Yesterday, John Deverell, part of the Catch 22 campaign editorial team last year, published his opinion piece on our website yesterday - Why the opposition parties should co-operate in 2015. It is written with the backdrop of the NDP leadership campaign but puts special emphasis on the need for the Liberal Party to wake up and smell the coffee for the sake of its supporters, the party's own future and indeed, the country's future.
Agree with him or not, Deverell offers a consistent, clear, strategic analysis on the need for a plan to provide "equal effective votes for Canadian citizens and a democratic representative Parliament". His opinion piece is an addition to the growing discussion, debate and organizing that's taking place face-to-face and online.
Nathan Cullen's proposal cooperation proposal as a strategy to defeat Harper, achieve government and hold a referendum on proportional voting is both a lightening rod and a safe haven for NDPers to discuss and debate the merits of his plan. Peggy Nash has added to that discussion with her proposal for a Royal Commission followed quickly by legislative change. Brian Topp is proposing to get "a mandate in the next election to introduce a mixed proportional electoral system". Both Nash and Topp disagree with Cullen on the pre-election cooperation plan. Paul Dewar, Niki Ashton, Thomas Mulcair and Martin Singh ("“First-Past-The-Post is the ultimate voter suppression scheme") don't appear to have given pr much emphasis in their campaigns and strategies.
Update paragraph - March 9: Ashton's views are expressed in the Fair Vote Canada questionnaire. Mulcair expounds on his pro-PR views in the LeadNow survey. See other responses at LeadNow and Fair Vote Canada.
Outside the NDP, LeadNow has organized "Co-operate for Canada" which wants to "make sure our next government represents a majority of Canadians and fixes our broken electoral system". Avaaz is asking its members to join and get active with the party of their choice with a "massive national call for cooperation and finally make democracy work". Project Democracy has also reached out to its base with the Case for NDP, Liberal, Green Cooperation.
Former NDP MP Lynn MacDonald published an opinion piece here on rabble.ca in October - Time to cooperate: A modest proposal for a progressive alliance on ....
In December, Nick Fillmore who stepped up to co-manage the Catch 22 campaign with me released A call to all progressive organizations to unite under one big umbrella. Nick played a leading role in campaign strategy, communications, media, fundraising and overall management.
There have also been several grassroots, multi-partisan meetings taking place in different parts of the country to discuss cooperation, proportional voting and other burning issues like the environment.
The Catch 22 website was also the host for publishing new research conducted by Stuart Parker - The Cullen proposal: The logistics of co-operation.in which he provides some background on "cooperation" and offers some suggested amendments. Dave Meslin's Beyond band-aids • A primer on voting reform in Canada provides a very good overview of electoral politics (and some respectful criticism of strategic voting).
Updates: Mike from Orphaned Voter has created an interactive map that simulates the results of the 2011 election using Cullen's proposal for joint primaries in swing ridings. Citizens for Cross Party Cooperation is running a letter writing campaign to MPs. Its Kitchener-Waterloo chapter conducted a poll and held a well attended public meeting in February featuring John Deverell, Jamie Heath and others. Folks in Guelph will be holding a forum in April.