Anti-Conservative Vote Swapping

By Royce Koop on Sep 11, 2008

A new vote-swapping project has been fired up on Facebook, in the hope that non-Conservative voters can coordinate their votes across ridings.

Aside from the enormous complexity of these sorts of projects, the paradox is that the people who are informed and committed enough to engage in vote-swapping are probably partisans who may balk at the prospect of voting insincerely and, once alone in the voting booth, destroy the honour system that this project depends on.

The problem with alot of these approaches is that it's assumed that New Democrats and Liberals always prefer one another to the Conservatives. That's just not true. And given that the Liberal Party is stronger than the NDP in most ridings, it's NDs that would pay the greatest price under such a project. But why should NDs sacrifice their own candidates when the Liberal Party has generally campaigned from the left but governed from the centre?


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does this usurp democracy?

You are right in pointing out that such an honor system would likely collapse in the ballot box. However, what if there was a sneaky way to enforce or verify cooperation? I do not know how that could be but consider it a hypothetical. [Ten years ago, we would never have thought of people downloading pirated copies of movies before they were released in theaters either.]

In the unlikely event that such a project can be successfully organized, it would certainly pose a unique challenge to the sanctity of our culture of democracy.

People automatically balk at the thought of candidates buying votes but this vote-swapping project is just a different market whereby voters buy and sell their votes amongst eachother.

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