If I had one piece of advice to my fellow progressives before election day, it would be this: Vote progressive.
If you’re thinking of voting PC in order to stop the Wildrose from winning, you might want to think twice. Falling prey to the strategizing of Tory back room hacks who are desperate to snag your vote goes completely against the core of what we progressives should be doing. After all, in the end, it will only help populate the legislature in Edmonton with hoards of MLAs whose value systems and policies are diametrically opposed to those of any of the 4 centre-left parties: Alberta Party, NDP, Liberals, and EverGreens…. and yours.
Some have said that by voting in the Wildrose we would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Correct. But voting for the PCs, regardless of the reasoning involved, we also guarantee that we’ll land either in the frying pan or the fire. At the end of the day, the PCs and the Wildrose will not prove themselves to be essentially different in their long-term policies and legislation — only by a matter of degree and the speed by which they rush to complete their free market agenda. Yes, progressive voters might be feeling desperate, but looking ahead, it would be interesting to ask those who are thinking of voting PC because they’re afraid of the Wildrose how they’ll feel the morning after the election if they found out their vote could have made the difference between a PC or a progressive candidate winning. Most likely what they’ll do is hit their forehead with a smack and say, “What have I done?”
If you live in a district where it appears almost certain that a vote for a progressive will have no effect against leading PC or Wildrose candidates then you should vote for the progressive party or candidate of your choice, and not worry about holding off the Wildrose. Protest votes are a far more powerful display of support for forward-thinking values than voting for the PCs under any circumstances, and a right wing legislature in Edmonton needs to know that many progressive Albertans are paying rapt attention. In any case, this will be a very close election, and, in winnable constituencies, there’s a good chance that some progressive candidates who might not normally have a chance of being elected might surprise by waltzing up the middle to win.
If you’re intent on seeing a beneficial, progressive influence on public policies as a result of this election — and to be sure, this election is one of the rare chances we could have for many years to make that kind of difference — make sure your vote goes to a leading, progressive candidate as suggested by ChangeAlberta.ca in those ridings where it could have a tangible effect.
As the saying goes, “What you allow, you encourage.”
It’s simple. Don’t allow the PCs to have your vote.