Thursday, October 09, 2008

Prominent Green Party supporter Guy Dauncey urges strategic voting for NDP, Liberals on Vancouver Island and forget Greens

Prominent Green Party supporter and environmentalist Guy Dauncey is urging Vancouver Island voters to forsake all Green Party candidates and vote NDP and Liberal in ridings where they can defeat Conservatives.

Dauncey - who says he wrote the national Green Party's climate platform - calls on voters to support four NDP candidates and one Liberal candidate. Dauncey makes no recommendation between an NDP and Liberal candidate in another riding.

Here is his complete email:

From Guy Dauncey:

Please forward this far and wide if you agree.

Dear Friends,

Voting on Vancouver Island

I know it hurts to vote against your instinct, to make that all-important democratic tick for a party other than the one you believe in.

Under our antiquated, colonial, discriminatory, stupid, undemocratic, first-past-the-post voting system, however, when we split the progressive vote not two but three ways, every vote for a candidate who has little chance of winning makes Conservatives cheer.

They are laughing all the way to a possible majority government, packed with Conservative MPs many of whom, If the disgraced MP Maxime Bernier is anything to go by, think climate change is a joke, a Rocky Horror Show of doom and gloom dreamed up by us eco-freaks.

I have been a member of the Green Party in Britain and Canada, on and off, for 35 years. I wrote our Canadian Green Party's climate platform, that was awarded the highest rating by the Pembina Institute. And I am urging all people of a progressive hue not to vote Green, but to vote strategically, to put aside party loyalty for greater loyalty to our Planet Earth.

We absolutely must stop the Conservatives from getting back into power. A Liberal/NDP/Green coalition government (hoping Elizabeth May gets elected) would get Canada back on track with committed action on climate change.

In Vancouver Island North, this clearly means voting for Catherine Bell, NDP - see

In Nanaimo-Alberni, this clearly means voting for Zeni Maartman, NDP - see

In Nanaimo-Cowichan, this clearly means voting for Jean Crowder, NDP - see

In Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, it's a close race between Keith Martin (Liberal) and Jennifer Burgis (NDP) - see

In Saanich-Gulf Islands, this clearly means voting for Briony Penn, Liberal - see

In Victoria, it clearly means voting for Denise Savoie, NDP - see

This is also what 120 of Canada's top climate scientists are urging us to do - vote strategically - see

Just as a comment - if all these candidates won, with Jennifer Burgis in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, 100% of Vancouver Island's MPs in Ottawa would be women - which would be amazing.

To all those committed Greens who think this means I am betraying my deepest principles - I apologize. Our undemocratic voting system turns good friends into bickering enemies, which is a drag. I have good green friends who are running for the Green Party, and I'd love to support them - but it just does not make sense.

And yes, we all want to see Proportional Voting in Canada.

We will NEVER get this with a returned Conservative government. But we MAY have a slim to good chance with a new progressive coalition government.

with best wishes,

Guy Dauncey



Anonymous said...

Under Harper, Canada has become a polarized state.

In the 1930s, France was under an equal set of challenges and the Centre and the Left formed a National Front.

We could be heading down the same road but it would require an accord between the Grits, the NDP and the Greens . . . and if necessary the Bloc.


Anonymous said...

I've listened to Layton, Dion and May and they all seem to share the same core principles, with some minor differences in emphasis that are likely to mean little or nothing against the much larger realities of day-to-day governance of the federal behemoth.

It seems ridiculous for us to be forced to choose between them in a system where this realistically means electing someone who is going to govern with very different principles.


Anonymous said...

LOL, the left cannot even for one moment to stop and look at how our World actually works. Canada is a great country, but it is only a small player in the world. If the left gets elected, the global business community will disregard us and we will become insignificant.

Anonymous said...

So all of the candidates who have worked so hard for the Green Party are now being thrown under a bus?
The Green Party will lose their $1.75 per vote federal funding, and this is supposed to be okay?
If I were a Green Party worker/supporter, I would be telling Elizabeth May where to go.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:55, I'm with you and everyone opposing Harper's government.

The issues are huge. Canada and its people are in peril.

Unite against the challenge.



Anonymous said...

Elizabeth May won the debate. She is the brightest politician to come along in decades. UBC and SFU students will vote green as they see the light. Old fogies will stay with the same old, same old. Layton got my vote. This person who betrayed his own party should go to the US & join the Republicans. He'd fit right in with those losers.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:03 is saying the Green candidates are being shut out. Dauncey says he hopes May gets elected, is that look like she is getting thrown under the bus? The Greens poll higher between elections and draw votes from others during elections. Is anon telling us the bit of federal money per voter is more important that showing Harper the door? I guess to some people 1.75 beats everything. As it is , the two opposition parties are calling for the greens to come vote for them, as they stand a chance to actually win more seats. Greens should start to understand that a few federal dollars simply arn't worth getting Harper and gang back again, even in the minority. I'm no betting man, but to think May will unseat McKay is smoking something even when the Liberals didn't run a candidate.

Dr. Brioney Penn is as green as anyonecould be, and you might notice she is not running as a green but a Liberal and with some folks uniting behind her she can unseat one of the Cons. slugs in Sannich and The islands.

Anonymous said...

What?! Last gasps (from his own foul emissions no less)... slide please..

Precisely, why the secular progressives in this country eventually go NOWHERE.

Ding, ding...end of round 15. Let's see who wind the split decision...

Anonymous said...

The vacuity of the "anyone but Harper" mantra betrays more about the cogency of its protagonists than of Harper's.

Once one gains the self respect to stop tainting your political choices with partisan delusion and dogmatics, and start making valid choices based on what is really best for yourself and the nation (and not a party or utopian ideal), then the strategic vote candidates will become as pale as the vacant mantra they use to unseat the only reasoned choice in a one horse race.

I agree with you. I don't like having such little choice. It is a sad state of affairs in our political landscape that we have only one clear leadership choice in this election.

I like competition and a range of choice...unfortunately there is none in this election.

One must hold one's nose (yet again, park the partisan romanticism and vote on merit and capability. Although Harper has shown weakness in compromising his policies to his critics he is still clearly the only capable leadership candidate fro rough economic times.

So I would challenge the partisan airheads and say that "anyone except the economically inept, incapable and clueless in an economic down turn.

Get some self respect and vote for your own best interests, not some party of utopian ideology.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 4:57 - "Canada is a great country, but it is only a small player in the world."??
Its high time we got over our yankee-induced national inferiority complex: All voters should read Michael Byers's 'Intent For A Nation: What Is Canada For?" before voting!

Anonymous said...

Great idea anon 8:51

lets all vote for the one man with the ideaolgy that took the world to where it is today. Let's all keep supporting the house of cards that continues to fall. Why do you think Harper can save us in these times? The great pyramid scheme has reached its' limits, and ain't no one going to be able to stop it.

Anonymous said...

Lefties unite!
If u think canada sucks, look in the mirror!
After 13 years of liberal incompetence and corruption, you must be joking if you think you can convince anyone other than a liberal groupie that a minority leader could do all that damage against all that lefty opposition to hold them in check.
The liberals are almost as inneffective out of power as they were in it.
Seems you folks must think Harper is a lot brighter than the professorial dodo bird and the great jeanny c!!!

Anonymous said...

Greenies should join one of the 3 mainstream parties, and work their influence from within. How many elections will it take? After this one, when no green MP gets elected? I find the green party is made up of so many differing Canadians with green being the only commonality between them. This party will never be successful.

Anonymous said...

Who do you think invented strategic voting? The 2 big parties libs/conservatives

The reason--To permanatly keep 3rd and 4th parties down,forever.
The conservatives/liberals will always be neck and neck so the need for strategic voting will always be bandied around.

Take this election,if no one votes strategicaly and lets say the results of the election has the NDP with 23% and the greens with 15% of the vote,the fact that we will probably have a minority goverment means we will be back at the polls in a year or so.

So in the next election both the NDP and Green will have the big momentum on their side.

So by voting strategicly you are artificially keeping the true support of the 3rd and 4th parties down.Thus depriving them of EVER FORMING GOVERMENT OR OPPOSITION STATUS!

Cattle I say cattle,they open the gate and you all go through to munch on that RED/BLUE GRASS

Anonymous said...

Here is my response to guy's email - he wouldn't post it to his list - no surprise... here it is FYI.


Your message for list 'econews_list' (attached below) was rejected. You are not allowed to send this message for the following reason :

Message distribution for this list is restricted to list moderators.



It is your logic does not make sense.

You spend your time working on the Green Party platform and then ask people to not vote Green - how do you plan on implementing these policies - by accident?

- The only reason the Liberals adopted parts of our platform is because we are so strong in the polls.
- Andrew Lewis missed out on tens of thousands of dollars in refunds (10% needed) by about 60 votes last time.
- Is your analysis based on any polling? You should take some time to read some polls - many show the Green Party ahead of the Liberals in BC!
- The NDP is against carbon taxes, Jack Layton flies across Canada talking about cheap gas through government regulation, he opposed Elizabeth May's inclusion in the leader's debates. Provincially, Carole James said she voted no to STV while Victoria labour unions told their members to vote no - how can you justify supporting any NDP candidates?
- You should spend time being FOR something instead of only being AGAINST something. Please consider putting half as much effort into proportional representation, that you spend going around telling people "I'm a Green Party member... a vote for the Green Party is a vote for Harper" - why are you in the Green Party then?

Do the planet a favour and stay out of politics!

Yours truly,

Ariel Lade
CEO, Victoria EDA, Green Party of Canada.
Member at Large, Victoria Beacon Hill CA, Green Party of British Colombia.
Member at Large, Executive, Greater Victoria Green Party.

Anonymous said...

Some voting methods are better than proportional representation (PR). Two are Maximize Affirmed Majorities (MAM) and Voting for a Published Ranking (VPR).

To show how MAM works, an example with 3 candidates (Left, Center, Right): Say 45% of the voters rank L over C over R, 35% rank R over C over L, 18% rank C over R over L, and 2% rank C over L over R. MAM sees 65% rank C over R, 55% rank C over L and 53% rank R over L. MAM sees all majorities and treats each as evidence that the candidate ranked higher is better. The strength of the evidence is the size of the majority; 65% is stronger than 55%, which is stronger than 53%. MAM constructs the order of finish a piece at a time, by considering the majorities one at a time, largest to smallest. First MAM considers the 65%, affirming C finishes over R. Then MAM considers the 55%, affirming C finishes over L. Then MAM considers the 53% and affirms R finishes over L. The order of finish is C over R over L, so C is elected. (Note: Instant Runoff would elect R unless L chooses not to run. Since L's supporters prefer C over R, that means L is a "spoiler." Instant Runoff undermines competition, and is not as majoritarian since 65% prefer the MAM winner.)

Here's VPR:
1. Before election day, each candidate publishes a top-to-bottom ranking of the candidates.
2. On election day each voter selects one candidate.
3. The votes are tentatively counted and totals announced.
4. The candidates are given a few days to decide whether to withdraw.
5. Finally, each vote is treated as if it were the ranking--omitting withdrawn candidates--published by the voter's selected candidate. There are several good ways to tally the rankings; simple plurality rule would work well but best is MAM, which elects centrists even if candidates fail to withdraw.

An example shows that candidates would have an incentive to take median positions: Suppose 5 candidates (Left, Center1, Center2, Center3, Right) run for an office. Since left and right are away from median, neither L nor R is the favorite of a majority. Before election day, L publishes a ranking with L on top and R on the bottom. R ranks R on top and L on the bottom. The C's rank C's over L & R. In VPR step 5, majorities rank the C's over both L & R, so if tallied by plurality rule L can withdraw to defeat R and/or R can withdraw to defeat L; if tallied by MAM then L & R lose even if no one withdraws.

MAM's order of finish would put the 3 C's over L & R. Although typical use would be to elect a single winner (districts), MAM can elect more than one. If competing for 3 seats, the 3 C's would be elected.

If the voters are able to rank the candidates, VPR wouldn't be needed; MAM could tally voters' rankings. But VPR is easier for voters; each voter only needs to select a candidate, and best strategy should almost always be to select one's favorite. Also, with VPR a candidate can win with less money; it costs her little to explain to other candidates why they should rank her over others.
Technology permitting, a hybrid of VPR could be used. Each voter begins by selecting a published ranking, but may then rearrange it before submitting it as her vote.

Advantages of MAM & VPR over PR:
1. Politicians will be accountable on more issues. When a candidate doesn't take the median position on an issue, he risks that another candidate will and thus be preferred by majority.
2. Stability and incrementalism: issues would get settled (until the median moves significantly).
3. Depolarization.
4. Although PR legislators compromise to defeat worse policies, their campaigns focus on their preferred positions, which are less relevant.
5. A non-median party that wins a plurality of PR seats is wrongly perceived as most popular and dominates the cabinet & agenda even though a majority prefer centrist positions.
6. MAM or VPR can be used in any kind of election (electing a governor, choosing one of conflicting propositions, etc.) whereas PR can only elect legislatures.