Voting Together in Vancouver Granville

On Thursday, October 15th, the Leadnow community voted to recommend NDP candidate Mira Oreck as the best choice for defeating the Conservative candidate in Vancouver Granville. We’re writing today to explain how Leadnow’s community came to make a recommendation in Vancouver Granville, and how our democratic process worked.

The Leadnow community is built on the need to bring people together for cross-party cooperation for a strong democracy, fair economy and clean environment.

The Vote Together campaign is about helping people who want change find the best local candidate who can defeat the Conservative in their riding - so we can fight the riding-by-riding vote splitting that let the Conservatives win a majority government in the last election with just 39% of the vote.

This week in Vancouver Granville, over 2,000 Vote Together pledge signers participated in a process to pick which candidate they would collectively back.  

The most recent polling available in the riding showed that both candidates can beat the Conservative, and so we invited our community to vote on which candidate would best reflect their values. 

The Vote Together recommendation process

Leadnow is driven by our community. In all 338 ridings, we’ve provided the best local information about the state of the race so people can make an informed decision on election day. In ridings where the Vote Together campaign is strong, our pledge signers are using local polling - and the candidates’ and parties’ positions on the issues that matter to our community - to decide whether to recommend a local candidate and mobilize to get out and vote for them.

The Vote Together recommendation process has always been about both electability (who can win), and acceptability (where do they stand on the issues the Leadnow community cares about). Here’s how it works:

  1. Leadnow commissions local riding polls in ridings with over 500 Vote Together vote pledges.

  2. Based on the most recent local polling data, we ask Vote Together pledge signers in each riding to vote on whether or not they want to recommend a candidate.

If the polling shows a clear 2-way race where only one candidate can defeat the Conservative, the question is: Should we recommend that candidate, yes or no? This allows our Vote Together pledge signers to not proceed with a recommendation if, for any reason, the candidate is unacceptable based on their positions on the issues.

If the polling shows a 3-way race, where either the Liberal or NDP candidate could win, we only proceed if we also have active teams on the ground. This is to make sure we only try to “break a tie” in a situation where our campaign has more information about what’s happening in the riding, and more ability to “break a tie.” In this case, the question is twofold:

  • First, should we go ahead with a recommendation at all: yes, or no?
  • Next, if yes, which candidate should we back, based on both the available polling information and a comparison of party platforms on the top-ranked priorities for the Leadnow community -- cooperation, strong democracy, fair economy, and clean environment.
  1. If enough pledge signers participate in the process, a clear majority vote to recommend a candidate (over 55% support) and - in the case of a 3-way race - there’s a clear winner (over 55% support), then Leadnow will recommend the winning candidate, and mobilize volunteer time and money to get out the vote behind that candidate.

So, how did the process work in Vancouver Granville?

While Vancouver Granville is a new riding, we can look at historic results and see that it would have narrowly elected a Conservative in 2011 because of vote splitting between the NDP and Greens. All three rounds of our local riding polling in Vancouver Granville (August, September, and October) indicated that the riding was - and is - in play for the Conservatives, with the Conservatives typically only 6% behind the leading opposition candidate. Vote splitting, combined with a slight rise in Conservative support, could lead to a Conservative victory on October 19th.

The first two rounds of polling in the riding showed a lead for the NDP candidate Mira Oreck. Given the volatile, 3-way race, we decided to  launch our recommendation process in the riding until this last week, so that local vote pledgers could have the most up to date local information about the state of the race, before making a decision. Our last round of polling, completed over the Thanksgiving weekend, is the most recent publicly available polling for the riding. It showed a statistical tie between the NDP and Liberals (2% apart, with a margin of error on the poll of 4%).

A number of people have expressed concern regarding a recent poll that shows the Liberal candidate polling higher than the NDP candidate in Vancouver-Granville. The poll in question, commissioned by the Friends of CBC, was released shortly after we started the recommendation process, but in fact was conducted before the poll we used. Thus, the poll we used for the process represents the most recent information publicly available.

Given the real risk of the Conservatives winning a tight 3-way race, and our campaign strength on the ground in the riding, we ran our recommendation process in Vancouver Granville as planned. We engaged the Vote Together pledge signers in the recommendation process and an overwhelming majority chose to proceed to make a recommendation, and then to recommend the NDP’s Mira Oreck:

  • Over 2,000 community members in Vancouver-Granville took part in the process.
  • An overwhelming 96% of participants voted that we should proceed to make a recommendation, so they could rally together behind one candidate.
  • They then voted on which candidate to rally behind: 61% preferred NDP candidate Mira Oreck, and 39% preferred Jody Wilson-Raybould.

At Leadnow, we have always focused on bringing people together across party lines in order to move Canada forward with an open democracy, a fair economy, and a clean environment. The vote together campaign is necessary because of our broken electoral system and the inability of political parties to put partisanship aside and work together.

We reject the accusations of bias and the sensationalist headlines that have emerged in the aftermath of this recommendation process. Thousands of people have built this campaign and voted together to back Mira Oreck after looking at local polling and the party and candidate positions on the issues that matter to our community.

Today, Leadnow completed the Vote Together candidate recommendation process in our final six ridings. The complete slate of community-recommended candidates now includes sixteen Liberals, and thirteen New Democrats.

On Monday, we will be doing everything we can to ensure that Leadnow’s members, and Vote Together pledge signers, get out and vote for our community-recommended candidates. At the same time, we will be working hard to make sure our members from coast to coast have the best local information about the state of the race in their riding, no matter where they live. To help us out in Vancouver-Granville, sign up on the riding page