Front Burner

Please Explain: The strategic voting edition

With one week to go before Canadians head to the polls, words like “strategic voting” and “coalition government” are dominating the news. CBC poll analyst Eric Grenier answers listener questions about Canada’s electoral system.
A view of the city of Detroit, provides a backdrop as Liberal leader Justin Trudeau speaks during an event at St. Clair College in Windsor, Ont., on Monday Oct. 14, 2019. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

With one week to go before Canadians elect a new government, words like "strategic voting" and "coalition government" are suddenly dominating the news.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is targeting left-leaning voters this week, saying Canadians "need to elect a progressive government, not a progressive opposition" — a clear pitch to voters considering the NDP or the Green Party.

Meanwhile, Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party, is saying the NDP could form a coalition government with others to stop the Conservatives from taking power. All of this had us asking: Does Canada have the best possible electoral system? How should Canadians vote, when weighing all of these strategic considerations? 

For a new instalment of Please Explain, CBC poll analyst Éric Grenier answers our listener questions about the electoral system, proportional representation, and how swing ridings influence federal elections.

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