No 833 Posted by fw, August 19, 2013
“Will Prime Minister Harper be able to lock in his anti-democratic agenda – with all the consequences for our country and our way of life – or will Canadians come together across party lines and organize to reboot our democracy and make progress on the major challenges facing our society?” —Jamie Biggar and the Leadnow team
In the following email to members of the Leadnow community, Jamie Biggar lays out Leadnow’s 9-point “bold plan” based on the results from a recent survey of thousands of members. The key findings are presented at the bottom along with a few footnotes. Jamie is counting on supporters from across Canada to help raise $50,000 to fight the good fight using powerful new technology, provocative ads and local organizers in key ridings so we can surge out of the gates in September.
Here’s Leadnow’s email pitch —
We’re 26 months (at most) from the next Canadian federal election and the stakes could not be any higher. We’ve put together a bold plan based on your responses to the survey (and you can find key results in the notes at the bottom!)
Will Prime Minister Harper be able to lock in his anti-democratic agenda – with all the consequences for our country and our way of life – or will Canadians come together across party lines and organize to reboot our democracy and make progress on the major challenges facing our society?
That question is going to be answered by people like us, from all across the country. Over the past few weeks, thousands of us have been giving our input to Leadnow’s long-term strategy and focus. The response has been overwhelming:
95% of us responded to say that we want the Leadnow community to “work together to organize a major campaign to engage hundreds of thousands to get out in the next election and vote for electoral reform, climate action and concrete measures to reduce inequality.”
This is a huge task. The Harper Conservatives are using the power of our government to stack the deck in their favour. From spending $113 million on Economic Action Plan ads to putting people like Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin into the Senate so they can charge you for expenses when they hit the Conservative fundraising circuit, the Harper Conservatives are using your money to cement their political control of your country.
We have a bold plan to make this election a turning point. Right now we need your help to raise $50,000 for powerful new technology, provocative ads and local organizers in key ridings so we can surge out of the gates in September.
Please click here to donate whatever you can – whether it’s $5, $20, $50 or more. It’s your choice, but if we all decide to give what we can, it will really add up fast.
We’re crunching the numbers. Despite scandal after scandal, the Conservative Party’s massive fundraising machine just raised more money than the NDP and Liberals combined). And, with our broken electoral system and divided opposition parties, the Conservatives could still hold onto power with barely 30% support from voters.
We need to bring in some fresh energy to change things in 2015. We’re preparing a bold plan based on your feedback and key lessons from our experience and Obama’s successful election campaigns. Together we’ll rally Canadians, including many young people who did not vote last election, to get out and vote for the candidate who has the best chance of working together in Parliament for progress on the major challenges facing our society.
From environmental destruction to massive growing inequality, the Leadnow community agrees that our country is heading in the wrong direction. The next election CAN be a turning point, but only if we start working together now. Here’s the plan:
1. Find people who didn’t vote last time: To design the best election campaign, we need to reach out in campuses and communities across the country to listen to Canadians, especially people who did not vote in the last election.
2. Create a program for action: We’ll ask people who didn’t vote in the last election about their concerns and see how their answers connect with the Leadnow community’s big picture goals on democracy, climate and inequality. Together we’ll create a program for action that will motivate people across the country.
3. Organize in ridings across the country: We’ll work together to get out and build support in communities across the country. We’ll focus efforts in places where a hundred, or a few thousand, votes will make the biggest difference. We’re doing detailed analysis now so we can spend money wisely.
4. Grow opposition to contain the damage: We’ve already stopped or delayed this government time and again. We’ll keep running campaigns to hold this government accountable on the issues that matter most to this community. Together, we’ll create a list of the worst damage done by this government and build a powerful campaign to get the NDP, Liberals and Greens to commit to undo that damage after the election.
5. Build support for crucial reforms: As we reach out to more and more Canadians and focus organizing in key ridings, will make sure the political parties respond to our community’s program for action on democracy, climate and inequality with strengthened commitments in their campaign platforms.
6. Cooperate, endorse or support before the next election: Before the next election, we’ll either secure a cooperation agreement between the NDP, Liberals and Greens, or if the parties do not cooperate then we’ll find a community-driven strategy to focus support behind the key candidates in strategic ridings. We’ll work together to find the best solution.
7. Get out the vote during the election: During the next election we’ll focus our efforts on mobilizing in key ridings to inspire hundreds of thousands to vote for the candidate who has the best chance of representing their values in Parliament.
8. Undo the worst damage: After the election, we’ll work with the new government to undo some of the worst damage that’s been done in the last few years.
9. Pass crucial reforms: Now the real work begins! We’ll work together to ensure the new government passes crucial reforms to fix our broken electoral system, make Canada a climate leader and build a fair economy that reduces inequality.
Okay, so that’s hugely ambitious, but there’s 300,000 of us in this community and we can accomplish so much if we work together.
We can do it, but we need to get started now. If 2,500 people donate $20 we’ll reach our $50,000 kickstart goal to launch this campaign in September.
In fact, just 150 people giving $20 a month will let us hire another organizer, and just one to three organizers can mobilize enough volunteers to to win a close riding.
If we all chip in what we can, whether it’s $5, $20, $50 or more, we can build an effective organizing machine to reboot our democracy.
Thanks for all you do.
With hope and respect,
Jamie, Matthew, Maggie, Stefan, and Sophie on behalf of the Leadnow.ca team
 In the Summer 2013 Leadnow Strategy Survey, 95% agreed that we should organize a 2015 election strategy with an emphasis on electoral reform, climate change and inequality – including a whopping 80% who indicated they “strongly agreed.”
 Conservatives hiring for next wave of economic action plan ads http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/conservatives-hiring-for-next-wave-of-economic-action-plan-ads/article11701161/
 In the second quarter of 2013, the Conservatives raised $4.88 million, while the Liberals raised $2.99 million and the NDP raised $1.37 million – for a total of $4.36 million. Source: Conservatives defy expectations and post blow out second quarter fundraising http://www.punditsguide.ca/2013/07/conservatives-defy-expectations-post-blow-out-second-quarter-fundraising/
 In the Leadnow Summer 2013 Strategy survey, the community strongly supported a particular emphasis on youth voting.
“If we organize a major campaign for the next federal election, we should put an extra focus on mobilizing young Canadians to get out and vote.” (Strongly agree 73%, agree 20%, neutral 4%, disagree 1%, strongly disagree 1%, undecided 1%)
 The Summer 2013 Leadnow Issue Survey showed that respondents were most likely to take action in campaigns that focused on the following areas: Democracy, Environment, Trade, Economic Inequality, Media, Health, Indigenous Rights and Justice. While our community mandate is broader than these areas, we’ll run more campaigns on these focus issues.
 In the Leadnow Summer 2013 Strategy survey, the community strongly efforts to undo the worst damage done by this government:
Together we should create a list of this government’s most damaging actions, and ask the NDP, Liberals and Greens to commit to undo many of those changes within months of the next election. (Strongly agree 77%, agree 16%, neutral 3%, disagree 1%, strongly disagree 1%, undecided 1%)
 The Leadnow Summer 2013 Strategy survey included questions about cooperation and community endorsements that received strong support, but with significant questions and concerns about the details. These are big decisions and we are committed to collaboratively developing the best solutions and putting those to the community for approval. Here are the Summer Strategy responses for the relevant questions:
“We should continue to campaign for a one-time cooperation deal between the NDP, Liberals and Greens in the next election.” (Strongly agree 49%, agree 24%, neutral 12%, disagree 6%, strongly disagree 4%, undecided 3%)
“If the NDP, Liberals and Greens do not agree to cooperate during the next election, then we should facilitate a community nomination process in key ridings to explicitly support the candidate our community decides has the best chance of defeating the Conservative candidate and advancing our community’s values in Parliament.” (Strongly agree 55%, agree 25%, neutral 9%, disagree 4%, strongly disagree 2%, undecided 3%)
Please support the Leadnow.ca community! We’re funded by people like you, and our small, dedicated team and growing community make sure your donation goes a long way. Every dollar helps. You can donate online at http://www.leadnow.ca/en/donate