LETTER: Strategic voting or strategic thinking?

Reader Peter Galonski questions whether the NDP is really the party that can or should beat the Conservatives in Kootenay Columbia.

NDP supporters are hitting media sites hard with a steady message of do not vote Liberal or Green! Only the NDP can beat Harper! The message I hear is don’t weigh our policy, don’t worry about the leader, don’t consider team depth, and don’t concern yourself with our candidate. Well that’s Plan D to get my vote.

How about this? Look at the policies, look at the leader and the team, consider the candidate, and then vote Stephen Harper out. You may just have to switch your vote quickly. Can you do that? Your candidate can.

At the MIR Peace forum at Nelson’s United Church, Wayne Stetski labeled himself as “a fiscally responsible green NDPer.” It was a colourful line. A few days later I came across a story in the Revelstoke Current from March where Mr. Stetski, the red, green NDPer, admitted that in 2011 he even added some blue when he joined the Conservative party. He said it was just to help a friend get elected as a candidate. That’s like saying, “but I didn’t inhale.” This isn’t a 20-year-old kid exploring new options. It speaks of a lack of conviction and opportunism. I see the same thing when I learn more about Thomas Mulcair.

Then he preached about being the only one who could beat the Conservatives. If you missed it, Don Johnston tore a strip off him since he was already tired of hearing this at every debate.

At the big Prestige Inn debate, the NDP candidate managed to quickly sneak in the same two points. Bill Green and Johnston tried to rebut the poll he was quoting but the moderator moved along too quickly to hear an explanation. So I decided to learn more.

At the first forum Mr. Stetski told the crowd the Liberals had moved up to eight per cent and he expected that would be it. This Votetogether website he mentioned actually shows that, since the beginning of the election, Green support in this riding is up five per cent and Liberal support has increased 12 per cent! So before regional debate even got going they moved to 15 per cent, passed the Greens, and together the two parties have moved from nine per cent to 26 per cent! Of course the Conservatives’ Mr. Wilks and NDP’s Mr. Stetski have both dropped.

The Conservatives have dropped from 50 per cent in 2011 to 37 per cent and the NDP have dropped to the same level. Where do you think those Conservative voters go? Not to Mr. Stetski, the short-term former mayor from the largest city in the riding. Where do you think disenfranchised Cranbrook NDP votes will go? Not to David Wilks. Strategic voting backfires. Just choose the best candidate.

Liberals and Greens both have well thought out policies that are attracting voters from both sides and one has the national strength to beat the Conservatives. Hey, I want Harper to enjoy his retirement too but I want a change in ideas and in style and I’m not seeing it from Wayne or Tom. Wearing every colour of stripe and then arm twisting me into accepting Plan D is the kind of politics I want to change. But thanks for helping voters decide.

Peter Galonski

Nelson

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