I keep hearing people (almost universally CPC supporters) advancing arguments like “you can’t split the vote” or a “vote for the PPC is a vote for Trudeau”. A vote for the PPC is a vote for the PPC. It is a vote for the one political party willing to actually defend conservative values, fundamental freedoms, and free-market principles. The CPC has no right to anyone’s vote, and they ought not to be taking anyone’s vote for granted. If their base is more and more abandoning them, maybe it is because the CPC has abandoned their base.
Nationally, the “vote split” argument is rather silly. If our poll numbers can be believed (which seems a stretch to me) it would likely only make a difference in a dozen ridings in English Canada. Meanwhile, Trudeau’s vote is collapsing in Quebec and the resurging NDP are siphoning off his support elsewhere. Also, ask yourself how often in recent years have the polls under-reported the support of parties on the Right of the political spectrum (hint – it happens almost every time). The CPC seems to want people to vote strategically, and that idea is not necessarily without merit, but most voters do not understand the poll numbers in their own riding with well enough to effectively vote strategically – which is why the tactic almost always fails.
Chilliwack-Hope is a prime example. The local incumbent, Mark Strahl, won the last election by a healthy margin (8%) against the strongest candidate the Liberals have run in the last thirty years. Despite being aided by the high-favorability of their leader (Trudeau was as yet an unknown commodity and he had great hair), the Conservatives in Chilliwack-Hope were never really threatened. In this election, Trudeau has lost a lot of support from his tradition base (mostly because he has utterly abandoned liberal principles and values), the local Liberal candidate is not as strong, and the polls show Mark Strahl as having an 18% lead over that Liberal candidate, Kelly Velonis. The Green Party candidate is stronger and is earning about 14% (well done Arthur, and good luck), and the NDP are growing in popularity across the nation and are also polling at about 14% in Chilliwack-Hope, which means Mark Strahl has a lead of 18-28% over each of them. So what danger does the PPC pose?
The PPC is capturing support from all parts of the political spectrum. For every two votes we take from disaffected conservatives frustrated that the CPC won’t defend conservative values, we gain a vote from a disaffected liberal frustrated that the LPC is attacked the Charter rights of Canadians. Some NDP like that the PPC wants to end corporate subsidies and empower communities to address the pressing concerns of homelessness, healthcare, and housing through the transfer of tax-points – because communities properly funded are in the best situation to be proactive on these issues. We are also getting votes from people who have never voted before because they never saw a party that spoke as plainly and honestly about the issues as we do.
So, even assuming the PPC captures only 1 vote from the other sources for every 2 we capture from disaffected Strahl supporters, we would have to take 18% from Strahl to see him threatened by any of the other parties, and at that point we would be earning over 27% of the vote – and the PPC would be the one winning the riding. Strahl would likely finish in 2nd place with 24%. Strategic voting requires that people understand the numbers, and the numbers in Chilliwack-Hope demonstrate that in our riding (indeed, in almost every riding across Canada) it doesn’t make sense.
Please, on October 21st, vote your values, not your fears. You know you want to.
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