We are now less than a week away from election day, and have just received the results of the only two independent polls conducted in our riding since the last federal election.
Now that the facts are finally available, it’s time for us to think carefully about what the options for our region really are, and to vote accordingly.
Both polls show the NDP (37/38 per cent) with a slight lead over the Conservatives (33/36 per cent), with the Liberals (22/15 per cent) and Greens (8/9 per cent) trailing very far behind.
There are thus only two plausible outcomes on election night for our riding, and a few conclusions that can be drawn from this data. Regardless of the strength of their excellent candidate’s campaigns or the appeal of their party’s leaders, a vote for the Green or Liberal parties in our riding is a vote wasted: they can not win here this year.
We are one of only 16 ridings in the country where the electoral math is such that strategic voting is the only sensible option. Progressive voters of all stripes must vote NDP, who will win if this happens, but who may not be successful unless they receive the support of typically Green or Liberal voters.
Right wingers of all stripes must vote Conservative, who will lose unless left-leaning Green and Liberal voters remain irrationally faithful to their party, and/or if Mel Arnold is able to attract enough right-leaning Liberal support.
Such strategic voting is off-putting to many, myself included. But the facts are simply these: despite what it says on the ballot, in the North Okanagan – Shuswap we now have only two viable candidates and 24-30 per cent of you will wasting your vote unless you pick the NDP or Conservative candidate.
Unless you are happy being represented by either of these parties, then I urge you to vote strategically.