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.