Circumstances point to holding your nose while voting Bloc

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by admin on April 13, 2011

The Editor,

Quebecers of all ilk have little access to useful electoral information as it is drowned out by the deafening barrage of talking points and opinion. That is until a little gem of a website called http://threehundredeight.com popped up.

The website is nothing more nor less than a big numbers cruncher that eats polls at one end and spits out electoral predictions at the other. There is nothing partisan about it nor its author, Eric Grenier, who goes to great lengths to hide his political stripes.

The results change on a daily basis as new polls come in, but interestingly for the readers of this newspaper, predictions for the riding of Pontiac as of April 5 were: Conservative at 32.4 per cent; Bloc Quebecois (22.3); Liberal (20.1); NDP (18.4); Green (6.9).

The website also predicted 154 seats for the Conservatives, a gain of 11 seats and a de facto majority Harper government (155 seats are needed for an absolute majority).

Now that is information! And it tells a fascinating tale of division in what passes for democracy in Canada. The CBC website (http://www.cbc.ca) has a “Vote Compass” tool that confirms the intuition that Conservatives generally stand at one end of the political spectrum on most issues while the other four parties tend to cluster together.

Of course, each party has its own pet issues, but in the end there is an inescapable conclusion: the people of Pontiac are overwhelmingly of centre-left dispositions (roughly 68 per cent, and yet that majority stands to be silenced as 32 per cent of their fellow citizens vote in Laurence Cannon.

What can the 68 percent silenced left-leaning majority of Pontiac voters do in order to have a voice in the election? The obvious strategy is for this majority to engineer a concerted vote for the highest-polling, left-leaning candidate in Pontiac, and according to threehundredeight.com, that highest-polling candidate is the Bloc Quebecois candidate, Maude Tremblay.

Voters in Pontiac who are both of non-separatist and of anything-but-Harper convictions now face the unpalatable choice of having to pick their poison: (1) vote with your heart for the Liberals, NDP, or Greens, split the vote, and crown a potential majority Harper government; or (2) hold your nose and vote Bloc.

Such are the quirky and in this case frankly schizophrenic, trials and tribulations of Canadian democracy . . . until we get a real one.

 

Stephane Rainville

Chelsea, Quebec