I'm curious as to how people here deal with trying to convince regular conservative voters to vote for someone else this election. I've been approaching friends, talking to them about this, and I'm having difficulty getting anywhere.
So far I've noticed that the majority of Con voters are very set in their way, and are very sure that they are right. A lot of people have had nothing to back up their points, no defences, nothing but "I like Harper and what he's doing".
I bring up the contempt issue, the proroguing, the backwards drug laws and the unnecessary prisons, and I don't get anything back except dissatisfaction.
A few things that I've noticed that does work: pick something that really matters to them that Harper has done wrong, or plans to do wrong. For instance, if you have a friend who enjoys a joint every now and then, remind them that that would get them jail time with Harper. Or someone who cares about the environment, remind them of Harper's relationship with the oil sands (and his subsidies).
Things that don't work are definitely trying to convince them of something they're sure you're wrong about. Have your facts straight and proof (articles, journals, reports etc) ready, give them, and drop it if it gets nowhere. You'll just tick them off.
Thanks for starting this discussion Chris; I was wondering about this very question just minutes ago! I agree that using facts & logic to bend ones Conservative friends to "right thinking" is worse than ineffective.
I'm going to recommend to Conservative friends that they check out cbc.ca/votecompass. The way I look at it, if the survey tells them they're closest to Harper's point of view then nothing is lost. However, perhaps they'll be surprised to learn they have more in common with other parties.
I base this approach on something I've heard reported on MSNBC. U.S. polling reveals it is common for voters who self-identify as Republicans to like Democrat-supported programs. I figure people hate to change their minds in the middle of a discussion but when alone with a browser, maybe they'll take one step down that road.
I think that the average Conservative voter will not be converted at this point. If they still support Harper after the latest raft of scandals, there is no changing their view. The target in Edmonton Strathcona should not be the Conservative voter. If anything, you don't want to be difficult and argumentative with a Conservative. It will only make them more determined to work to get the Harper vote out.
The target in Edmonton Strathcona is the Liberal voter. From what I hear there is still no Liberal candidate declared. Even if they get someone in the next few days they will be too far behind to have any hope. This is the kind of argument for the Liberal voter, that their candidate (if they ever get one) cannot win. It is either Linda Duncan or the Harper candidate.
The other strategy is to impress upon all who would oppose Harper that they cannot take this riding for granted. The Conservative party is working hard to take this back. We need to ensure that all NDP, Liberal, and Green supporters vote, and do so strategically (i.e. for Linda). As for the Conservative voter, don't antagonize them and many of them will stay home and not vote.
That's an interesting view Russell.
I'm in Ottawa-West/Nepean, and we're supporting the Liberal candidate here.
If you are approached by a Con, how do you respond?
I have not been approached by a Conservative (yet), although we have had telemarketers from the Conservative party phone us twice in three days. The Conservative candidate seems to have a fair amount of resources behind him. They really do seem to want this riding back. It is as if it is personal for the Conservatives.
The truth is that I do not know of anyone who is a die-hard Conservative supporter. Not the kind that would try to convert me. We certainly do have our fair share of Conservative voters in Alberta, but I really believe that Harper is making it difficult to be passionate about being Conservative. I know of one person who is a life-long supporter of PC/Reform/Alliance/Conservative party, and he is not thrilled with Harper. This individual believes that the Conservatives would have been able to get a majority government if it were not for Harper. I think that sentiment is common. There are also a number of red tories who feel betrayed that the Conservative party has turned its back on social conservative values.
I totally agree re the riding-wide strategy: get all non-Conservatives "on side". (I still think it's good political exercise to occasionally practice winning friends & influencing people!)
You make great points! I think I'd appeal to people's pcoketbooks as well. I think alot of people look at how well Canada has done through the recession and think it to be because of Harper. Remind them that it isn't.
Remind them that he was pushing for the same deregulation that we sw in the United States before the recession. Remind them that it was Paul Martin, under Jean Chretien, who chose not to deregulate, and that is the reason we have such a strong economy and banking system today.
Remind them that it was Stephen Harper who decided to lower the GST just a year or two before the recession struck, creating a larger economic bubble and lowering the amount of money in the government coffers, which contributed to our now great deficit and the creation of an HST in many provinces.
The LIberals had to clean up the deficit after Mulroney, they'll have to do the same thing after Harper.
Tories loves to think that Harper is a good economist. Let's remind them how wrong they are.
Excellent discussion and a lot of great suggestions.
Let's distinguish between hard-core Con voters and "soft" Con voters. We should spend no time at all trying to change the mind of the former group. We can try to present some reasonable arguments to the latter. However, a lot of other people are already opposed to Harper and with the little time left, we need to get to them, encourage them to vote and let them know which opposition candidate has the best chance for success. We should respect that some voters will stick with their party no matter what and won't support strategic voting. Lastly, we need to communicate with groups like youth and students who's turnout numbers are low.