SAVAGE: Canadian election 2021: Do strategic voting campaigns actually work?

Larry Savage, Professor of Labour Studies at Brock University, had a piece recently published in The Conversation about the impact of strategic voting in Canada.

He writes:

 “Labour unions and other progressive organizations in Canada have increasingly embraced strategic voting as a preferred strategy to defeat Conservative politicians. But as we approach the Sept. 20 federal election, it’s worth asking: Does the tactic really work?

Strategic voting occurs when a voter casts a ballot not for their preferred candidate, but for the candidate they think is best positioned to defeat their least desired candidate. 

For many anti-Conservative voters with NDP sympathies, that has traditionally meant voting Liberal in districts where the Liberals and Conservatives are competitive, but New Democrats are weak. In the 2019 election, polls suggested as many as a third of Canadian voters cast their ballots strategically.

While most unions continue to endorse New Democrats in districts where the party is competitive, the labour movement as a whole has gradually shifted its electoral priorities away from exclusive partnerships with the NDP towards anti-Conservative strategic voting. This shift has primarily benefited the Liberals.”

Continue reading the full article here.

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