Make your vote matter

I just read Christopher Majka's brilliant post called The Art and Science of Strategic Voting.  This post is a summary of the actions suggested by his great article, in the spirit of the toolkit.

We are all tired of holding our noses and voting, and of nearly 50 percent of the votes we cast in elections being wasted votes.  So in the long term we need a new voting system, one that is about proportional representation.  Fairvote.org is dong a great job building the movement for electoral reform so that by the next election we can have a fairer system in place and we can stop having to hold our noses and vote.

If you are part of the anybody but Harper movement this election, Majka says first find out if you you are in a swing riding.  Many of us are not--we are in safe ridings or in ridings where the contest is not between a Conservative and another candidate.  If you are in a riding where a Conservative may win, or in one of  the new ridings, you may be in a swing riding.  Get informed and get active.

1) Check the results of the 2011 election. See how the respective parties did.

2) Check with VoteTogether.ca.  VoteTogether has targeted 72 key Conservative swing ridings (where Conservative incumbents won by narrow margins) where Canadians can defeat the Conservatives if progressives vote together  In 31 of these ridings Vote Together has conducted local polling. Vote Together has found that 60 per cent of voters who support the opposition parties would be willing to vote for the candidate with the best chance of beating the Conservatives according to local polling, including 61 per cent of NDP supporters, 61 per cent of Liberal supporters, and 49 per cent of Green party supporters.

3) Use your own resources. Ask around in your community and riding. Get a sense of how people are feeling. Look at the number of lawn signs. Talk with fellow progressives. Use the intelligence that you have about your community.

Most important, let's fight for electoral reform and make our vote matter in future elections.

From the toolkit perspective I am adding two more things you can do to try and maintain integrity wile voting within this broken first past the post system:

4) Get out and make a difference for the candidate or issues you believe.  There are lot of great initiatives listed right here on the rabble.ca election page and on govote. There are activists in communities across the country trying to get out the vote and they could use your support.

5) If you want to swap votes with someone who supports your party, you can use http://www.voteswapping.ca/.

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