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Canada

Singh speaks out against strategic voting, says to ‘never settle for less’

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is working hard to dissuade Canadians from voting strategically with a message that encourages voters not to settle for less, but instead to “dream big.”

The New Democratic leader is trying to counter a message from the Liberals that they are the only real option for progressive voters, as they have a better shot at forming government.

Singh made it clear his ultimate goal is not to be kingmaker in a minority government.

READ MORE: Singh campaigns in B.C. as Trudeau turns focus to Toronto

“I feel like this idea of strategic voting has not allowed people to dream big…I want people to dream big. I want them to demand more and never settle for less, and that’s why I don’t believe in the idea of strategically voting.”

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The Liberal push comes as the NDP has started to see its fortunes rise.

Federal Election 2019: No leader should face threats to safety says Singh following Justin Trudeau’s security threat
Federal Election 2019: No leader should face threats to safety says Singh following Justin Trudeau’s security threat

Several polls released over the last week suggest the New Democratic party has been gaining support, rising from around 11 per cent of decided voter support at the beginning of the campaign to between 18 to 20 per cent in recent days.

But, with the party still in third place and the Liberals and Conservatives deadlocked in a statistical tie, the Liberals have spent much of the election campaign warning progressive voters against voting for the NDP or Greens and to instead cast their ballots for the Liberals to prevent the Conservatives from forming government.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau took his campaign tour to Singh’s backyard on Friday evening, where he took a not-so-subtle swipe at the NDP and Greens at an event in Burnaby South, describing his own party’s climate-change plan as most realistic approach.

READ MORE: Why a national tie in the popular vote isn’t really a tie

“A slogan isn’t a plan to fight climate change,” Trudeau said Friday. “A real climate plan, a plan that will address the defining issue of our generation, needs to be both ambitious and feasible. And in this election, the Liberals are the only ones with a plan to match ambition with action.”

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On Sunday, Singh said Trudeau’s swipes at him suggest the Liberal leader may be worried by the NDP’s recent gains.

“Normally you focus on somebody you’re worried about,” he said.

Ontario Election: What polling data tells us about strategic voting

Singh suggested the Liberal leader should focus his attentions more on the voters he’s trying to court.

“Why is he focusing on me? Why isn’t he focusing on the struggles people are going through,” Singh said.

READ MORE: 4 federal party leaders to face off during French-language debate

“That’s what he should be focusing on and that’s what I’m focused on.”

Singh voted at an advance poll Sunday in his riding, where he joked that it was a tough choice but he “went with Mr. Singh.”

Federal Election 2019: Singh tells people to ‘vote for what you believe in’

His wife, Gurkiran Kaur, accompanied him to the voting station. While she was about to cast her vote alongside Singh, she took one last look at her ballot.

“Let me just double check,” she said unfolded her ballot to take a peek.

Kaur and Singh both laughed and cast their ballots together.

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