I should start with a disclaimer that I have always voted Liberal. I grew up in the era of Trudeaumania and I have never wavered.
When I take issue based surveys, my personal attitudes do sway a bit to the Conservative side of the spectrum, but there are just so many deal breakers associated with the party, I cannot bear myself to vote blue. From a woman’s right to choose, to the faith based nature of policy, to issues of war, the Conservatives just bring too much baggage to the party for me to ever budge.
The negative name calling nature of their advertisements and the silencing top down approach of their leadership will never win me over.
So this election campaign was never about me voting Conservative, it was about whether or not I would continue supporting the Liberal party.
Jen and I voted on Saturday at the advance poll. I had my mind made up and wanted to make sure we had a chance to vote as a family and get Z involved in the process.
3 CHOICES: LEFT
I have been very impressed with Jack Layton
, ever since he came in to leadership of the NDP. He has been confident, positive, reassuring and just has a trustworthy demeanor. Yes, his party has some very heavy tax and spend policies, but I’ve always liked the man, so I was willing to entertain a vote for the NDP. His adaption of blogging tools, widgets and Twitter during this campaign has also shown me that Jack either gets it, or is eager to surround himself by people that do.
The Greens never really played much into my debate. I’ve always thought them to be a hippy fringe party, with one issue and not much substance for the rest of the meal. That changed on debate night. Elizabeth May jumped in and stirred it up on each and every issue, and many times I agreed with what she was saying.
I was afraid of Stephane Dion. I admit it. He lacks charisma, he’s awkward, he’s bookish. It’s true. But then I watched him on The Hour with George Strombouloupolous and saw, for the first time, a confident, smart, positive man. [watch here]
So I eventually became more comfortable with all 3 parties on the left side of the spectrum.
The election and how to vote has become an issue many bloggers are addressing in their posts. Darren Barefoot voted Green, because he usually does and his riding wasn’t a swing one. Derek Miller voted NDP, because he usually does and the NDP are strong in his riding.
How would I do it?
It would have to be done strategically. Canadians need and must vote strategically this election. A vote swap Facebook app has even been created to help things move along.
With 3 parties crowding the left side of the ledger, it’s obvious we’re a socially responsible society that doesn’t mind a bit of tax and spend. The problem lies with the Conservatives gobbling up all the right wing religious, family values, socially conservative, small government people all to themselves.
So unless Canadians place their votes together strategically for candidates that have a chance to defeat the Conservative in their riding, the Tories will glide up the middle of the vote split and sweep to a majority.
RIDING BY RIDING
My riding is North Vancouver. The incumbent MP is a Liberal, Don Bell. He’s a former Mayor of the region and has never lost an election in his 30+ year career in public office. The Conservative challenger is Saxton. A guy who got on his horse on opening day of the campaign and plugged signs up and down every major boulevard in the district. He’s been running and running hard.
I heard a candidate round table on the news radio one morning and the Green candidate was late to phone in while the NDP made opening remarks that I only remember as being totally ridiculous and not relevant to the campaign at hand.
X MARKS THE SPOT
It was then my mind was made up. I had an incumbent Liberal who was in tight against an aggressive Conservative. I am comfortable with Dion as Prime Minister so I voted where my vote needed to go.
Election day is October 14.
I spent some time strategizing my vote. If you’re Conservative, there is no strategy – vote for your man/woman. If you do not like Stephen Harper, then you need to look a little deeper to figure out where your vote will do the most damage. This is not an election to be taken lightly.
Vote. And vote strategically.
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