Liberal MP Joyce Murray doesn’t want Stephen Harper to win by vote-splitting

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      A little over two years ago, Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray said that she had tapped into a “collective concern” among many Canadians.

      It’s to do with Stephen Harper and the Conservatives ruling the country on account of other parties splitting the vote.

      “I have people that come to my town halls and coffees now saying that they just feel such an urgency that we take action because if Stephen Harper wins again in 2015, he will make more changes the way he’s been doing that will make it even harder for him to be defeated,” Murray told the Straight by phone in March 2013.

      That was when Murray was running for leader of the federal Liberal party, a contest eventually won by Justin Trudeau.

      As a major plank of her campaign then, Murray proposed a one-time electoral cooperation deal.

      The Vancouver Quadra MP suggested that Liberals, New Democrats, and Greens hold run-off nominations to choose a single candidate in tightly contested ridings held by Conservatives.

      With a federal election likely to be called either any time after the Conservatives roll out the federal budget on April 21 or on the fixed election date of October 19, Murray senses the same “collective concern” she felt before.

      “What I hear is voters and constituents are very interested in cooperation so the vote doesn’t get split,” Murray told the Straight in a phone interview on April 10.

      According to Murray, she is hearing about plans at the grassroots level that are similar to the electoral cooperation formula that she put forward when she ran for federal Liberal leader.

      “We’ll see if the appetite for that is strong enough that that goes forward,” she said about anti-Conservative voters agreeing to run only one candidate.

      It’s a process that Murray wants to spur on.

      “I encourage people to be creative in figuring out ways to get the representation that they want,” she said.

      Political parties may frown on it but as far as Murray is concerned, it’s people empowering themselves.

      “This is not something that requires any party’s approval,” Murray said. “This is grassroots voters deciding to organize themselves and pledge to vote together.”

      Some pollsters and pundits are predicting another Conservative victory this year.




      Apr 14, 2015 at 3:40pm

      That sounds like a great plan. Good luck.

      Once you are in you can change the voting system so everyone can vote for as many candidates as they like. This will let people vote for "anyone but harper". You still only get one ballot, and the most votes still wins; it just eliminates vote-splitting and the effectiveness of negative campaigning.

      Edward Bernays

      Apr 14, 2015 at 3:57pm

      As longtime Liberal defenders, my circle and I have determined that the stakes are too high to play nursemaids to the current weakened machine. We see good value in the Mulcair NDP. Times change and the current NDP presents a viable national option for a minority government. If the course is to be corrected, they (Quebec included) will steer the ship. Watch as the numbers shift. Decisions have already been made.


      Apr 14, 2015 at 4:10pm

      That's a great idea that some will no like. Its sad that the politicians put themselves ahead of the voters.


      Apr 14, 2015 at 4:18pm

      Good idea, but it's hard to pull off in ridings with several good non-Harper candidates. For example, Claire Martin recently decided to run for the Greens in North Vancouver, where there is a good Liberal candidate. All Martin did was almost guarantee that the HarperCon MP will be re-elected.
      But good luck, Joyce. It's almost too late to revive Canada, but we must try.


      Apr 14, 2015 at 5:42pm

      Her comments are a manifestation of the the Liberal's weak political position and poor prospects for the next election. Vote for the best candidate! The General Election is NOT a referendum on Stephen Harper. The Libs should come up with their own, better platform if they want to win.

      lib.s = con.s

      Apr 14, 2015 at 6:15pm

      lib.s con.s same thing , the only difference is what corporate greed they work for .

      If you want change vote for someone you believe in , hopefully not the aforementioned corporate parties , but vote .


      Apr 14, 2015 at 6:23pm

      Harpo doesn't win by "vote splitting" any more than previous PM with a sub-50% PV "majority." Most folks who proclaim "anyone but Harpo" expect their NDP or Liberal counterpart to gracefully withdraw and will only accept a coalition of thei preferred shepherd is the PM. Elections aren't won by repeating how evil the right wing leader is, the NDP in BC still haven't learned that lesson, but it seems both the federal Liberals & NDP are going to try that strategy again.

      The Liberals should stay out of the ridings beyond urban centres in most of western Canada: they have no hope there. The NDP would need to pick appropriate seats elsewhere to placate the Liberals but the real hurdle is the fact that the parties have made such a big issue about running in every constituency country-wide. Naturally that is meaningless propaganda derived claptrap but such hangs are important to party members and their herd. Both Libs & Dips will pretend some form of cooperation is possible but don't hold your breath. These people are professionals who know they are better off bitching about evil Harpo than being the junior partner in a coalition.


      Apr 15, 2015 at 7:19am

      This, from an MP who expressed her disappointment on election night 2011 that the government is formed with only 40% of the vote, and had just won her seat with 39% of the vote. Interesting.

      Steve Abbott

      Apr 15, 2015 at 8:40am

      Joyce's proposal is as good today as it was two years ago, and if anything, even more urgent. As half the comments here show, many will be defeatist or adhere to the standard formula that says that you must not compromise with the other parties, and yet it is in the ridings where the vote is most vulnerable to splitting, that it is obvious to the poor voters that a cooperation agreement is needed. The most creative way for this to go forward, is in the form of a run-off nomination. As Joyce says, that would not require approval at the national level, but it is clear that the national level has a great capacity to either help, or seriously hinder the process. It is important, therefore to highlight the benefits for the national campaigns. A run-off nomination, almost by definition, assures that the candidate most likely to win will receive greater support, but it also allows the national campaigns to concentrate their resources in the ridings where they will do the most good. Thus there is virtually nothing to lose and a great deal to gain at the national level in the election itself. After the election, of course, there is a greater potential for more allies in Parliament, and for greater collaboration in representing the views of a greater percentage of the population. The successful candidate would be going to Parliament to support the views of a genuine majority of their electorate, and not simply the largest percentage of a vote split four or more ways, and this too, would enhance their closer relationship to their constituents.

      Michael King

      May 8, 2015 at 2:18pm

      I live in Quadra and voted for Ms. Murray in 2011 as I thought she was the candidate most likely to defeat a Harper Conservative. With the advent of Justin Trudeau, the Liberals have swung to the right. Trudeau voted against an NDP bill calling for proportional representation. Their support of the odious Bill C-51 is very sad. As for Ms. Murray, please see the attached link. She should be concerned about being re-elected as should all Liberal MPs. I predict a Harper minority come the fall election with the NDP forming the opposition. Needless to say, she won't be getting my vote again and in this riding, I know I'm not alone.