People-powered campaign surges to stop Harper and fight climate change

    Campaign builds on rapidly rising support for strategic vote to defeat

    OTTAWA, Oct. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian arm of Avaaz - the world's
largest online advocacy network - is giving a major boost to the groundswell
of grassroots support for strategic voting in this federal election. The
outcome might be an historic election as more Canadians than ever before vote
smart to defeat a sitting Prime Minister.
    Avaaz began its campaign a week ago by asking its 300,000 Canadian
members to show their support by donating. Twenty-four hours later Avaaz met
its fundraising target of $50,000. A new target of $100,000 was met three days
after that. On Sunday, Avaaz launched an online campaign for voters to pledge
to vote strategically against Harper. The campaign received over 7,000 pledges
    "The response from Canadians has been overwhelming," said Avaaz Executive
Director Ricken Patel.
    "This kind of people-powered campaign only works when you have enormous
pent-up energy among voters. People are furious with Stephen Harper for
blocking global efforts to avert a climate crisis. We barely recognize our
country with this leader, and we're determined to use our votes effectively to
get back the Canada we love."
    Avaaz will focus its campaign to demonstrate that strategic voting
benefits all the opposition parties. This will be highlighted by specific
efforts to defeat key Harper lieutenants - the most significant of which will
be full-page ads in major newspapers. Avaaz will rally behind NDP candidate
Mike Bocking to defeat Conservative MP Randy Kamp, Liberal candidate David
Pratt to defeat Environment Minister John Baird, and Green Party leader
Elizabeth May to defeat Defense Minister Peter Mackay. Avaaz members in Quebec
are currently organizing a Quebec campaign with a Bloc endorsement.
    "We have seen this happen in countries like Australia, the US, the
Philippines and Indonesia. The Internet is fostering a new brand of
people-powered politics, and it is challenging regimes like Harper's around
the world. The next 8 days will be just the beginning for Canada."
    Avaaz is mounting just one of many significant grassroots efforts this
election. Strategic voting sites like, and are popping up all over the web. Vote
swap sites are getting serious attention as well. Groups of Canadian
scientists, artists, environmental NGOs, and concerned citizens are all
mounting major efforts against Harper and his anti-environment agenda.
    "Last week we started to see the tide turn. Just in time, Canadians are
beginning to understand what's at stake in this election, and the more they
learn about Stephen Harper, the more passionately they want to defeat him. The
Internet will be an accelerating force for this growing movement."
    On Friday, as part of its overall campaign, Avaaz released a powerful
stop Harper anthem written and performed by prominent Canadian musicians.
Visit to listen to the song and get more information about the

    About Avaaz Canada

    Avaaz is a new web-based democratic advocacy group that has grown in 18
months to over 300,000 supporters across Canada. Avaaz exposed and challenged
the Harper government's policy at the UN climate change summit in Bali through
sending hundreds of thousands of messages and funding a widely publicized ad
    Avaaz Canada is part of, a global web movement with a
democratic mission to close the gap between the world we have, and the world
most people everywhere want. At 3.4 million supporters, is the
largest online activist community in the world and brings people-powered
politics to global decision-making. It is the latest chapter in new wave of
web-based, people-powered political movements that have profoundly impacted
countries from Australia to the US to the Philippines

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Kristen Ostling at (613)

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