At Friday's general meeting of the Toronto chapter of CAPP (Cdns against Proroguing Parliament), the following proposal was discussed. The group recommended that it be tabled with the National CAPP steering committee for consideration.What follows is a revised version of the proposal I floated on facebook and this blog after the rallies.
Electoral consequences proposal: Catch 22 (Tories)
Objective –To contribute to the defeat of 1 incumbent Conservative MP for each day of prorogation as a consequence for their abuse of power.
CAPP provided a vehicle for people who care about democracy to express themselves and to take action. People just need to know what to do and how to do it. CAPP has shown that people can work across their differences when something bigger is at stake.
While the Conservatives are feeling some heat from proroguing Parliament, including dips in public opinion, after March 3 it will likely be business as usual (with or without a spring election). There is one consequence that will stand out for them more than any other and that is votes in the ballot box. A targeted riding level campaign to defeat 22 of them (or more) has the best odds of scoring some victories while adding some turmoil, uncertainty and tension to the Conservatives’ election game plans. It also sends a message to all political parties.
Catch 22 would give CAPP a national spotlight that would complement the local activities already underway. What follows an overview of how we can defeat 22 Conservatives.
Planning and preparation would need to begin immediately. Once an election is called, we are competing with all the parties. Raising awareness of the issues with voters at the riding level (while they’re still hot) also puts voters on alert for future abuses.
1) Form a Catch 22 sub-committee to take responsibility for this plan.
2) Develop a communication network and Catch 22 facebook/website presence.
3) Develop a list of the 22 most vulnerable, incumbent Conservative MPs in Canada from as many provinces and territories as possible.
4) Base riding selection principally on winnable margins of victory in the 2008 election and the extent of local participation.
5) Identify local organizers and spokespeople in each targeted riding.
6) Recruit volunteers to distribute non-partisan, pro-democracy literature to homes in as much of the riding as possible.
7) Literature could focus on democracy issues, including prorogation abuse and provide a democracy report card on Harper. Encourage people to vote and provide voter registration information.
8) If the capacity is there, posters could be produced to give more local visibility. Billboards could also be considered.
9) Develop a toolkit that each riding group can use to maintain a consistent message, “Catch 22 brand” and detailed campaign “how to” information.
1) Endorse and assist the opposition candidate with the best chance of winning.
2) Endorsement could be conditional on their support for our objectives.
3) Consider producing and distributing another piece of literature under the Catch-22 name.
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