The Catch 22 Campaign is a cross-country, grassroots, multi-partisan, pro-democracy, volunteer, campaign which started in January 2010. Our goal is to provide specific voting advice to help anti-Harper voters defeat as many incumbent Conservative MPs as possible. We'll do this by supporting the opposition candidate with the best chance to win. We have identified a limited number of close ridings where vote splitting has to be overcome. We are now registered as an official Third Party with Elections Canada so that we can advertise during the election. Catch 22 is not affiliated with any political party, candidates or organizations. Based on riding by riding analysis, we are recommending to anti-Harper voters in those target ridings who we think has the best opportunity.
See our Campaign FAQ for answers to common questions about Catch 22. Everyone who shares our objectives is welcome to join. Supporters do not need to live in a Catch 22 riding in order to join the site or participate.
Stephen Harper's Conservatives only received 38% of the vote in 2008 but were able to hold onto power because vote splitting gave them the most seats (but not a majority). Our strategy is to minimize vote-splitting by supporting the opposition candidates in a limited number of target ridings who have the best chance for success. Our plan is to bring an effective message to voters in those ridings which are pivotal in deciding the future direction of Canada, perhaps for years to come. We also hope to motivate and mobilize voters who are reluctant to vote (for a variety of reasons).
Why focus on vote splitting? A Canadian election is really 308 separate elections. In each riding, the winner only needs to get more votes than anyone else. In other words, in most elections, most voters cast their ballot for a "loser" and do not get representation in Ottawa (even if we all pay taxes). With 4 or more parties, most MPs are elected with less than half the votes - some with as little as 33%. The political parties rely on vote splitting in every election and use all kinds of tactics to achieve it.
The Catch 22 message is clear - if you live in one of the Conservative-held ridings on our list and want to see your MP defeated, you need to vote smart. You may not vote for your first choice but you will help to prevent your last choice from winning. It's as simple as that. We will also be making some voting recommendations in opposition held ridings that were very close in 2008 to help prevent a Conservative from benefiting from vote splitting. If you're still considering voting Conservative we invite you to check out our site and explore some of the issues in more detail.
Since beginning in January of 2010, Catch 22 has focused on democracy related issues - exposing abuses of power, contempt for democratic processes, manipulation, heavy-handedness, distortions, an attitude that reeks more of a schoolyard bully than a leader and of course, the voting system. You may have your own reasons to oppose the Harper Conservatives - there are as many reasons as there are people. We need to pull together now - put our differences on specific issues aside - and work in common cause to demonstrate to the Conservatives that there are consequences for their actions and move Canada back from the brink.
This election is not about any one issue. It is about the direction that Stephen Harper has taken the country on a host of issues and their plan to move even further away from the values and beliefs that a majority of Canadians hold. They are running for a (so-called) majority where there will be even fewer checks and balances. The balance of power will tilt further away from Parliament to the Prime Minister's Office and there will be little to nothing we can do about it. There is only one consequence that Stephen Harper understands, and that is at the ballot box. Nothing else seems to phase him. The time is now.