Friday, September 26, 2008


Well now isn't this interesting.

Scott Tribe writes:

If you’re wondering who is, here’s their mission statement. And if you’re wondering what they’re going to be doing in the Canadian election campaign, they say a picture is worth a thousand words (or in this case, a screen shot):

(Actual blog entry here)

So in brief, they’re going to start off running 3rd-party ads in 3 Conservative MP’s ridings - one being John Baird, one being Peter MacKay, and the 3rd being Randy Camp in BC - and urging “progressive voters” to vote for the candidate they feel has the best chance of ousting the Conservative MP. In MacKay’s case, AVAAZ is endorsing Green Party leader Elizabeth May. In John Baird’s case, they’re urging voters to vote for Liberal Stephen Pratt, and in Camp’s case, they’re asking voters to choose NDP’er Mike Bocking.

Whether or not you agree with strategic voting or not, look at their donations, because that’s what really caught my eye; the donations they’ve already received to jumpstart this ad campaign. Note the donation line in pink under Harper’s leering picture. They were asking people for a fundraising goal of 50 000$, and at the time of this screen capture, they had already raised and had donated to them 38,295$ in the first 8 hours of their donation campaign! Incredible. (I think the Liberals need to look into hiring those fundraiser folks ;) )

I hope to see them do some national campaign ads too. 3rd party election laws allow for a 150 000$ national campaign, so they’d have 100 000$ still to do some more, if they thought it would be a good investment.

If people are willing to donate this fast for some advertising in 3 ridings (note that all donations accepted are only from Canadian citizens) then I’d bet they’d do the same for a national advertisement in the national dailies or in commercials on the national TV networks (maybe not to urge strategic voting in general, because I don’t think that would be effective or accepted, but to urge the general ousting of this regressive Conservative government).

The key question for Canadians...

...other than "is Harper going to prove that they're just like Americans, except behind the curve"... really "how do you deal with three left-leaning parties in a FPTP system"? You can't simply shift one of them to the right, as some Liberals seem to believe; they'll lose as many votes on the left as they'd gain on the right. Yet all three are being squeezed; the NDP faces as much of a threat from the Greens as the Liberals do from the NDP.

The only solution is strategic voting, but the problem with THAT is that you need motivated, high-information voters who want to defeat the opposition and are willing (and able) to vote for the local candidate that can do that. So far, that's never worked. But we live in an information-rich society, and the information about who to vote for is out there. It's just a question of finding those motivated voters and getting them the information they need.

I didn't think that that was going to happen, at least not this cycle. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Avaaz is right.

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