Voters in Maple Ridge appear to be idealistic about their right to vote.
Also, they are more likely to vote for a strong federal leader or party than a local candidate they like.
Those are the results of a straw poll taken by The News on the streets of Maple Ridge. With the election looming on Oct. 21, we talked to people about how they vote.
Do they feel they can cast their vote for the party or candidate they like best? Or are they inclined to vote strategically, according to whom they think has the best chance to win?
It is an important question every voter must ask himself or herself, because voters are often told they will waste their vote by casting it for a new party, or one that has fared poorly in recent elections. There has even been a concerted effort to foster this sentiment by supporters of the major parties in elections past, and in the current campaign.
We also asked whether voters are more likely to cast their ballot for a leader they like, for the party they support, for the local candidate, or some combination.
“I vote for who I like, I don’t vote strategically,” asserted Linda Torske.
Even if her party has no chance of forming government?
“I’ve just never thought that way,” she answered.
She also chooses the leader she likes best, while also considering what the party stands for.
“And to me it’s about the environment now,” she said. “It has to be.”
While that might appear to point straight to the Green Party box on the ballot, she said it doesn’t have to.
“I’m fairly new to the area, and I’m not that familiar with the local politicians yet,” she added.
Ezekiel Kiramathypathy said he looks for the party whose policies align with his own views and values.
“I vote my conscience. I think people should vote with their conscience, and not strategically – not the lesser of two evils,” he said.
“And my preference is to vote for the party’s principles, then the leader, and not so much the local candidate.”
Kiramathypathy said the party he supports can change with each election. For example, he is originally from the U.K., and was a Thatcherite conservative. But after moving to Ontario, and watching a Conservative provincial government in action there, he sees Canadian conservatism as different in its policies.
“I understand Thatcherism is very conservative, but it did not leave the have-nots out,” he said. “The party platform has to fit what I believe in.”
The prospects of forming government does not enter into the voting process for some.
“I would vote, personally, for the party that I like. Even if was minority – if that’s what I believed in, that’s what I would vote for,” said Sue Cokayne.
She also believes in voting for the party she favours, ahead of both the leader and local candidate.
“I’m looking for who lies to me the best,” said Darcy Gore, “and that’s exactly how it ends up being.”
“I listen, they make the promises I want, and nobody every comes through. I’m really unhappy.”
“I think you pick the leader that you like. They have the last say – it doesn’t matter what local people say, it’s the leader.”
For many, of course, they can both vote for a frontrunner and for the party they support.
“I vote strategically, but I usually like the party that is strategically accurate to vote for,” said Una Haynes.
She is also more apt to vote for her local candidate than a strong party leader, she said.
Haynes didn’t feel compelled to explain that preference.
“I’m 83. I can do what I want.”