Activists across Canada have been strategizing for the last two years about how to stop Stephen Harper from further harming Canada. We hope it is not too late to retrieve some of the damage he has done. We search for a way to grow into the country we want to be.
Mr. Harper wants us to be a great country for the rich to thrive. Libertarians want all the benefits of community without investing in it so they can maximize their own personal freedom and wealth. Liberals and leftists want it to be a compassionate and green country. We want to take care of the well-being of all our citizens. We want a global community with institutions that can collaborate and confront the most difficult challenge humanity has ever faced – global warming.
In the meantime we buy three sets of signs, three sets of ads, and try to figure out the differences between three platforms that seek our attention and our vote – NDP, Liberal, and Green.
We are stuck with a first-past-the-post (#FPTP) voting system that allows the Conservatives to win with as little as 35% of those that vote, while we know that 65% don’t want anything to do with their mean-spirited regressive policies.
Students don’t know why they should register and vote. I have had people at the door tell me, “They’re all crooks!” “You can’t trust any of them.” “No one will deliver on any of those promises they are making!” “I haven’t voted for 20 years.” If people don’t trust, don’t care, don’t vote--advantage Conservative. The ridings have been gerrymandered: advantage Conservative. The Unfair Elections Act makes it harder for students and the homeless to vote: advantage Conservative.
We will never defeat these Conservatives unless we can work together.
Every little NGO has its own election strategy. Every party has its election strategy. Each one of us has to decide where to put our money and where to put our energy. Should we fund political parties or NGOs or news media? Which ones?
Somehow, through our social media, our relationships, and our passions and commitment we have to find a way to produce a result that will bring the Liberal-Left into a collaborative Parliament that works together.
My personal preference would be an NDP or a Liberal minority Parliament with the Greens making a significant contribution. If Harper accidentally slips through and wins a 35-38% minority Parliament, the Liberal-Left must unite to defeat it. We need the Greens to make sure that Proportional Representation is the top priority of the new government.
There is no issue more important than making this the last unfair election! I am not interested in trading one dictator for another. The Prime Minister’s Office has too much power in our system and that must be checked by a duty to consult and work with Canadians.
Personally, I have given money to two different parties and several candidates who are important to me even though they aren’t in my riding. I have also given money to Fair Vote Canada (#PR2015) and to two NGOs that are working for selective strategic voting in key Conservative ridings. Lead Now is running a very effective “#VoteTogether” Campaign in those key ridings. In Ottawa I will join the Ottawa Orleans and the Ecology Ottawa campaigns. I always support the Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives and now must consider other newsmedia, all of whom are fundraising. This is the most important election I have ever participated in, and I have decided to support those groups who come closest to sharing my personal objectives:
To change our voting system. We need proportional representation. (#PR2015)
To put in leadership who will design the policies and incentive systems to reduce our carbon footprint. They will help Canadians take the risks they must take to innovate our way into a strong green economy by 2050. We will need help to adapt through times of transition. We will need a #carbonprice to wean ourselves off carbon-based energy. We will have to plan to leave much of our current carbon wealth in the ground.
Where are you putting your time, energy and money?
Remember, every riding is unique. You can’t assume the NDP or the Liberals will defeat Harper. You must assess which candidate has the highest chance of getting a plurality in the riding – Green, NDP or Liberal – and support that candidate. Each of these three parties has an important contribution to make. And all of them need to be balanced in some areas by the others. There is only one rule for this election:
Get involved. Find out who to vote for in your riding. Make a contribution to your favourite party, NGO, or newsmedia. Help our allies do their job to bring us together.