catch 22 harper conservatives

From the things-I-didn't-get-to-while-in-school pile, I hope you've all heard about the Catch 22 Conservatives campaign. This is "a national, grassroots, pro-democracy campaign to help defeat the Conservative government in the next election". Catch 22 Conservatives is not affiliated with any political party. It has one goal: get rid of this government. And it's targeting specific ridings in order to do so.

It's an intelligent and focused strategy and there are ways we can all get involved. The ridings are listed here:

British Columbia
North Vancouver - Andrew Saxton
Surrey North - Dona Cadman
Vancouver Island North - John Duncan

Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar (SK) - Kelly Block
Palliser (SK) - Roy Boughen
Saint Boniface (MB) - Shelley Glover

Brant - Phil McColeman
Essex - Jeff Watson
Haldimand—Norfolk - Hon. Diane Finley
Huron—Bruce - Benjamin Lobb
Kenora - Greg Rickford
Kitchener—Waterloo - Peter Braid
Kitchener Centre - Stephen Woodworth
London West - Ed Holder
Mississauga—Erindale - Bob Dechert
Oak Ridges—Markham - Paul Calandra
Oakville - Terence Young
Oshawa - Collin Carrie
Ottawa—Orléans - Royal Galipeau
Ottawa West—Nepean - Hon. John Baird

Beauport—Limoilou - Sylvie Boucher
Pontiac - Hon. Lawrence Cannon
Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean - Denis Lebel

Atlantic Canada
Fredericton (NB - Keith Ashfield
Miramichi (NB) - Tilly O'Neill-Gordon
Saint John (NB) - Rodney Weston
South Shore—St. Margaret's (NS) - Gerald Keddy
West Nova (NS) - Greg Kerr
Egmont (PE) - Gail Shea

Northern Canada
Nunavut - Hon. Leona Aglukkaq

They're calling these ridings "Tier 1". There may be a Tier 2 as the campaign proceeds.

Each riding has a profile (here's an example that might interest a few wmtc readers) and a group you can join, to share ideas and coordinate actions.

Here's the pitch from the campaign itself.
The Harper Conservatives' stubborn minority government has been a disaster. Whether it’s the economy, international relations, the environment, human rights or democracy, they have a hard right-wing agenda. They have a long term plan. And they are already implementing it in steps. Their coup de grace would be a phony majority government with 100% of the power. After four years, we’ve tasted the appetizers. Can we afford to be complacent about the entrees?

So, what are anti-Conservative voters (the majority) to do under a first past the post voting system? We cannot expect the political parties to change their spots. Competition is in their genetic make-up. It would be a futile distraction to rely on the opposition to come up with a plan to defeat the Conservatives. They seem quite comfortable with Harper at the helm. Meanwhile, Rome is burning – or should I say, the ice highways are melting.

The Catch 22 campaign offers a possible solution. We are using a targeted riding strategy. Campaigns will operate in a limited number of ridings where the Conservative incumbent is particularly weak. For a grassroots movement to have maximum impact, we must focus our efforts where we are most likely to succeed.

Relying mostly on the 2008 election results as our main criteria, we have proposed 30 ridings for possible Catch 22 campaigns. In almost every case, there was a close 2nd place finisher with 3rd place far behind. If successful in getting those campaigns off the ground, we will look at expanding to more challenging ridings.

We intend to get our message out to voters before the next election is called. Why before? Because once an election is called, we will have a much harder time getting the voters’ attention.

This is indeed an excellent project. If you're already involved, please feel free to tell us more in comments. If you live in one of these ridings, I encourage you to dig in. My riding is not listed, but since I live near one that is, I'm going to find out how I can help.

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