There is significant evidence that suggests that voting is a social behaviour – if you vote your friends, and your friends, friends, are more likely to vote as well. This of course matters only if your friends actually know that you voted, so be sure to let them know!
There’s no shortage of ways today, between facebook, twitter, or even a call on your cell phone or an SMS.
Another great and simple initiative is VoteSocial.ca which is helping people find voting booths, self-organize to get out the vote and share that they’ve voted with their friends.
Obviously today’s election with be exciting, hoping to have more to say on it shortly, trying to figure out if there is any truth in what Richard Florida wrote about the mid term elections in the US in 2010:
Democratic anger at Bush motivated massive voter enthusiasm in the ‘06 and ‘08 cycles among Democrat-leaning groups. The same kind of mobilization was apparent not just in the Tea Party but in Republican-leaning groups this cycle. According to a November 2 Gallup poll, 63 percent of Republicans surveyed reported that they were more enthusiastic than usual about voting—an all-time high. Americans are most enthusiastic about voting when they feel the least empowered—it is hardly an inspiring picture. And the cycle is chronically unstable. No sooner is a new administration or a new congressional majority in place than anger begins to mount on the other side and the cycle begins again.
The consequences of this gridlock-backlash-gridlock cycle extend far beyond politics, paralyzing America’s ability to deal with the deep and fundamental economic issues it faces. Just when the United States needs bold, forward-looking leadership which can develop broad efforts to renew the economy, upgrade jobs, spur innovations, and address mounting inequality, it is stymied by a volatile political system propelled by anger and backlash, leaving it with gridlock and inertia.
My sense is that those opposed to Harper are becoming more and more vocal and active but not that there is some deep political realignment (except in Quebec where the bloc appears to be being abandoned), rather perhaps we continue to be in a period of volatility – propelled by “anger and backlash” leaving us with continued “gridlock and inertia.” More to ruminate on there.
I’ll be bold and predict:
Ontario will shift a bit more blue, with the exception of Toronto which will shift a bit more orange. Ottawa will stay red. The BQ will be decimated, with gains largely going to the NDP but a few seats will go Tory as well. The Liberals will not fare any better than usual in Quebec. Out east, the Liberals will see losses that go primarily to the Tories, with some small gains to the NDP. In the West, aside from Vancouver and some places on the Island, you’re looking at a blue tide.
Final tally will be: Tories just shy of a majority, let’s say 150 seats, with the NDP, Liberals and BQ coming through in that order.
The Greens will be, once again, without a seat.
– HOWEVER –
One hopes that the lesson taken away from this election for all parties will be that negative campaigns don’t work as well as positive ones, especially when there’s an electorate who is frustrated equally with all parties. Layton tapped into the sentiment that people want solutions and ideas, not blame and fear. I’ve been very proud of my country to see them respond to that message.
I think the disanalogy here is gridlock can occur in the US capitol irrespective of party distribution whereas, as you know, a majority in parliament/senate can pass more or less whatever it wants – short of a supreme court ruling.
The only consequence will be at the next election. So the cycle will lack the “gridlock” component if, as we had last night, a party can win a majority.