The votes are in. No, not the votes that determine who will sit in the next Canadian Parliament and who will be our Prime Minister for the next few months or four years, those come later tonight.
I’m talking about the Forget the Box #ELXN42 readers’ poll. We opened the poll a few days before the official election announcement and it closed at midnight.
Since this was an extremely long campaign, it’s possible people who voted early may have changed their mind, but that was not a possibility. The flipside of this is that people couldn’t cheat by changing IP address. One vote per person, or per device and IP.
The Winner: NDP
137 poll respondents chose Thomas Mulcair’s NDP, which translates to 51% of the vote and a clear victory for Team Orange among FTB readers. I’m not in the mind of everyone who voted in this poll, but my vote went the same way as the majority of respondents, so I can speculate as to why the New Democrats won.
After close to 10 years in power, people are sick of Stephen Harper and want to replace him, but they don’t want to do that with a party that has voted with him on some of his more egregious bills.
The NDP has vowed to repeal C-51, the so-called anti-terror law which leaves what constitutes a terrorist open to interpretation by the government du jour but imposes strict punishments for even “promoting terrorism.” They will also do away with C-24, the companion bill that creates second-class Canadian citizens who can be deported if they are labelled terrorists under C-51.
Mulcair has also promised an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women within the first 100 days of an NDP mandate. He also says he won’t honour Harper’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
These issues may have been reasons why FTB readers chose the NDP. Presumably, they also weren’t fond of banning Muslim women from wearing a niqab, or at least not enough to vote with that issue in mind.
Also, voting strategically to defeat Harper makes considerably less sense on the Island of Montreal than it does in the rest of the country. Here the Conservatives realistically have a shot of winning just one riding, Mount-Royal.
Runner Up: The Liberals
Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada finished in second place in our poll, though remain in first in the recent major polls. On the FTB poll, they got 82 votes which translates to 30%. They aren’t that close to the leading NDP, but are much closer to them than they are to any of the parties on the bottom of the pack.
Since I didn’t vote Liberal, I really can’t be sure why a bunch of our readers did, but I can guess. It could be because of Trudeau’s personal popularity or people thinking that they had the best chance of defeating Harper. It could also be for their policies which differ from the NDP. Trudeau’s promise of outright pot legalization comes to mind.
Surprisingly, the Conservatives got 11 votes on our poll, giving them the third spot, followed by the Greens with six votes in fourth and the Bloc Quebecois and Pirate Party of Canada tied for fifth with five votes apiece. The other parties and the “there’s an election” and “none of the above” options all got fewer than five votes each.
I would have guessed the Greens would have done better, at least better than the Conservatives. Maybe Green supporters voted for either the NDP or Liberals, though strategic voting on a poll that doesn’t actually count for anything except this endorsement article makes no sense.
Regardless, those are the results of the 2015 Forget the Box election poll. There’s still time to vote in the actual #ELXN42. If you haven’t already done so, you can find out how at electionscanada.ca
* Featured image by Patrick Imbeau via Flickr Creative Commons