'Vote for what you want': Strategic voting bad for democracy, May says
Published Friday, October 16, 2015 9:19AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 16, 2015 1:33PM EDT
Canadians hoping to unseat the Conservative Party through strategic voting are missing out on the opportunity to choose the candidates they truly want, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says.
The leader of the Greens says the "Anything But Conservative" movement is "slaughtering" her party, with many left-leaning Canadians choosing to vote against Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, instead of voting for the candidates they really want to see representing them in Parliament.
"It's like it's converted in the brain to a message of 'You can't vote for what you want,'" May told CTV's Canada AM, in a sit-down interview on Friday. "I think that's an unfortunate message in a democracy."
May suggested there is an appetite among most voters for change in the government, and she thinks Harper's Conservatives may already be on their way out, even without the push of strategic voting. However, she cautions that strategic voting may saddle some Canadians with a government they voted for, but didn't really want.
"If you don't vote for what you want, you have to stop complaining about a government that you don't want in power," May said. She added that voting Green is not throwing one's vote away, as a handful of Green MPs can still have significant impact under a minority government.
"A minority Parliament with a party the size of the Green Party can be very, very effective," she said. "Just vote for what you want, and if you want a Green Party candidate, vote for a Green Party candidate."
May said she would not be "comfortable" with the NDP or the Liberals running the next government, but she believes the Greens can work with any other party in a minority.
However, she did say she hopes Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau or NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair will be more open to co-operating with her than Harper has been.
"Voting Green is a way not just to get rid of Stephen Harper, but to deliver a more productive, effective Parliament in a minority," she said.