Thursday, December 9, 2010

Party (vote splitting)

#Reverb10 Day 9: Party

An Open Letter to the Green Party of Canada

Dear Green Party of Canada,

Please stop calling. You're making me feel bad. I can't join your party.

I'd like to, I would. I understand that there are tax deductions involved that magically transform my $200 donation into a $50 cost, or whatever. I do get that you need the cash. And I give you money sometimes, you must admit.

It's not that I don't like you. I've never met a party I liked better. I couldn't agree more that there's no point divvying up the caviar on a sinking ship. And you have a great platform well beyond that fundamental - implemented with excellence across the globe, your policies could transform human civilization, slowing and diversifying the creation and accumulation of wealth to more proportionately reflect the global and human costs and values that rightly should govern our species-wide decision-making. I applaud you for laying them out so clearly, and standing up for them.

But I can't join your party. I think that when someone joins a party, they should vote for them. If your members aren't voting for you, who is, right? And while I may vote for you, and in fact have done so in the past, I am not certain I will always vote for you. I'm quite certain I will never like another party better. But in the last election, the Liberal who had held our riding for many terms of office lost by very few votes to the Conservative, while Green candidates increased their standing.

Sure, he lost our votes and you won them, fair and square, based on the policies. But the outcome was not the one I would have voted for.

Until there is a chance your candidate will win in my riding, I will always have to decide, at the very moment when I place my X, where my principles lie - with sending a message about what I believe in, or with giving my vote to the least bad choice who has a hope of winning.

I suppose I could have picked up the phone, one of the nine times you've called this month, and explained all of that to the poor student volunteer at the other end of the line. But I'm a little shy, so I let it go to voice mail.

Good luck changing the world - I'm on your side, just not in your party.


(Mrs. Which looks around at the bewildered #reverb10 faces around the room.)

What? That's not what she meant by Party?