Playing the Indian Card

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Vote for Me, Because I'm Going to Lose Anyway

Wynne or Lose.

Kathleen Wynne’s new campaign strategy looks brilliant. It may not help, but it is a darned good try.

Conventionally, party leaders always insist they are running to form a government. They generally insist they have a good chance to win.

Wynne has openly conceded the election. Instead, she is arguing that it is safe to vote Liberal, since they are not going to win anyway. So it is a safe place to park your vote if you are scared by either the NDP or the Tories. Vote Liberal to keep either in a minority position, so they can be moderated.

This sales spiel has the great virtue of being disarmingly honest. And it makes sense. You hate the NDP, so you vote Tory to keep them out. But then you may be left with a Tory government that is more radical than you really want. You hate the Tories, so you vote NDP to keep them out. But then you may be left with an NDP government that is more radical than you really want.

So what if you also hate the Liberals? They’re not going to win anyway. It is a way of voting “none of the above.” And a more meaningful way than just voting Green. Because the Liberals really would have a realistic hope of holding either of the other parties to a minority position.

If the polls are right, and agree with common perceptions, there is more mobility between NDP and Liberal support than between Liberal and Tory. In other words, if this appeal gets more votes for the Liberals, they are more likely to come from the NDP. But that’s okay, too—the NDP looks to be leading in the current polls, so Wynne’s argument still looks solid.

Meanwhile, the other two parties are going to be hammering at one another for being too radical. Strengthening Wynne’s argument. Cumulatively, they are both now saying “vote Liberal.”

Whoever in the Liberal war rooms came up with this concept deserves a lot of credit.

And no, I am not urging anyone to vote Liberal here. This is not an endorsement, just an appreciation of a game well played.

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