Giving Points to Points in Federal Election Platforms

So, as I mentioned yesterday, I’m very interested in politics. I’ve taken the time to go through both BNN Bloomberg’s and Maclean’s federal election platform guides and I scored each party on their different platform points.

I gave a zero if they didn’t have anything listed at the time I read the article, and then depending on which parties were identified, as the PPC wasn’t listed on the Maclean’s article, I gave a range of points going from one to the number of participating parties in that section.

For example, in the Deficits & Debt section, four parties had answers listed.

So the maximum points any party could get from my system for that section was four.

For the Bloomberg post, I went through it a few days ago, so some information has likely changed since then and I should probably re-do it, weigh it differently or disregard it, but when I completed that task, I had the final scores of:

PPC – 2
Conservatives – 19
Liberals – 30
Greens – 39
NDP – 39

So the Greens and NDP tied at the time that I did this.

I discussed my results with my wife and she told me that I should weigh different sections that are a priority to me so that I could come up with a true winner. Thankfully, thanks to the release of the Macleans article, and of course the releases of the complete platforms from most of the parties, I was able to take another go at it and proceeded to comb through the Macleans post with the same scoring method.

I should note that my leanings are definitely more progressive and I have voted for the Liberals, Greens and NDP previously. I don’t have any specific party allegiance at this time. I am not anti-conservative, but I don’t feel that either of the conservative parties currently represent me.

So for the Macleans article, I came up with the following scores:

So this puts the Greens, a party that has no chance of winning the election and basically no chance of winning my local riding, ahead of the others. So how do I vote? Do I vote based on these results?

Kingston and the Islands has been voting in Liberals since 1988, and the current candidate is well liked and has already served for the last four years after winning with 55% of the local votes. So does it matter if I vote for him or vote for one of the other parties?

One of the things I always tell myself is that there is a per-vote subsidy that the parties get for their next election, but I recently found out that it only makes up a bit more than a third of their total budget and as such, it is unlikely that the per-vote subsidy that they get from my vote will make much of a difference.

So what do I do with the information I have? It is hard to not feel disenfranchised with federal politics when you look at the situation I’m in. The only good news is that Mark Gerretsen, from our limited interaction and what I’ve seen on YouTube, seems like a pretty good guy.

Update: I reached out to my local Green Party candidate, Candice Christmas asking her why, in the situation I find myself in, should I vote for the Green Party? She responded less than an hour after I emailed her in a very personal and professional way.

One line that she wrote really stuck out to me, and I hope she doesn’t mind me publishing it here, was “imagine if everyone voted for the party they thought best represented their interests”.

Some other points she made, and I’m paraphrasing here:

  • Ian Arthur was elected as the NDP MPP after more than twenty years of Liberal MPPs, so you never know how an election might go.
  • The Greens are trying to attract young voters from both the Liberal and Conservative parties with their climate promises and their fiscally accountable costed platform.
  • We need electoral reform.

I really appreciate the prompt nature of her response as well as the details that she put into it. While it didn’t solve the fundamental conflict I’m experiencing, it does give me some small hope that politicians can be approachable and human, and reinforced what I already knew – it is better to vote than not to vote.

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