Post updated below
The option to formally Decline Your Vote in the Ontario provincial election tomorrow has been getting some press, with the OttawaCitizen even giving detailed instructions on how to do it.
It's a brilliant strategy when you think about it - getting people in a province with under 50% voter turnout in the last provincial election to think they will be making a difference this time by refusing to vote. Activism! Stand up for your right not to vote!
And who benefits from lower voter turnout when the contest is between the Harper/Hudak/Ford TeaCon Trifecta entry vs the other guys that progressives are generally pissed at and feeling "none of the above" about?
The man behind the Decline Your Vote campaign is former Campaign Research employee Paul Synnott.
Quick refresher on Campaign Research from principal Kouvalis :
Synnott left Campaign Research in April 2010 to launch his own company, Polisource, from May 2010 to Dec. 2011, and rolled out his first Decline Your Vote campaign in Sept 2011:
"Polisource.ca is a New Media Solutions company focusing on conservative Canadian Politics at the Municipal, Provincial and Federal levels.Getting people to suppress their own votes would definitely qualify as cost-effective.
Political campaigns in Canada are subject to strict spending limits. Polisource.ca will help you deliver your message through the Internet utilizing the latest tools in a efficient, cost-effective manner."
And despite his particular dislike of Hudakery, Synnott's conservative creds are not in doubt. He has worked on conservative election campaigns in Ontario and here's his upload of Kory Teneycke's Oily the Splot attack ad attacking Dion's carbon tax back in 2008.
But here's something I don't get.
From Synnott's Decline Your Vote website :
Join us in spreading the word about the option of "Declining Your Vote" [Us?]
We are looking for individuals in all ridings to spread the word locally. There will be simple flyers you can download and distribute in your neighbourhood or across your city or town. We will have lawn signs available to print as well as a utility to make phone calls to educate people.
Social media will be a large part of our initiative, so if you can help us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram - sign up below!
The following ridings are our "Top 10" to target : [Wed night update : additional riding info in red and orange was added by me and is not in original Decline post]
Brant LIB by 1106 votesWhy them? I don't know enough about local Ontario politics to know why those "Top 10" ridings in particular were chosen to
Etobicoke Centre LIB by 7960 votes
Kitchener-Waterloo NDP by 3748 votes
London-West NDP by 3278 votes
Mississauga-Erindale LIB by 4258 votes
Oakridges-Markham LIB by 4928 votes
Ottawa South LIB by 1279 votes
St. Catherines LIB by 1705 votes
Windsor-West LIB by 3583 votes
Thunder Bay-Atikokan LIB by 438 votes
h/t Reddit via Stephen Lautens
Wed night Update : An answer as to why those particular ridings were targeted was provided by Brian Busby and Beijing York in comments. Seems they're currently held by Lib or NDP candidates in the 2011 provincial election and 2013 by-elections, while 8 out of 10 of those ridings voted Con federally.
I've now added this info to Paul Synnott's original Decline Your Vote list above, as per Elections Ontario.
Thurs am update : More dumbass media promotion of Decline :
Windsor Star : Decline your vote ?
NaPo : Ontario Election 2014: How to vote for 'none of the above'
and a good one from Alheli Picazo : 'Decline your vote' makes no difference - with Brian Busby and Synnott in comments!