In my last post, I wrote about the most basic election tactic of all. Canvassing the electorate in order to Identify the Vote, (ID) so that you can get out the vote (GOTV) for the advance polls especially. Put the two acronyms together and you have the campaigners mantra: In a nutshell, ID-GOTV.
Now lets face it. The average organized Green Party Campaign has maybe 40 volunteers, about half of who do stuff, like canvass, or put up signs. If your’ local Green Party has 20 volunteers, working hard door knocking for the whole campaign, they will each canvass one good sized poll, or two small to medium polls thoroughly. They will hopefully be targeting the polls with the highest historical green vote. Even so, with perhaps 5,000 people canvassed, you will identify 500 GPC voters if you’re lucky. That works out to 25 voters ID’d per volunteer.
So here’s a nifty idea for you to propose to your’ local Greens. You need to
set up a local website, or blog for the candidate. This is no big deal, and probably 100% of candidates should be doing this anyway. Have a NICE BIG (Like half of the entry page), button on your website asking visitors to Register as Green Party voters, with the button linking to a simple data form. Every single piece of campaign literature you print should have a bright splash on it inviting people to register to vote green at the featured website. Print up some BIG yellow and green stickers on all your election signs driving traffic to your’ campaign website.
Make sure that your’ Candidate stresses the website address at every all candidates debate, and every speaking opportunity the campaign can possibly arrange for him. Mainstreet, work the subway stations, or bus stations, or whatever high traffic corners exist in your riding, encouraging people to ‘register your support at electJANE-dot-ca.’ If you can get an additional 500 people from across your riding to self identify, by entering their own information on your signup form, you have just won the equivalent of 20 extra, super hard working volunteers.
Now you will have a substantial, and growing mail-list you can work with. When the time arrives for the advance polls, you can lead off your’ GOTV with an emailed reminder to Get out and VOTE! The advance polls are important, because you will have a chance to lock in this support early. This is important becuse the liberal Party is a threat to the Green party of Canada, inasmuch as they will definitely be telephoning Green Party supporters over the last weekend of the election in a bid to convince them to strategically vote Liberal. This list will be a great tool to retain, and build your supporters into a dedicated base for the next election. When you decide to have some fun with a regular Green Party pub night, you will be able to send the emailed invitation out to hundreds of self identified sympathisers. They might not be ready to join the EDA, but it sure can’t hurt to get them more interested! Don’t forget never to abuse your lists by sending out all kinds of unsolicited emails. ONLY use them for the important stuff, like having FUN! This is the kind of tool that the Green Party absolutely needs to employ if they want to build their EDA’s into strong, grassroots political machines.