March 27, 2023

The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario has had a chaotic few months that resulted in Doug Ford being named Tory leader, and thus, becoming a candidate in the 2018 Ontario general election.

Already people are showing their distaste for the former city councillor and brother of the late, infamous Rob Ford, by encouraging their fellow Ontarians to vote for “anyone but him.”

Anyone but him, even though the current Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is still in the race, has been the cause of much complaining and disappointment for the last few years.

Anyone but him, even though doing so would create the illusion of an “us versus them” situation.

Anyone but him, even though Ontario has been chanting “anyone but Wynne” long before Ford came into the picture.

A Forum Poll survey of Ontario voters revealed 48 per cent of voters disapprove of Ford, but showed the party could still win a majority in the next election.

Lorne Bozinoff, the president of Forum Research, told the Toronto Star, “It seems that Ontarians are not so much accepting Doug Ford and his leadership as they are rejecting the other alternatives.”

Yes, although his disapproval rating is already high, and he comes with a Trump-esque slogan (he’s planning to “get Ontario back on track” and is focused on defeating Wynne and lowering taxes), he still stands a chance of winning the election.

While this faintly resembles the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, it should be noted that fear of Trumped-up politics taking over Ontario should not be cause for strategic voting.
And no, a desire to kick Wynne to the curb should not be, either.

Strategic voters choose the candidate they believe has a chance of winning, over a candidate they actually support, in order to prevent someone they don’t like from winning.
But this doesn’t end in electing the best possible candidate, and it doesn’t always work.

Theoretically, it could work in keeping an undesirable candidate from winning. But in this election, with two low-rated candidates, it’s hard to say.

It is impossible to divide voters between those who will vote PC and those who will not; or those who will vote Liberal and those who will not. There are, after all, other parties in the race. Other parties that, when strategic voting takes hold, get overlooked.

Voters should still be cognizant of the other parties’ platforms and make an informed decision, rather than voting strategically to eliminate Ford or Wynne. The goal should be not to choose the lesser of the evils, but the best candidate.

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