Strategic Voting and the 2011 Federal Election - A presentation by National Representative, Bill Murnighan

Toronto, Ontario

August 23, 2011


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CAW Ontario Election Leadership Meeting
CAW Ontario Election Leadership Meeting
dated: August 23, 2011

Toronto, Ontario
August 23, 2011

      

Toronto, Ontario
August 23, 2011


Bill Murnighan
CAW National Representative

       "So a bit of a report back on what happened in the Federal election, just to review what our election strategy has been. We said anything but conservative. Support acceptable NDP incumbents. I had to put that word acceptable in there, if you recall there was a number of incumbents that supported scraping the long gun registry and we told them that we would not be supporting their candidacy and we had to stick with our word obviously. Support the NDP where there was a chance to win, in Quebec support the  Bloc and of course support stopping Harper. We had a campaign and we were very, I think, successful among our membership and our communities of issue-based activism and leadership rallies.

If you remember from Ottawa we produced materials, we had meetings, we talked about Healthcare, we talked about pensions, we talked about jobs in the economy, the things that really mattered to people and got out there and advocated on behalf of those things and also we said; "Well we also need to do a list", of fifty slim win ridings where we urged voters to keep the conservatives out. We identified those as having a margin of win of less than ten percent. And so we said this is where you have to pay attention. It wasn't just us saying this, many people were coming to a similar conclusion and the bad news is, as we found out, that is exactly what happened. This list of folks where the conservatives were going to win by split votes was a list of fifty and thirty of those seats on our list were won by the conservatives by a split between the non conservative vote. In total he got twenty-three more seats. Twenty-two of those net gains he got in Ontario. In riding after riding they snuck up the middle and won the seat. But it really is about Ontario and Ontario gave him that majority.

 A little bit more detail on our strategy and what we did as a union specifically in the out come. So we supported twenty nine NDP incumbents and of those twenty eight won. These are the conclusions I would draw now that we are thinking about the provincial election. Number one, the vote splitting on the centre left remains a huge problem and I think we need to address that question at some point longer term. When we have the Liberals, the NDP, the Greens and the Bloc, when looking at the federal scene, all with somewhat similar platforms against a united right, this problem will continue over and over again. Thinking about other lessons and conclusions I would draw, one of the most hopeful ones is that there has been no shift to the right in this country. The voters actually, I would say, in Canada turned left while we elected a right wing majority. Only in Canada can we do that, isn't that brilliant, somehow we do that.

Now the tough part is of course, just like the federal election, many see a Hudak majority. We've got forty two percent, forty one percent and the way the numbers and the math falls out, the same as we have in the federal system, that delivers a majority to Hudak. We have our work cut out for us folks there are a number of dynamics at work and we have a lot of work to do over the coming months. So thanks for your attention this morning I appreciate that."


OCTOBER 6 VOTE ONTARIO PROVINCIAL ELECTION


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