Instructions for a Stopharper.org letter writing event
Stopharper.org is non-partisan in that it promotes no single party as an alternative to the Harper Conservatives. In fact, the site is founded on respect that Canadians share many core values that they choose to express through support for a variety of political parties, such as Liberal, Conservative, NDP, BQ, Green or Independent.
Harper identifies his ideology as ‘Conservative’. The premise of Stopharper.org is that Harper does not in fact represent the values that Canadians normally associate with past Conservative governments or with small ‘c’ conservativism. In fact, he does not represent the core values of Canadians, neither as we see ourselves, nor as the world has traditionally seen us.
Therefore, Stopharper.org offers Canadians the opportunity to express their views on the actions and policies of the Harper Conservatives. Many letters from Canadians, in their own handwriting, are published here. The writers of those letters have given permission for publication of their letters.
Besides offering the opportunity to write these letters, Stopharper.org also offers any Canadian a way to reach out to others to ask their views on the Harper Conservatives, to send those letters to MPs, and to post them here.
Anyone interested in doing this may be interested in the method we have used:
- It is important that offering Canadians this venue to post letters be done in a non-partisan way.
- Harper’s key strategy is to divide Canadians, polarize us, and emphasize differences among us. Stopharper.org strives to emphasize the similarities we share; especially core values that bind us together as a nation.
- Often, in order to connect with Canadians on a random basis, a Stopharper.org letter offering campaign takes place on a street corner with a reasonable amount of traffic.
- A Stopharper.org letter originates as a short statement of a factual, well-referenced action or policy by the Harper Conservatives presented to any Canadian with space for written comments.
- The format of these letters can be seen in the many examples posted on this site. Please notice the following elements in each letter:
- The recipient, which can be anyone, but commonly an MP of any political party.
- An introduction line indicating the letter is intended to be ‘Open’ for publication.
- A short factual statement that relates to an action or policy of the Harper Conservatives.
- A large blank space where the writer may comment on the letter’s conten, or on any other issue on which the writer may wish to comment.
- There is space for the writer to sign the letter and give his/her address.
- A statement that the writer gives permission to publish the letter by his initials.
- When published, the writer’s name and signature will be published, but address will be obscured for privacy reasons.
- The importance of the letter is the writer’s comments; the short fact pre-printed on the letter acts mainly as a catalyst to stimulate the writer to offer individual comments important to him or her.
- As a practical matter, the letters are given on a clipboard with a pen to write with. Often one writer is given more than one letter on the clipboard, each on a different topic and to a different recipient.
- These are not ‘form’ letters. Every letter is unique because it has different content from a different writer to a different recipient.
The present campaign is happening in the week before the October 19 Federal Election, so the normal method of publication will be shortened so that the letters can be posted quickly.
Anyone doing a letter campaign can take a cell phone picture of a signed letter and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org