With just one week to go until the federal election, some voters are getting creative in an effort to defeat the Harper Conservatives.
You’ve heard of strategic voting, but what about vote swapping?
It’s a bit more complex. A voter in a riding where their preferred party likely won’t win based on polling, “swaps” their vote with a person in a different riding facing the same problem.
The grassroots initiative has popped up on a Facebook page entitled “Vote Swap Canada 2015.”
There, Jeff Talbot in the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies agrees to swap his vote with Sean Scammell living in Winnipeg South Centre.
“Been here since ’88, always voted Liberal. Strategic voting 2015 suggests I vote NDP. Looking for swappers who are willing to vote Liberal in a riding where it’ll count,” Talbot writes.
Ontario Green candidate Constantine Kritsonis is urging his colleagues in losing ridings to encourage vote-swapping.
Kritsonis wants his supporters to swap votes with Liberals in Victoria, where Green candidate Jo-Ann Roberts has a real shot of winning.
“This is what turns young people off to voting — this electoral system, where young people go to the polls, and it makes absolutely no difference that they went. By vote swapping, we can actually give meaning to our vote, and encourage a greater turnout.”
Dorothy Sitek with Elections Canada says potential swappers should be cautious.
“They could be subject to misrepresentation. For example, someone could be acting under multiple or false identities to trick them into voting for a particular candidate.”
A handful of voters from B.C. have made their pitches online to exchange votes.
Donna Barker, who lives in the riding of West Vancouver- Sunshine Coast- Sea to Sky, says she’s a New Democrat to the core, but it appears the Liberals have the best chance of snatching the seat from the Tories.
“I was standing in line to vote on Saturday with my husband and my son. I actually had a panic attack; I almost started to cry with the thought I was going to be voting for the Liberal candidate. It was that emotional and that visceral for me.”
So she took the “Vote Swap Canada 2015” Facebook page making a pitch to cast a ballot for the Liberals in her riding, if someone else agrees to vote NDP in another riding.
No response yet, but she says, at least it would clear her conscience.