I am deviating from this flowchart for the current Trinity-Spadina by-election.
My riding is clearly contested between the Liberals and the NDP, and I do generally have a preference between candidates from those parties. If the real race is between the Liberal and NDP candidates, and you prefer one to the other, it probably makes sense to vote for the plausible candidate who you prefer.
But for this election, I think both the federal Green platform and the local candidate in Trinity-Spadina are very appealing. I have been volunteering a bit for the campaign. It’s not plausible to think that the Green will win, despite her considerable merits as a potential parliamentarian, but it would be nice to beat the Conservative candidate.
One thing the flowchart in my 2008 post fails to capture is the possibility that only one party has a credible platform on the issue I consider most important. Continuing to expand the oil sands is a really bad investment, and the federal Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP generally support it. Generally speaking, federally, the Liberals are probably better than the NDP on climate. Locally, the NDP candidate seems more concerned than the Liberal.
Greens are great parliamentarians, with Elizabeth May deservedly-acknowledged as the star of the whole place.
Preparing for a comp, working (photography and hotel management), and remaining engaged with Toronto350.org there is only so much I can do for the campaign. At the same time, being peripherally involved so far has been the most engaging encounter with Canadian politics I’ve had in a while, and with voter turnout so lamentable, I think the power of the Greens to inspire those cynical about first-past-the-post Westminster-style electoral politics is a further good reason to support them.