in which i follow my conscience

I voted NDP.

Yes, after all my talk of strategic voting, I did not vote strategically. Here's why.

1. Projections for our riding looked pretty good: Conservatives in the mid-30% range, Liberals in the mid-40s, and NDP in the low 20s.

2. I couldn't bring myself to vote for a party whose leader supports unending war and the use of torture.

3. The NDP is the only party that cares about the needs of ordinary Canadians.

4. I am a socialist. I'm not sure the NDP is socialist right now, but they're as close as we have on offer.

I loved voting! It's so easy and direct here. A paper ballot, an X, a cross-checking system, and you're done. Leaving the polling place, knowing Allan and I had both voted with our consciences, I was a little choked up.


allan said...


John F said...

I'll be voting NDP as well. I considered voting Liberal for a while, but Project Democracy lists my riding as a Conservative safe seat, and the NDP came in second last time. Also, we voted in Bill Casey as an independent after he left the Tories over the budget deal.

John F said...

Oh, and I agree with you about the voting method. A paper ballot, each one scrutinized by volunteers from every party, and a noticeable lack of Diebold machines. It's a beautiful things.

fern hill said...

And this is why strategic voting fails. You OK with a Con majority? I'm not.

laura k said...

Fern Hill, if my riding was considered very close, I would have forced myself to vote Liberal.

As it stands, my vote will not change the makeup of Parliament one bit.

It depends where you live. Right?

laura k said...

As it stands, my vote will not change the makeup of Parliament one bit.

...but it does register my support for the NDP platform.

Amy said...

It always feels better to vote for the candidate or party you want. I hope all turns out as you hoped! I tend to be a strategic voter myself, but given the choices we usually face and a two party system where no third party candidate can ever win, there is just not much choice.

We vote with paper ballots here in western MA also. No voting machines---just a black marker to fill in the circle next to the candidate you select. I felt like I was back in the 19th century the first time we voted here! But now I appreciate that there is less chance for vote stealing and manipulation than when machines are used.

Amy said...

Oh, and can you explain the oranges??

laura k said...

It's so good to vote and not feel disgusting afterwards. How refreshing!

Stephanie said...

@ Amy on the significance of oranges. The official NDP party colour is orange.

Recent polls have pointed to a massive surge in popularity of the NDP and many are talking of an Orange Crush (an unfortunate image really).

allan said...

You OK with a Con majority?

Of course she is. She's fucking ga-ga over Harper. Haven't you been paying attention?

allan said...

I vote for an election night game thread.

laura k said...

Amy, the parties are identified by colour here, much more so than in the US.

NDP = orange

Conservatives = dark blue

Liberals = red

Bloc = light blue

Green = Green

I originally had a picture of a bottle of Orange Crush, but then I thought of the fruit, so I could get rid of the product placement. :)

I like the "Orange Wave" image, too.

laura k said...

I vote for an election night game thread.

Sure, why not. We had fun with that in the last elections - both US and Canada.

fern hill said...

I look forward to hearing the results in your riding. Ten-point spread is really not that comfy, but hey, you feel good.

Amy said...

Thanks for the explanation. At first when I saw your comment about how refreshing it was to vote for a candidate you liked, I thought THAT was the reason for the orange! It does look refreshing!

Stephanie said...

I would love a game thread!!

What do you think of the ban of election results info being published in social media during the 5-6 hour poll closing period? Are there implications for game threading during this time?

johnbell said...

Three reasons to vote NDP even if, like me, your candidate has no chance of winning: 1) it'll bump up the popular vote percentage and make Ezra Levant cranky; 2) it will translate into a financial contribution; 3) it is a way of saying thank you to the folks who carry the banner in fights they know they probably won't win. Bonus reason: what the hell, you never know!
By the way, I think all voting is strategic. I think it is a very good strategy for working people to vote for a party that isn't in thrall to the corporations.

Cid said...

Well done. We all need to be reminded how lucky we are to have the freedom to vote with our conscience.

Greg said...

I stuck with my strategic vote, Liberal. Ok, Liberals out west, please reciprocate.

Northern Girl said...

I like the oranges. Refreshing and NDP colour.

I voted NDP today.

laura k said...

I look forward to hearing the results in your riding. Ten-point spread is really not that comfy, but hey, you feel good.

I hope your snarky remark makes you feel better. Why is it so difficult to address me courteously, as an adult?

I did what I felt is right. IMO that is what everyone should do.

The Conservatives have a 10-point lead and we're all supposed to fear a majority. The Liberals have a 10-point lead and I'm supposed to not vote NDP?

I welcome a civil discussion with you, but if you're going to continue the snotty comments, please don't come back.

laura k said...

JohnBell! I am honoured. :)

@Cid, very true. The next step would be a fair voting system that honours all of our votes, whether or not we're in the majority where we live.

@NG, well done! I forgot that although you are "new" to Canada, you are Canadian! Terrific.

laura k said...

@Stephanie, it seems to me the embargo is impossible to enforce, which makes it kind of silly. I'm not going to blog any results (not my thing anyway), so I think a game thread would be ok. It's just a bunch of people watching returns together, which would be happening anyway. Your thoughts?

janfromthebruce said...

I voted for my preference. Interestingly today on pundits' guide, my riding - Huron-Bruce - is a contested riding between the Cons & NDP - meanwhile project democracy is telling people to vote liberal.

We need to get rid of those strategic voting sites because I will be some pissed if Grant loses because some liberal strategic sites (who don't tell you they are liberal backed & operated) tell you to vote Liberal.

See my blog post today!

And thanks for voting the way that makes you feel good - oh what a feeling!

Andrea said...

I voted red.
With what has been happening in my oh so dark blue riding these days I think that red just might give them a run for their money. Harper even showed up in our area this weekend!! He is scared. hehehehe
I really really hope so.
some winds of change would sure be nice.

laura k said...

We need to get rid of those strategic voting sites because I will be some pissed if Grant loses because some liberal strategic sites (who don't tell you they are liberal backed & operated) tell you to vote Liberal.

I think the strategic voting sites are very useful. I know of none that are Liberal-based. For many ridings, Project Democracy urges voters to vote NDP or their preference.

No one should consult only one source - about anything! - but I'm grateful that people have put the work into making those sites.

I trust "we need to get rid of..." is a quickly-typed phrase and not an actual recommendation. Free speech and all that.

laura k said...

Harper even showed up in our area this weekend!! He is scared.


Dharma Seeker said...

Yay! Happy first federal election as a Canadian citizen! I am just back from voting myself and was wondering what you'd think of the voting process... we hear so many things here about different systems in the USA, "chads", electronics, etc. I was wondering what you'd think of our system :)

fabelhaftewelt said...

Good choice - I am glad you could follow your conscience!

Stephanie said...

Harper was in London yesterday too. It seems to me he is spending a litle too much time in these parts but then the rural community that surrounds London is all blue!

One note of hope @JanfromtheBruce. My three nephews (from Kincardine) were here on the weekend and gushing about the NDP and their union support/support for unions!

I _really_ never thought I would see a day like this! I was so excited to hear a conversation at the dinner table about their desire to vote for the NDP!! I hope you will see the change in your parts.

laura k said...

@Matthias, thank you :)

@Kim, I think I put it in this post! Read to the end, it's not so long. ;) Also, Allan's thoughts, which I share.

@Stephanie, I know, it's exciting!! What it will translate to in terms of seats... that may be somewhat disappointing. (Or not, we don't know.) But people's desire for change is REAL, and Canadians' willingness to contemplate the NDP is very real, too!

laura k said...

Fern Hill tweets:

fernhilldammit Fern Hill
Planned to vote strategically, then changed mind at last min? http://bit.ly/kdbQtT You're no friend of mine. #elxn41 #cdnpoli

Very nice.

Even though my riding is now safe from Conservative clutches.

Dharma Seeker said...

Sorry, I should have been clearer. I had been wondering what you would think so it was neat to see your thoughts in the post (I did read it all!).

Allan's post is too awesome, but reading it I just realized that nobody ripped the stub off my ballot! They didn't do it for the person in front of me either. I hope that doesn't mean my ballot is invalid! I've been hearing murmers of problems at polling stations, but there always are some issues.

tornwordo said...

I felt so happy too voting NDP. What was really exciting was enjoying a beer yesterday with two staunch separatists who also told me they were voting that way. I can't wait to see Quebec's results tonight.

laura k said...

@Kim, ah-ha, yes, I loved it! The simplicity, the transparency, the low-tech-ness. I hope there was nothing wrong with your vote! It is badly needed in your riding. Should you call Elections Canada? (Would it matter after the fact?)

@Tornwordo, that is very cool!!

impudent strumpet said...

Kim, you might call Elections Canada anyway just in case it does matter and there is still something you can do about it. And also they should know if someone is doing that important part of their job wrong.

PaulM said...

Agree with Laura K. It depends on your riding. Mine has traditionally been Liberal with the hated Tories second and the NDP a distant third. So if I vote with my heart I might as well vote for Hubris I. If the NDP overtake the Liberals one day then I'll be only too happy to vote NDP.

impudent strumpet said...

I tweeted Kim already, but I just wanted to add this in case anyone googles their way here:

My mother, who has worked for several elections, says that your ballot is still perfectly valid if they don't tear off the number. The purpose of the number is to make sure they've counted all the ballots they handed out. If they don't tear it off before it goes in the box, they tear it off while counting. No biggie.