The Heartwood Institute Investigates Strategic Voting in Nanaimo–Ladysmith

OTTAWA – The Heartwood Institute is launching a project to investigate the impact of strategic voting on Canadian democracy, starting with the federal electoral district of Nanaimo–Ladysmith on Vancouver Island.

It is Heartwood’s position that strategic voting campaigns which rely on unfounded vote-splitting assumptions damage Canada’s representative democracy by encouraging voters to settle for second or third choice ballot options. Accordingly, we are embarking on a research project to test these assumptions and identify what (if any) impacts strategic voting has on local campaigns.

"Strategic voting makes us feel intelligent," says Heartwood Institute co-founder Scott Mullenix. "But our decisions are only as good as our information, and our information is usually woefully incomplete. Strategic voting plays on our psychological desire to outsmart the system, but often we end up playing right into the hands of those seeking to preserve the status quo."

Heartwood commissioned a live-caller phone poll of the riding from a reputable firm and reached out to the local campaigns for comment for this first, of hopefully many, reports.

Our poll finds that incumbent Green MP Paul Manly leads with 36% of the vote, followed by the Conservatives (28%), the NDP (25%), the Liberals (10%) and finally the PPC (1%.)

Download the full report. (PDF)


For more information or to schedule an interview, contact:
Dave Bagler
President of the Heartwood Institute
[email protected]