In many ways the Canadian election of 2019 is a mess of confusion, turmoil and disarray. No party has dared to make a big stand. As the Torstar journalist, Jordan Himelfarb, writes, the election is a “metaphor for our small politics: personality over substance, invective over ideas, talking points over good-faith engagement, falsehoods and fallacies over truth and logic.”
Himelfarb may be on point.
Major issues, petty policies
The candidates cannot be accused of not trying. Pettiness, smallness and the picayune may have been the playing cards too often used in this electoral game but there is no trump card, pun intended, thank goodness. The major issues common to all the participants are the environment, social inequality, housing unavailability and health care. But no party has stood out as a clear lodestone attracting the voter. This may be the case in every election. However, it is blatantly glaring in this one.
Attraction of the third parties
There is no argument for preferring Trudeau over Scheer, Singh over May or any variation whiched may be presented. Singh has done a marvellous job of demolishing the racial card, May praiseworthy work defending the environment and proposing serious change for the future in relation to energy dependence. But May and Singh are third parties. What are the major, significant and earth-moving proposals of the two major, the ones who should be making them. They are non-existant. Trudeau offers, “More”…just give me another chance; Scheer ducks major policies totally, offering bandaids with the phrase of reinforcement, “We will put more money in your pocket.”
Evasive campaigning leads to strategic voting
This evasive politicking by the two major political parties is bothersome. Canadians need major policies, major strategies to tackle the very serious issues of environment, health care and social inequality. The evasive campaigning by the major parties is unacceptable and seriously wrong for the country.
However, the voter who sees the two major parties are as failing to seriously address the major issues of the nation is in a very difficult quandary. This voter’s rejection of the major parties means considering voting for one of the third parties who have no realistic hope of winning the election. The voter is in the predicament of ‘strategic voting,’ where they must not vote for one of the major parties. Instead they vote for their second choice, a third party.
Strategic voting is the realistic predicament facing many voters in this election. They are uncomfortable in choosing one of the major parties but they fear voting for a third party is a wasted vote.