Voting Strategically in Canada and Britain
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The objective of this paper is to ascertain the level of strategic voting in Canada and Britain through a simple “direct” approach. We wish to show that the level of strategic voting is remarkably constant over time and across space; it varies little from one election to the next in Canada and the level of strategic voting is about the same in Britain and Canada. We show that though the overall degree of strategic voting is low in each of the elections examined, it represents a substantial fraction of those for whom strategic voting is a meaningful option.
We define strategic voting as a vote for a party or candidate that is not the preferred one, motivated by the intention to affect the outcome of the election (Blais et al. 2001). This entails that in order to determine whether a vote is strategic or not, we need to know the person's vote choice, her preferences, and her perceptions of the likely outcome of the election (Blais and Bodet 2007).
There are two basic approaches to the...