The Ubyssey editorial board could not come to an agreement on a specific party to endorse in the 2015 federal election, but the unanimous consensus was that we would rather see any one of them in power over the Conservatives. To achieve that goal, UBC students must a) vote and b) vote strategically.
Students here are overwhelmingly centre-left to left-wing, and as such, we have a tendency to split our vote between the Liberals, the NDP and the Green Party. Apply this vote-splitting nationally and it becomes a major problem. Because our electoral system can so easily become fundamentally unrepresentative of a democracy in which there are multiple parties, Conservative MPs are often elected in ridings where the majority of people would rather elect a left-wing candidate.
This is where strategic voting comes in. Take a look at the voting history and current polls in your riding. If you’d like to see someone other than Stephen Harper at 24 Sussex for the next few years, vote for the non-Conservative candidate who has the best chance of winning. You might feel like Thomas Mulcair would be the best leader for Canada (or you might just love a good beard), but if your riding’s NDP candidate is polling at 10 per cent while the Liberal and Conservative are neck-and-neck, you’d only be throwing your vote away on the New Democrat.
Voting as a UBC student is easier than ever and the outcome of this election could decide some very important aspects of our lives in the coming years. For all its imperfections, Canada is still a democracy and we all have a responsibility to participate.