredibly condescending when we try to tell people that they are "wrong" or vote for the "wrong reasons".

On top of this, I have no problem with organizations making recommendations. Heck, I myself wrote, weeks ago (so it's not valid anymore) a "guide" to strategic voting. But when I did, I set some clear rules and guidelines. I only looked at ridings where the top two candidates were close to each other. Mostly because I don't believe movements like this one can really convince many voters (honestly, if it was easy to swing 10-20% of voters, political parties would do it already!). Plus, I only included a riding on my guide if the third party was really far behind and had almost no chance. Also, I didn't only look at ridings where the NDP+Liberals could beat the CPC because, as opposed to most of these organizations, I have no agenda there.

What am I talking about this? Because Lead Now made an official recommendation in Vancouver Granville: people should rally behind the NDP candidate, Mira Oreck. What's the problem you're asking? Well, there are a couple. First of all, the last two riding polls, including the Environics ones done for Lead Now, actually shows the Liberal candidate, Jody Wilson-Raybould, ahead! The Environics polls has the Liberals at 35%, ahead of the NDP at 33% and the Conservatives at 28%. To be fair, the previous two Environics polls did have the NDP ahead (and the CPC third every time, which begs the question as to why this riding is even included on their list). Another poll, however, done by Mainstreet, shows results much more in line with what we would expect: Liberals way ahead at 44%, NDP at 28% and Tories at 20%. On a side note, my projections have all been very close to the Forum and Mainstreet riding polls, but not the Environics ones.

Add to this the fact that most projections, including mine, have the Liberal ahead. Why? Because according to the transposed votes of 2011 in this new ridings, the Liberals would have finished only 5 points behind the Tories. Given the provincial swing, it'd be shocking for the Conservative candidate to win.

So, let's summarize: projections have Liberals ahead and Tories third. The latest two polls also show that, including one with a big Liberal lead, and somehow Lead Now is telling people to vote NDP? Surely I can't be the only one finding this weird.

And of course I'm not. Lead Now is being accused of NDP bias and many people are criticizing their recommendation.

I'm not even gonna really argue who is leading there, NDP or Liberals. I personally believe the Liberal candidate is ahead. But that's beyond my point. My point is that in a riding where the Tories are third and all three parties have a chance, it's really irresponsible to make such a recommendation. And it goes completely against what the people from Lead Now have said during this campaign.

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