Should the Opposition Parties Collude To Try to Oust Harper in the Next Election?

Having the progressive political views that I do, I am on the mailing list of Lead Now, a non-partisan Canadian organization dedicated to building a better, more progressive government and democracy. I (and presumably everyone else on their list) got an email last week titled, “Maybe the most important question we’ll ever ask you,” and the question read:

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Does Electability Matter?

I recently came across a very interesting post on YouGov, a polling data site, that analyzed whether electability makes a difference in Republican voters’ candidate preferences. Political scientists usually agree that in a two party system, there’s a sophisticated pattern of strategic decision-making that happens when people vote, whether consciously or unconsciously. The prevailing idea is that when the winner only needs to earn the most votes, people don’t want to “waste” their votes on a sure loser. In the YouGov piece, John Sides and Alex Lundry tested this hypothesis with the prominent Republican candidates running in the 2012 Presidential race to see whether hearing potential chances of winning would make voters more likely to change their preferences. The results were interesting, although not surprising. Continue reading