February 16, 2012 07:00 ET

12,000 Canadians Call on NDP and Liberal Leadership Hopefuls to "Cooperate for Canada"

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2012) - In less than a week, over 12,000 Canadians have signed a petition from youth-led online advocacy organization Leadnow.ca calling on the leaders of Canada's opposition parties to cooperate in advance of the next election to elect a government that better represents a majority of Canadians, and then work together to pass electoral reform. With petition signatures continuing to grow, supporters are being encouraged to join the political party of their choice and support the campaign's call to support cooperation for electoral reform.

Leadnow hopes to sign up thousands of new party members-many of them younger than 30-to the party of their choice before the NDP new member cut-off on Saturday at midnight EST.

Leadnow.ca is urging Canadians to sign the 'Cooperate for Canada' petition and join political parties to avoid a repeat of the May 2011 federal election where the first-past-the-post electoral system caused vote splits that gave Stephen Harper majority control of Parliament with just 39% of the popular vote. Both the NDP and the Liberals will be electing new leaders within the year, and Leadnow.ca hopes to show leadership candidates in both parties that thousands of Canadians are willing to commit their time and money to support cooperation from within the parties themselves.

"We're seeing thousands of Canadians who have never been part of a political party telling us that they want to get involved in party elections to support cross-partisan cooperation. The NDP uses a One-Member-One-Vote, preferential ballot and the Liberals are holding an open primary, so it's possible that they will make a real difference." said Jamie Biggar, Executive Director of Leadnow.ca. "Our members have consistently told us they want to see an end to strict political partisanship, and electoral reform to ensure that our elections create governments that better reflect our diverse and common values."

The timing of the campaign coincides with the closing of the NDP's new member sign-up window on February 18th. Leadnow.ca hopes these thousands of new supporters can encourage more NDP candidates to come out in support of cooperation and electoral reform before their leadership race concludes on March 24th. Leadnow.ca will then encourage supporters to participate in the Liberal leadership campaign.

This Thursday and Friday, Leadnow.ca is organizing "Calls for Cooperation" phone banking events where inter-generational volunteers will call petition signatories and encourage them to join the party of their choice and vote for cooperation and electoral reform.

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