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April 15, 2011

Do something

Murray Dobbin

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This is one of those elections where you can imagine your children or grandchildren (if you have any) will ask you years later what you were doing when the country was lost. Did you try to stop this man, grandpa? Did you campaign against the Conservative, grandma?

Harper is where he is because we have not been serious about defending what we have. I have heard a lot of young people over the years make the accusation that my generation has betrayed them. They may well be right.

As a generation we indulged in our privileges and ignored the coming storm.

Do something about it today. Here are three groups you can support. If you are in one of the 50 + ridings that will decide the election, – check for your riding on Catch 22 – then get involved in the election and work for the party recommended by Catch22 as the one most likely to defeat the Harper candidate.

If you are not, take a look at the other two options: the on-line action group, Leadnow and/or the newly formed Canadians for Tax Fairness.

And open your checkbook – it might just be the best investment in your future quality of life you ever make.

1) Catch22 Conservatives – voting smart, voting strategically: go to

2) Leadnow: is a youth-led independent advocacy organization that helps Canadians of all generations participate in their democracy. We’re working together to build a stronger democracy that protects our environment, creates economic opportunity, increases equality, and guarantees that everyone receives the care they need.

Subject: Shake up this election: let’s build a call for change and inspire a wave of voters

With less than three weeks left in the election, we need your help to change the story and inspire people to vote for the Canada they want. Will you read this note, consider taking part, and forward to everyone that you think would be interested?

Here’s the problem: our politics have become so divisive and uninspiring that people are tuning out. Instead of division and discouragement, we can call for cooperation, and encourage people to join their friends and vote. We’re writing to ask for your help in two ways –

  • Call for change – Add your voice to the Declaration for Change

The Declaration is a call for politicians to cooperate for progress on some key issues in the new government. Over the last month, thousands of Canadians, young and old, came together online and in over 80 local events across the country to create the Declaration.

By signing the Declaration you are sending a message that Canadians want their politicians to work together on some of the major challenges facing this country. You can add your voice at this link:

* Inspire people to vote – Help build the Canada’s first Vote Wave by hosting a Voter Social during advanced polling

Let’s build a Vote Wave in the lead-up to the election. Youth across the country have started building the Wave. Now, you can be part of it by hosting a Voter Social during advanced polling on Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd or Monday 25th April.

What’s a Voter Social? Simple: invite a bunch of your friends to meet you at an advanced poll, go in and vote together, and then celebrate together afterwards. Voter Socials can be big or small, public or private, and we will help make it easy to host.

The more Voter Socials, the bigger the media splash, and the more Canadians will be inspired to vote on election day.

Can you help build the Wave by hosting a Voter Social during advanced polling? You can sign up your Voter Social here.

3) Canadian for Tax Fairness

Finally. An organization that fights against the incredibly destructive tax cuts that Canadian governments have been implementing for 20 years. I have been writing about – and obsessing over – this issue since 1992 when I did a CBC Ideas series on taxes. I wrote about and exposed the Canadian taxpayers Federation when it first started – an extremely right wing group who very effectively used the call for tax cuts as a way of starving governments so they couldn’t do anything.

Now we have an organization that reflects that key principle of taxation: Taxes are the price we pay for civilization.

It’s called Canadians for Tax Fairness and I have high hopes for it in the coming months and years as it taps into the values of Canadians – values that support social programs and fairness, and that also support fair taxes.

I am not writing to tell you how to vote in the upcoming election. I’m sure you can figure that out on your own. But I am asking that you click on this link right now for the Canadians for Tax Fairness and sign the online petition calling for a stop to more corporate tax cuts.

Canadians for Tax Fairness is a new advocacy group, just incorporated last week, and I am proud to be on the founding board of directors. So please just take a minute to sign the petition and, if possible, forward to your friends and/or post on your Facebook wall.

If you’re going to an all-candidates meeting, you could also print and distribute copies of our flyer.

Our work has just begun – reversing years of tax cuts and changing the channel on the tax issue will take time. But now is a great time to start.

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