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Friday, September 12, 2008

A New Twist to the ABC campaign

Oh what an intersting time we live in. This election is shaping up to be one for the history books no matter what the outcome.

In a creative twist on Premier Danny Williams' ABC campaign (Anybody But Conservative) a new Facebook site has taken the concept digital and raised the stakes to a whole new level.

Electoral reform is something many in Newfoundland and Labrador have talked about for years. Though we may never see a truly fair electoral process in Canada or a democracy that gives everyone an equal voice (whether they live in seat rich Ontario or have only 7 seats like Newfoundland and Labrador) at least one person has found a way to have some influence on who gets elected right across Canada.

In a novel approach to strategic voting one Facebook user, Mat Savelli from Ontario, has started a new online group dedicated to defeating Stephen Harper in the upcoming October 14th general election.

The premise is simple.

Anyone who wants to make sure the Conservatives lose in a particular riding can swap their vote with someone else in another riding. The bonus is that they can do it without actually going against their conscience since they can can still show support for their normal party of choice (as long as it isn't Conservative).

Think of it as a match making service for the electorate.

The Facebook group, titled “Anti-Harper Vote Swap Canada” allows voters to swap their vote with someone in another part of the Country.

If you live in a riding where one party stands a good chance of beating the Conservative candidate, you simply agree to vote for that party (regardless of your own allegiances) and let the folks at the Anti-Harper site know that you will 'swap' your vote with someone else in another riding who is willing to lend their support to your party.

For example, if you are an NDP supporter in the riding where a Liberal has the best chance of beating the Conservatives all you need to do is let the other members of the group know that you are willing to vote Liberal if someone else is willing to vote NDP in a riding where they have a better chance of winning.

It’s an interesting and novel concept and as of Friday morning, just two days into the experiment, the group had over 700 members across the Country.

It's amazing what a motivated electorate can do when they are mobilized. Just look at how fast Stephen Harper and Jack Layton changed their tune about letting Elizabeth May participate in the leader's debate after the public started to take action.

In Newfoundland and Labrador things are becoming more interesting as well.

Just this morning I was speaking with a life long Conservative supporter who would like nothing more than to support the ABC campaign but can't bring himself to vote for either the Liberals, NDP, Greens or even the NL-First party (should they run a candidate in his riding). He also doesn't want to sit out the election.

The solution, he told me, came to him just last night. He plans to show his support for ABC, and get his message across, by going to the polling station and simply writing ABC across his ballot.

I believe there's a lesson in there about the art of compromise.


The Lone Sailor said...

"a democracy that gives everyone an equal voice"

Democracies do not give everyone an equal voice. Democracy is the ruling by the majority, whereas a Republic is the ruling by laws. Democracies eventually die because the majority keeps voting for more goodies to be taken from those that produce to those that do not produce.

"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul"

The Lone Sailor said...

BTW..I really enjoy reading your site. You are doing a good job here, keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they pay a federal tax on the oil exploration like other Provinces? I think the voting problems stem out secessionist talk because Newfoundland won't pay a tax on the oil they find like other Provinces do with their natural resources like Alberta.

Anonymous said...

The Tourist office theory is to tax the oil with GST as it goes in the barrel. Then we can tax it again when it's exported. BC pays allot of stumpage fees.