If my wife gets confused about civics, anyone can get confused about civics. Give me a second to explain strategic voting:
In this riding, only two kinds of people should vote strategically:
- Conservatives who are worried about Paul Ferreira (NDP) winning
- Greens who are worried about Laura Albanese (Lib) winning
Nobody else should vote strategically: in particular, if you, like my wife, generally are NDP but are worried about a Conservative Premier, there is no point in voting Liberal. It cannot make a difference.
Here’s why: you can only elect your MPP. You cannot elect the Premier or the governing party. You get one vote: for your MPP. C’est tout.
You get to choose who sits in York South–Weston’s seat. The party that wins the most seats gets to form the government.¹
If you vote NDP and the Liberals win this seat, but the Conservatives win the most seats, then the Conservatives form the government.
If you vote Liberal, the Liberals win this seat, but the Conservatives win the most seats, then the Conservatives form the government.
If you vote NDP and the NDP win this seat, but the Conservatives win the most seats, well, there you go. You got what you could get. Voting Liberal would not have changed a thing.
Why, then, should the Conservatives and Greens in YSW vote strategically? With love and respect to Andrew Ffrench and Jessica Higgins, they don’t stand a chance here. Would that it were otherwise, but it is not; this riding has been a close fight between the NDP and Liberals for years. A conservative here would probably prefer a Liberal in the seat to the NDP, and her vote for Ffrench would be unlikely to get him elected. She should² vote for Albanese, to improve Albanese’s chances. Greens are the same, except for the NDP. (This assumes, of course, that the Tories have more in common with the Grits and Greens have a touch of orange. That may not be true, especially in this election, but I am done with this civics lesson now.)
¹ Yes, coalition governments are an exception, and they never happen, so whatever.
² “Should” is a funny word. I’m not saying this is the moral thing to do, just the realist thing to do.