The Tories · The Conservative party has been running the country, as a minority government, for the past few years. They’re not very lovable but they’ve been mostly reasonably competent.
On the other hand, they’re awful on environmental issues, they have a sprinkling of Republican clones who’d turn hard-right given the slightest chance, and Prime Minister Harper is a control freak whose Cabinet-level team isn’t that impressive.
In our local riding, they’re irrelevant, there’s no chance a Tory could get elected here. In fact, we’ll represent a net loss for them, since the Liberal we elected last time crossed the floor to join the government.
The Liberals · I kind of like Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, and during their recent convention, I was left with the impression that a Liberal government would have a very strong front bench: Rae, Ignatieff, Dryden, and so on. Plus, their environmental policies are really strong. I think a Liberal government would be a not-bad outcome.
On the other hand, local candidate Wendy Yuan, while polished and accomplished, really doesn’t seem very inspiring.
New Democrats · I’ve voted for the NDP more than for any other party over my lifetime; local candidate Don Davies is perfectly OK, and even has a chance of winning. But NDP leader Jack Layton seriously gets on my nerves, and they’re not as strong environmentally as the Liberals.
Greens · When I’m not panicking about our economic system, I’m 100% convinced that all other issues pale in the face of the very real possibility that we could fuck up our planet beyond the point of livability. Nothing else matters as much. I’m impressed by the Green Party and its leader Elizabeth May, and our local candidate Doug Warkentin isn’t bad either.
It comes down to this: A Tory majority would be awful, but our riding isn’t in danger of being part of that problem, and I just can’t get excited about Wendy. So why not vote the way I really feel?