I voted today. Unfortunately, I’m going to be in the US on October 14. I voted for the Green Party, as I have done so in the last two (maybe three?) elections. For pretty much the same reasons. I have no expectation that my candidate will win, but I believe in supporting the party whose values most closely align with my own.
I’m not a big fan of strategic voting. Even if I was, I’m pretty sure that the Conservative candidate in Victoria has about as much chance as winning as, say, the Christian Heritage candidate. Er, that’s not technically accurate, but Victoria hasn’t elected a Tory since 1988. Besides, VoteForEnvironment suggests that I can take my pick.
Party or Person?
When voting, how much consideration do you give to your local candidate and how much do you give to the national party? I’ve asked this question before, and some thoughtful discussion resulted. Four years later, I can’t think of a good reason not to ask it again.
As I indicated, my choice skews heavily toward the party. Why?
- I care more about national policy than local issues. I’m totally ambivalent about how my MP represents Victoria in Ottawa.
- It’s kind of by default. I lived in Vancouver for many years. Can I describe even one of Hedy Fry’s accomplishments as my MP? Can you? I’m no political news junkie, but I think I’ve been as informed and well-read as the average Vancouverite over the past decade. It’s much easier for me to identify with a national party that holds particular values and positions, as opposed to my local MP whose accomplishments and goals I can’t imagine.
My perception of the party leader–of their competency and character–matters as well. Less than the party, but more than the local candidate.
How about you? Do you vote for the candidate or the party?
UPDATE: On a vaguely-related note, somebody sent me this video featuring local Vancouver candidates talking about their parties’ platforms on climate change.
UPDATE #2: Speaking of videos, I love the aesthetics of this one (thought its message could be clearer).