I wish people would stop just reacting and think a bit, like this fellow I ran across on a CBC discussion board about the news that Election Canada admits vote swapping is not illegal:
“You vote where you live. Full stop, end of discussion. If you make a deal with someone elsewhere, to trade a vote, an agreement has been made regardless of exchange of anything concrete or hand held (money etc.). It is a verbal agreement for advantageous outcome”
Yes, vote swapping does obtain an advantageous outcome for both of the individuals, the outcome is democracy and not wasting their votes. If you just sit down and think about without just getting angry about treasonous acts you’ll see that its clear that in Canada anyone who happens to vote for the third candidate in their ride (or worse) has wasted their vote. If you voted for the winner, your vote contributes to the makeup of parliament. If you voted for the runner up, you tried, and failed, but fair is fair. But if you voted for anyone else your did affect the outcome of the election but probably not in the way you wanted. And now your preference is not represented in the parliament at all. That is why people who vote Green, who make up betwen 5 and 10% of the country have zero say in parliament. That doesn’t seem fair, proportionally they should have 10-15 MPs, but they have none.
So the system is broken. Vote swapping is an extreme attempt to get around this broken system until it is changed. It is not treason, and it is not illegal because people have to choice to vote strategically in any way they like. This is merely a strategic vote in cooperation with someone else. What this recognizes is that people have full voting preferences, not just a single preference. If I want the NDP win I probably would prefer the Greens over the Liberals and prefer the Liberals over the Conservatives. But our system doesn’t allow for that level of subtlety in voting. By vote swapping you can vote for two of your choices at once by choosing the riding strategically.
If you want to find out more about vote swapping visit http://www.votepair.ca