Liberal appeal for strategic votes in B.C. Interior is 'fear-mongering,' Green candidate says

The Liberal candidate for Cariboo–Prince George is making a direct appeal to NDP and Green supporters to vote strategically in an effort to flip the longtime Conservative riding, a move the local Green Party candidate has denounced as "fear-mongering."

Tracy Calogerhos is once again running for the Liberals after losing to Conservative Todd Doherty by fewer than 3,000 votes in 2015 — the closest anyone has come to toppling the Conservatives since the interior B.C. riding was created in 2004. 

In a video posted to her Facebook page Tuesday, Calogheros argues the majority of voters in the riding want a "progressive" voice in Ottawa but split the vote between Liberal, NDP and Green Party candidates.

"I deeply respect those candidates," Calogheros says of her NDP and Green rivals. "But the choice in this riding is whether to send a Liberal or a Conservative to represent us."

Andrew Kurjata/CBC

But Mackenzie Kerr, a 22-year-old forestry student running for the Greens in Cariboo–Prince George dismissed the Liberal plea as "fear mongering."

Instead, she said polls indicating that no party is likely to receive a majority on Oct. 21 should be an incentive for people to vote their conscience.

Tracy Calogheros/Facebook

That message was also shared by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who on Tuesday said, "no one owns your vote. You are free to choose what you want. Don't vote out of fear. Vote for hope."

That stood in contrast to the messages from Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer during campaign stops Tuesday.

Speaking in Fredericton, Trudeau argued the only choice for voters who want a progressive government is to vote for his party.

Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer told voters in Quebec City his party needs a majority to prevent a Liberal-NDP coalition.

Daniel Rubenson, an associate professor in the department of politics and public administration at Ryerson University said while strategic voting is often a hot topic among engaged voters, it's unlikely to have much of an impact on who forms government.

"If you imagine the number of votes that would have to be traded efficiently across the country, it's a pretty low probability even that this is changing things," he said.

However, Rubenson said strategic voting is a valid way for citizens to make up their mind at the ballot box — as is choosing a candidate who seems unlikely to be elected.

"I think you should do whatever you think is best," he said. "It depends on what your priorities are."

Learn more about the election race in Northern British Columbia by clicking play below:


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