What an asinine comment. Seriously.In all honesty Steve V. I meant for that comment to be provocative. You see, I've been reading a LOT of Liberal bloggers lately, who are not only doing the usual "Strategic voting = voting Liberal" thing, and calling for the NDP to curl up and die on their behalf, but, what's worse, being so self-righteously indignant that the NDP isn't committing suicide. To be fair, the NDP is also campaigning hard against the Liberals and acting like spoilers in other ridings. But I haven't seen the same level of self-righteous, self-entitled, self-pitying whining on NDP-supporters' blogs. So, when I saw Steve V.'s post, which was itself a response to surging NDP polling numbers in Quebec, and the gist of which was to belittle the significance of the information and to see how the Liberals could bring the NDP's numbers back down, I decided to reply with my version of the "vote for my party or you hate Canada and love harper" routine that I tend to hear mostly from Liberal bloggers and commentators.
This is all most unedifying. For the most part, I agree with the sentiments at dawg's and Rusty Idols. I stand by what I said at Cliff's blog.
In this election, with the paper-thin enthusiasm for democracy in this country, I believe it's symoblically important to allow Liberals to defeat harpercons.At the same time, I can't help but agree with PSA's comment at the Galloping Beaver site:
Whatever the arrogance an corruption of previous Liberal governments, they never strayed as far into the gutter or as far into the methods of dictatorship as harper has.
As progressives and as democrats, we should struggle together to say to harper and his pay-masters: "That's as far as you're going."
But yeah, ... the difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives is the difference between APEC Vancouver and the G20 Toronto.
harper is a bad man. he should be fired from his job. barring a wandering troll, i think that's a given here. beyond that, demanding that everyone hold their nose and vote against their better judgement doesn't seem a healthy response to the bad man.At the end of the day though, I believe the symbolism of stopping the extremist harper is more important than the problem of voting against something rather than for something. It's gotten that bad.
fuck the school of foregone conclusions that says the ndp will never or that the lpc must. the mad clamour for strategic voting strikes me asa good way to reduce turnout. a low turnout is a harper government. it won' be people voting ndp against the liberals that will lose this vote to the wretched frickin' cons. it will be the unappealing chore of voting against your instincts, voting against rather than for something.
what will lose this election for the liberals will be their own failure to attract more voters to the polls. they will lose because they've spent half a decade sucking fumes and failing to serve this country. they will lose on their own merits, not because someone voted green or ndp instead of we hate harper. fuck.
strategic voting is a losing plan.
and for the record, i won't trust parties that play the voter for patsies. i want the parties to go out and hit the hustings with every gram of energy and passion they can muster. i want liberals to grow some fucking spinal columns, generate the best platform the middle managers and focus groups can assemble for them and campaign to win in every riding. i want layton and the ndp to stand up for what they believe and fight tooth and nail to become the government, not to be hand maids or select enablers. and i want the cpc to drive off a cliff into the sea. i have no fucking time or patience for anybody whining that one of the opposition parties was mean to the other one and whah harper will win 'cos of meanies. that holds as much water as the evil monsters stripping civil liberties and crying that if we don't let them lock people up forever without charge or trial then the terrorists win. those motherfuckers are the terrorists. if you have to hold your nose to vote you. are. doing. it. wrong.
And I think that I've been consistent about this. I think my posts can withstand scrutiny to see whether or not I've practised what I preach. (Yes, I know, it's all only blogging.)
Speaking of which ... a shout-out to Scotian! Scotian, you left a comment on my blog and I paid you the respect of a lengthy reply. From the comments section of the "Far and Wide" post, I noted that you are aware of its existence. You denigrated my sincere reply to your comment as something written in a fit of pique. Very well then. Don't bother typing anything for me anymore. You appear to put a lot of energy into what you say, and I thought you'd welcome a serious response. I don't know why you type those things now though. Since there's to be no give and take, I see no point in reading your lengthy screeds.
My take on the polls showing the NDP neck-and-neck with the Liberals? Here's what I'm hoping: I'm hoping that it's a sign that as late-capitalism become more and more unable to deliver the goods, more and more voters are getting polarized. Shit-head Liberal politicians like Dalton McGuinty or George Smitherman, who campaign on vaguely progressive promises but govern merely as un0bnoxious (in comparison with Harris, Klein, harper, Ford, Hudak "Conservatives") are going to find themselves increasingly rejected by voters looking for a modicum of social justice in their societies. The mushy middle cannot hold. That's what I hope. I hope the hypocritical Liberal Party of Canada dies. On the one side, the guys who teamed up with the Conservatives to sign the free trade deal with Colombia can slither over to that party, and the ones who thought that maybe they could get something good accomplished with what was once Canada's natural governing party can join the party that at least acknowledges that capitalism has some serious problems. Then, perhaps, more and more people in the wider society can be educated about the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of modern-day "Conservatism" and that movement too will expire as the hideous aberration it is disgusts and revolts 80% of the people who vote.