We started by asking Canadians from every party to cooperate, no matter how difficult it might be, to ensure the defeat of 22 Conservatives – one for every day of Harper’s prorogation of the House of Commons in 2010. His gross violations of parliamentary tradition have multiplied—and so has the number of ridings this campaign targets.
In late 2009, Stephen Harper was caught in his own Catch 22. Come clean with Parliament by providing the documents it had demanded in order to do its job, or face the wrath of public opinion. He chose to shutter Parliament through prorogation.
Is Catch 22 some sort of reference to the novel, Catch 22?
Not really. We believe that if anti-Harper voters can unite behind the candidates with the best chance of success, they can defeat enough Conservatives in close races to defeat the government. This is not a futile battle.
The larger war is another matter. Catch 22 - the novel - talks about the futility of trying to get out of fighting in a war. Rules, regulations, paperwork, consequences. No matter what you do, you lose.
The irony of Canada's antiquated voting system is not lost on us. The major political parties have been fine with a system that lets a minority of voters give them total power to run the federal or provincial governments, while voters have required a "super-majority" of 60% to change the voting system in provincial referendums that have been held. While parties would never stand for using first past the post to elect their leaders or candidates, somehow it's good enough for voters.
It's time we stopped letting other people elect our representatives. Would you let me pick your lawyer if we found ourselves in a dispute that ended in a courtroom?
The Catch 22 Campaign believes that it's time for a modernized, representative democratic government in Canada where a majority means 50%+1 - of voters. It's time for voters to come first with equal votes, instead of politicians, parties and ridings. It's time for some form of proportional representation to get the public policy that Canadians want. And of course, the Catch 22 here is that no political party has ever dared change the system because it will mean that they would lose their chance for phony majority government. We aim to make voters more aware of the connections between the voting system, the governments that are elected and the overall anger, apathy and cynicism that exists among Canadians.
We can't pin that all on Stephen Harper. But in the meantime, just as in the novel, there has to be consequences for one's actions. And the Harper government is first in line.