The Conservative voter in 2015 is trapped. Conservatives want a new government, but they want a conservative one. We want to see change, in the sense that we want to see social issues addressed, respect for parliament, and respect for the electorate and their representatives. This is just my assessment, but I believe it is somewhat accurate because I am a conservative voter in 2015, write now the Liberal, New Democratic Party, and Conservative Party are running a three way tie in the polls. Polls vacillate, everyday is different, but essentially any of the big three could form government as will be decided by swing voters, and for undecided voters, like myself, this creates a problem.
Canada has a first past the post electoral system (one of the only strictly FPTTP systems left, the other is the U.K) and that means we elect on a basis of most votes regardless of what kind of percentage makes up the majority of votes, hence when an MP wins a seat they may do so with as little as 30-40% of the vote depending on the split among the parties. If you have, for example, 2 major right wing parties, as we did in the 1990s with Reform/Alliance and Progressive Conservatives the opposition often wins on a lower vote threshold. eg) party #1= 30% party #2=30% and Party #3=40% party #3 wins despite the fact that it only received 40% of the total vote not a majority. This situation is compounded when you have a 3 or 4 way race on one side of the political spectrum as you have had between the NDP, Liberal Party, Green Party, and, to a smaller extent, Bloc Quebecios, during the Harper years. Unless a coalition government is formed, which is rare majorities are won by the minority of voters. What has happened is Canada has a 2 party system that no longer operates with two parties.
Back to the original problem, does a conservative like me, who has no love for the Harper government's malfeasance vote for an alternative, perhaps the Christian Heritage party, which runs a much more moderate and socially active platform than the corrupt conservatives? or do I vote with party lines and hope to secure a conservative majority in 2015?
I’m going to follow this post up with why Justin Trudeau may have already made his greatest mistake of his campaign, but in the meantime I ask, how would you vote? would you risk a split or stick with the neo-cons? or perhaps you're considering NDP or Liberal, let me know why.
Image of Canadian Parliament 2011 courtesy of: DrRandomFactor @Wikimedia commons