Most Canadians heading to the polls this election will agree on one thing, we don't want to endure another Harper Government.
Strategic voting is often put forward as the smartest way of ensuring that doesn't happen, meaning despite your own preferences you vote for the candidate that has the best chance of beating the Conservative in your riding. Here in East Van this argument doesn't hold water. Over the last five elections, the Conservative Party only managed to capture an average of 15% of the vote in the riding of Vancouver East.
If someone tries to play the vote-splitting card on you and discourages you from voting Green for fear of a Conservative winning here, we hope you'll remember these three handy things. They clearly demonstrate that it is a non-issue, freeing you up to vote for the kind of representation you truly want in Ottawa.
Here are three main reasons why vote splitting is a non-issue in Vancouver East:
Reason #1: This is a progressive riding.
The Conservatives have never won the riding of Vancouver East, and while they came in second last election in terms of number of votes, Libby Davies led by almost 20,000 votes. In fact she had brought in more votes than the Liberal and Conservative candidates combined.
In an April 2015 Georgia Straight article titled Here's how to thwart Stephen Harper's Conservatives in key Lower Mainland ridings, the author states the following:
Reason #2: The data speaks for itself.
As the graphic below shows, even if the progressive vote was "split" in half, the Conservative vote is still too low to win the seat. Same thing with the Liberals.
Reason #3: The Conservative nomination process is still uncontested in Vancouver East.
Only one conservative candidate has stepped up to run, all other parties had 2 or more candidates run for nomination. This is significant because this is the first three-way race to form Government in Canadian history, which means many strong new candidates are putting their names forward. The fact that no other Conservative candidates have stepped up to run just shows that not even they think it's possible to win here.
So let's watch statements around a so-called "Conservative threat" in Vancouver East closely. If we hear the NDP or the Liberals pushing this rhetoric, it will be nothing more than old-school political scare tactics that are undemocratic and not what progressive politics should be - honest, transparent and fact-based.
In reality, the riding of Vancouver East (Hastings Sunrise, Grandview-Woodland, Mt. Pleasant, Strathcona, Chinatown, DTES- Oppenheimer, Gastown, Victory Square Park) is the safest riding in Canada to VOTE GREEN.