If you don’t live in Canada, you might not be aware that there is a federal election campaign going on here. The general election is being held on May 2nd. I am going to vote tomorrow in the advance poll. My voting strategy in this election, as it was in the last election, is to prevent Stephen Harper from being Prime Minister. Unfortunately, I know that even before I cast my ballot, Stephen Harper will continue to be the Prime Minister no matter who I vote for.
Because of our parliamentary system, I cannot vote directly for who I want to run this country. The most I can do is to help deny the Conservatives the seat in my riding. It’s not even a question of who is the best candidate in my riding now. I will vote for whoever has the best chance to defeat the Conservative candidate. My riding isn’t one of those exciting ones however. The incumbent is an NDP party member who has held onto this seat with election wins in 2004, 2006, and 2008. In each subsequent election, he has won with an increasing wider margin, with the last one by nearly 7000 votes.
I expect him to win comfortably again in this election. He has even tweeted that voters are aligning with him with the express purpose of opposing Harper. I’m not sure if he even cares that people are choosing him just because they hate Harper. A vote is a vote I suppose. In the end, it won’t really matter. The left has been fractured as people are splitting their allegiances between the Liberals and the NDP. If you’re on the right, you only have one place to go, which works in Harper’s favour. The only question now is how much control will Harper have after the election. The realistic, best-case scenario now is that Harper wins another minority government. The opposition can then hopefully keep him in check, preventing him from doing more stupid things like spending billions on fighter jets without tendering offers from other companies and then lying to the public about how much they’ll cost. The worst-case scenario is if Harper wins a majority. I cannot even begin to imagine the stuff he’d ram through Parliament. I’m pretty sure some of it would involve passing laws that would kick the environment in the balls. Maybe he might take away a social freedom here or there. Perhaps, he’d go for a contempt of Parliament repeat.
Anyways, I’ll vote and do my part tomorrow but it’s one of those cases where my vote honestly doesn’t matter this time around.