We are the 61%

In the May 2011 federal election, voter turnout was 61%. In the same election, all other parties except the winner received 61% of the vote.

In other words, of the 61% of us who voted, 61% of us voted against the majority government that took power.

Usually 61% runs the show; but not now.

And it looks like it will happen again. Why? To quote ABBA: “The winner takes it all!”

The Conservative strategy is a 39% strategy. They need 39% of Canadians not to vote in 2015. And they need 39% of the popular vote to get a majority again. These are modest goals.

They also need progressives to split their vote as equally as possible between the other two mainstream parties.

The Conservative government has announced a Budget with two big initiatives they knew their 39% supported but their opposition particularly disliked – and for the same reasons.

Both opposition parties have vilified the $10,000 TFSA and income splitting because they favour a rich minority. They split evenly on other issues. Their leaders are equally strong.

With equal messages and equally skilled players, the opposition parties are racing towards equal showings. But in this poker game, a single ‘3’ can beats a pair of 3’s.

The big problem for all of us as voters is that we are not wired to play games where winners lose. This is why the lead-up to this election is so confusing.

But we need to get used to it.

Both opposition parties appear as if they do not understand the game they are in. They are both trying to woo the 61% with the same message. And it’s so disheartening that perhaps only 61% of us will vote in the fall.

Perhaps something will change after the next election. After all, we are the 61%.


see also: http://www.nationalobserver.com/2015/09/24/news/how-trudeau-and-mulcair-will-hand-victory-harper (written 5 months after this post)