“The only thing I can figure is that Canadians feel that federal politics is some sort of zero-sum game. If you don’t vote Conservative, then you must vote Liberal no matter how dishonest you believe them to be, no matter how much you’d prefer a different party in power.
It’s almost a good argument itself for electoral reform. It’s sad, though.”
The reality is that my riding is exactly that, a zero-sum game. For whatever reasons of demography, the Liberals can win my riding and so can the Conservatives. I’m sure there are lots of other ridings that form up that way. Others might be Liberals-NDP, some might even be Conservatives-NDP or NDP-Greens or what-have-you. Empirically I have just never seen a lot of ridings that have credible three-way races. Of all the two-way combinations, I suspect that the Liberal-Conservative one is far and away the most common.
Back to my own experience: I really only have two choices if I want my vote count towards someone who is remotely electable. I suspect that there are many people in an FPTP system that feel the same way. In other words, it’s not almost a good argument, it is good argument.