One of the crime scenes

Sunday, April 10, 2011

the Catch 22
w/ Voting Green

The Fruits of Voting Green

Yesterday I was catching up with some of my more favorite blogs and over at Sister Sage's Musings came across an interesting post, About How Smart Voting “Can Keep Harper Humble". SSM had reposted a piece by John Deverell outlining how by targeting strategic ridings and avoiding splitting the (majority) non-Harper vote, Spiteful Steve could perhaps be denied his wet dream of a mamority dictatorship, which would be even more suffocating than his current fascist minority. This inspired me to get in touch with the organization known as Catch 22 Canada, which was founded during Harper's first cowardly use of prorogation, which sent many disturbed Canadians to their dictionary to learn a new word. I'll let Mr. Deverell introduce the group and its purpose and tactics (bolding mine, as usual).

Stephen Harper, the benign dictator (his phrase), is openly campaigning for a majority – and he might get it. Voter turnout in Canada has been dropping toward U.S. levels. The right is united in a Conservative Party engorged with funds raised by tax credit. The Harper permanent campaign machine is organized and motivated to pursue its large advantages within Canada ’s wonky voting system.
If voter turnout is low, the usual response to a flood of televised attack ads, and if there is no new issue which shakes up people’s voting tendencies, then the May 3 headline is: HARPER WINS MAJORITY. If that happens, it won’t be long until we read: LIBERALS AND NDP SEEK NEW LEADERS.

What can still change this picture is informed tactical voting. A year ago, a small group of people bothered by the Prime Minister’s suspension of Parliament for 22 days set up a volunteer group, Catch 22 Harper Conservatives ( They wanted to short-circuit Harper’s maneuvering toward unchecked majority control of government.

The Catch 22 founders realized that, given the usual vote-splitting among squabbling opposition parties, only a smart, targeted campaign run independently of the parties could deny Stephen Harper his goal. This Catch 22 upstart is starting to inspire discouraged voters in 52 of Canada ’s 308 electoral districts to vote together against Harper and astonish Canada .

The strategy is pretty straightforward, and reminiscent of a plan during the election of 2008 to trade votes between ridings so that voters in say Edmonton, who normally would waste their vote on the almost extinct Liberals, would vote NDP in exchange for an NDP leaning voter giving a vote to the Liberals in a suburban Toronto riding where the Libs had a better chance of knocking off the PsuedoCon put up by the piano mangling robot in a sweater. After all, two thirds or more of Canadians DO NOT want Stephen Harper to represent anything more than some part of Calgary (and not even that, really), yet here we are, five years into a Harper Reign of Terror and a War on Science and Facts being waged in the name of ideology.

Since I am fortunate to live in a island of progressive sanity, where we send representatives of neither of the neo-liberal corporate butt-kissing parties to neither Victoria nor Ottawa, I can't really participate. In my riding the Federal Libs are an endangered species, rarely spotted in the wild and the last election featured a HarperCon candidate that was too busy fighting various criminal charges over smuggling and hit and run charges to even matter. We sent a Campbellite to Victoria in 2001, and after four years of almost daily school closures, hospital closures and reduced ferry service to our communities, that MLA had to go back to his law practice. Even gerrymandering couldn't win the most recent provincial election for his replacement.

The Catch-22 with Catch-22

So since this campaign, which strikes me as a good idea, is not applicable to my area I thought I would check out a riding that Catch-22 considers "in play" and see what they had to say about it. My attention was immediately drawn to the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands, because I think Gary Lunn is just too brain dead to be in government, much less hold any portfolio and of course this is the riding being challenged by the putative giant killer Elizabeth May in her on going coast to coast odessey seeking out impossible dragons to slay. I must say, though I haven't researched other ridings, that I am disappointed by the strategy, or lack of same I have seen so far in this riding. Of course that is to a great extent the fault of Ms. May, who may have already ceded a seat to Stevie by even choosing this riding to contest, with over 300 from coast to coast to choose from. I couldn't really find any advice that voting for a particular candidate would be the best move, but it did seem to indicate they thought a vote for Ms. May would be the way to go here. I think with this development Mr. Lunn is probably sleeping much better than he would be without Ms. May having entered the race.

First here is a visual breakdown of the results from 2008.

Note the sea of polls that are Liberal red on Saltspring, Galiano and the rest of the Gulf Islands aided and abetted with more as one approaches downtown Victoria. A persusal of the numbers even more clearly shows how in play this riding could be, especially when one takes into consideration the allegations of electoral hanky-panky that Mr. Lunn may have benefitted from.
Saanich-Gulf Islands election tactics under microscope

Some odd -- even worrying -- things happened in the Saanich-Gulf Island's riding successfully held by Conservative cabinet minister Gary Lunn.

By Times Colonist (Victoria) October 30, 2008

Some odd -- even worrying -- things happened in the Saanich-Gulf Island's riding successfully held by Conservative cabinet minister Gary Lunn.

One election dirty trick involved phone fraud and seemed both unethical and illegal. The RCMP response, which suggested election fraud allegations just aren't a priority, was disturbing.

And while there is no evidence of wrongdoing, it appears third-party advertisers played a disproportionate role in the riding.

If nothing else, the events raise questions about the effectiveness of current laws and enforcement efforts...../snip

In spite of these questionable campaign tactics the results were:

LUNN, Gary Vincent Conservative 27,991 43.4%
PENN, Briony Liberal 25,366 39.4%
LEWIS, Andrew Green 6,742 10.5%
WEST, Julian NDP 3,667 5.7%

So it is clear that this is far from an NDP stronghold, with the "socialist" party coming in a distant fourth with half the vote of the third place Greens who only had a quarter of the votes of the top two established parties. Add to that the fact that the Liberals themselves appear to have nominated a candidate with at least as "green" a set of credentials as Ms. May herself, it would appear Ms. May has not only cost herself a chance to sit in Parliament elsewhere than the gallery, but perhaps guaranteed Gary Lunn another term and an even more vested pension plan when he finally loses or retires. Renee Hetherington,Business Woman. Author. Scientist. Community Leader, the Liberal candidate this time has the following C.V.
Renée is Co-Author of Cambridge Press’ “The Climate Connection” with evolutionary biologist Robert G. B. Reid. Renée’s academic credential include a B.A. in Business and Economics from Simon Fraser, M.B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Anthropology, Biology, Geography and Geology. Renée was also awarded a National Science and Engineering Research Doctoral Fellowship for her work on the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii.
Renée was a co-owner of a family security business and 450-head cattle ranch in the BC Interior as well as being elected BC’s Cattlemen’s Association Council Director and Executive Director.
Renée and husband Bob live in North Saanich and have two sons who are both in University.

According to the Times-Colonist, Green Party’s May gaining ground on Lunn in Saanich-Gulf Islands, poll suggests.
Of the voters who have decided and say they are definitely voting, 34 per cent said they’ll support Lunn and 32 per cent will back May. Liberal candidate Renee Hetherington and NDP candidate Edith Loring-Kuhanga each received 17 per cent.

So in a riding where the environment IS an issue of importance to voters and every party but the PsuedoCons considers the environment an important issue three parties are splitting 66% of the vote, and if these results occur on May 2, Gary Lunn would return to Ottawa with a mere 34%, representing a minority of the constituents of his riding. Way to go Lizzie!

It isn't difficult to wonder if the Green Party is little more than an astro-turf organization, created and backed behind the scenes by the Campbell Liberals and the HarperCons (ala the Billionaire Koch Brothers whose "small business" funds the "grass roots tea-baggers to our south). After all, outside of "green" dogma, many of their policy positions, when not totally incoherent, range from far from progressive to downright Ayn Randian. As if it wasn't bad enough that the Liberals and NDP (and the Bloc in Quebec) drain votes from each other allowing the Theocrats and Dinosaurs of the so-called Conservative Party to rule for the few, along comes the Green Party just to make sure Spiteful Stevie can continue to play President in spite of the fact that MOST Canadians can barely tolerate the man.

Focusing on ridings that are actually in play, and then voting strategically makes a lot of sense. However, in Saanich-Gulf Islands I see no sign of effective strategy from either Elizabeth May or the Catch 22 organization and I'm pretty sure Stephen Harper is a lot happier about that than I am!@#@$%##$%^^&


Anonymous Grant G said...

Yes to Strategic voting, I too may be forced to vote for the Federal Liberal in my riding..

It will depend on how my NDPer is polling.

Good post, good to see you active Mr. Koot

Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 4:34:00 PM PDT  
Blogger BC Mary said...

Yesterday I decided to try out CBC's Vote-Compass, the scientific tool guaranteed to identify my political alignment.

I thought the damn thing wasn't working when it kicked out my classification as compatible with the GREEN PARTY. So I did it all over again. Same result.

It aint even remotely true ... not since that previous Green leader was running around giving seminars on slick business practice. Fake, fake, fake.

Then two good people told me that they had the same experience with CBC Vote-Compass and were equally shocked.

Is CBC is trying to scam us?

Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 9:10:00 PM PDT  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home