VANCOUVER, April 15 /CNW/ - A new website has been launched that allows
Canadians to link to the donation pages of the leading opposition
candidates in thirty-three of the closest races in the federal election
campaign. These ridings were won by less than 5% of the popular vote in
2008, where a Conservative candidate came either first or second.
Swing33.ca is a volunteer-run website unaffiliated with any political party that
seeks to level the fundraising playing field in the current election.
"The Conservative Party of Stephen Harper raises more money and has more
individual donors than all other federal parties put together," said
Mitchell Anderson, one of the originators of the site. "They certainly
don't have that level of support with the Canadian public and we think
that imbalance badly skews our democratic process. Besides, Harper
gives me the willies."
Canadians generously give almost $10 billion to charity each year, but
that is 300 times more than we donate to our political process. Less
than one percent of Canadians contribute to political parties, even
though they would receive a tax credit of up to 75%.
"We wanted to create a website that would make it easy for the two
thirds of Canadians who don't agree with Harper to make a strategic
donation to a riding that has a good chance of beating a Conservative,"
said Hugh Stimson, another Swing33 collaborator. "We are not trying to
pick winners, just one loser."
Unlike strategic voting, with Swing33 people can donate funds to their
first-choice candidate or party. Elections Canada allows for individual
donations or up to $1,100 per year to political parties, as well as
$1,100 to an individual riding association.
"We Canadians are often hypocritical about our political system," said
Professor Amir Attaran of the University of Ottawa. "In Canada we
forbid the corporate slush money in politics that has wrecked America,
which is smart, but then 99% of Canadians fail to donate to campaigns,
which is frankly ignorant or stingy, depending. Who exactly should pay
the freight of our democracy—if not us?"
SOURCE Arne Mooers
For further information:
visit www.swing33.ca or contact:
Hugh Stimson - (778) 373-1024, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Amir Attaran - (613) 276-7687, email@example.com
Mitchell Anderson - 778-895-1530, firstname.lastname@example.org