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If you're in a Liberal-held riding, by all means vote strategically but what follows is a cautionary tale from the conservative stronghold of  Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound back in 2015 and its repercussions today.

As you may or may not know, in 2015 the facebook group Democracy Grey-Bruce was named "Anybody But Miller" and was full of strategic voters hellbent on spreading the word.

We organized two crowd-sourced Environics polls on our riding's local candidates, canvassed for Leadnow's Vote Together campaign, made homemade signs, and made homemade booths outside of all All-candidate-meetings at Bayshore, St. George's, Keady as well as at the OS Farmers Market showing the poll results.

However; after the votes were counted BGOS was still several thousand votes short of ousting the Conservative MP due in part to the superb ground game of the Conservative campaign and its volunteers.

Many of the strategic voters were also sold on the promise of electoral reform by the Liberals so the act of "holding your nose" and voting for whichever candidate was in 2nd place in local polling was a tolerable one, however it has since become obvious that neither the red or blue party are interested in ditching the current first-past-the-post system. Leadnow has a campaign again, but in only 8 select ridings, down from the 30 ridings they considered "battlegrounds" last election.

Here's the thing.

In hindsight, one of the biggest repercussions of "voting for who you didn't want" as opposed to "voting your conscience" in 2015, were that many in 2019 are now citing the low support for the green/orange candidates here as proof that the Liberals are the only option to "beat the conservatives". Some context you may want before voting strategically, is that the plug was pulled from the bottom the Green/NDP vote by the strategic voters actively promoting the local polling results in 2015, and there has been no local polling this time to my knowledge. Without local polling, it's not safe to read into any projections without having done the research yourself.

Pundits are saying we're possibly headed for a minority government, so if you're indeed voting your conscience in 2019, I say congrats, and remind you that the next election could be as soon as 2020 so projections next time around will rely on better data. In the meantime, if we in Bruce-Grey Owen Sound indeed elect a green or orange MP, there's a chance we'll have unprecedented influence in a minority government.

So with a minority government looming and a climate crisis in progress, I would argue what better time to a) vote your conscience b) make a statement and c) look youth in the eye & be able to say you did something about climate, than by electing the first Ontario-based Green MP in government.

I live in Wiarton, currently a Blue vs. Green battleground.

 Leigh Grigg, Wiarton





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