Bruce Livesey, writing in the National Observer, explains:
...For voters desperate to end the reign of the Harper government this public squabbling between the opposition parties (that went on in last week's English language debate) is alarming, largely because they fear it will only help Harper garner a fourth term as prime minister. “We have an electoral system where a majority of people can vote for change and still see the Conservatives win seats because the parties refuse to work together,” says Amara Possian, election campaign manager for Leadnow, a national advocacy organization campaigning for strategic voting.
Some political experts agree. “It's most emphatically in Stephen Harper's interests to have the NDP and Liberals tied (in voter support),” says Toronto-based pollster and political strategist Allan Gregg. “He does not want one of them to collapse. If one of them collapses, he loses… He doesn't want any of them to have a knockout punch."
Indeed, while the chances of Harper winning another majority are looking bleak, winning a minority government is still firmly within his grasp. And that’s because the opposition vote is split between the Liberals, NDP, Bloc and Greens. After all, as long-time Toronto-based election consultant Warren Kinsella points out, the only reason Harper has won the last three elections is because “the opposition parties are exactly where he wants them – splitting the progressive vote…Until the progressive side gets its act together he’s going to win.”
Back in 2011, of 14.8 million ballots cast, 5.8 million went to the Conservatives, and a combined total of 7.9 million went to the Liberal, NDP and Green parties – a difference of more than two million ballots. And yet the Tories picked up an extra 23 seats and wrested control of the House....
Which, again, is why we, the 70% must take matters in to our own hands, riding-by-riding (i.e. National and Regional numbers don't mean squat here because voters need to know who best to vote FOR at the riding level to make a difference in the outcome).
And make no mistake, it won't take gazillions of votes from folks doing the right thing to affect change in many ridings:
...During the 2011 election, 6,201 votes was the combined margin of victory across the 14 most closely-contested Conservative ridings – with 6,215 being the number needed by the nearest parties in those races to have won them by one vote...
And, on that note, here are the current polling numbers for Pitt Meadows-LarryWalker, from Environics and the folks at LeadNow:
Do you folks leaning Red and Green see what you have to do out there to flip that riding out of the clutches of the CPC?
Of course, the fact that many ridings will be swung by relatively few votes is also a scary thing because that means that's where the patented vote-shaving strategy of one party in particular can be particularly effective....Which is all the more reason for the 70% to take matters out of the hands of both the other 30% AND the parties themselves.