I’m sure that many of my readers have also seen Erich Jacoby-Hawkins article on Green Party Strategy. It has been bugging me for over a week since I first read it. It seems so simple, but it’s such an excellent idea, on so many levels.
In a nutshell, the Barrie EDA printed up some small stickers, with the Green Party logo, and ‘No Junk Mail Please’ printed on them. They then targetted the top three Polls which had not been canvassed in a previous election. The EDA scheduled the Canvas for the weekend, and gathered together 3-8 volunteers to help with a candidates canvass, in three different time slots. They went out over a weekend, and did a total of 10-1/2 hours of canvassing.
The reported reults were impressive. They ID’d 86 past or future Green Party voters. They gained a dozen new sign locations, and they recruited half a dozen new volunteers. Just as importantly, they fostered espirit de corps amongst their own volunteers, and had a chance to get together for the post canvas patio party.
In the long term, they left behind hundreds of stickers applied to letterboxes, and front doors with the Green Party logo, and a positive message. I suspect that the postie who delivers mail to this area will be dreaming of Green Party logo’s, he’ll have received so many impressions. In more general terms, thousands of people will be acclimatised to the Green Party by regular exposure to their own, and their neighbours little green party stickers. How many times do you see a Liberal, or Conservative message like this outside an election period?
This is also a really non-threatening introduction to canvassing for the local EDA volunteers. It can bring together a small team, give them a simple tool to grow their numbers, and skills. There’s a ready made excuse to have some fun, and get together after the canvas. It works even better than gathering petition signatures, because it leaves behind a little permanent advertisement.
The only quibble I have with it is that it seems they paid too much for the printing. I have found in the past, that your best bet for excellent printing costs is to cut out the middle man, and go straight to a small lithographic/press operator. Every major city has a number of these guys tucked away in Industrial units. Typically an owner operator working long hours cranking his presses doing print jobs for larger graphic design houses. Generally speaking, I have gotten printing work done at about half the cost of dealing with full service providers. It’s easy enough to find them. Look in the yellow pages for printers who don’t have big ads. Call them all, and find out who fits the description above. You’ll have to have your’ own graphics files, but you’ll save a bundle on print costs.
I know this is really a derivative post, but I wanted to make the point that there’s plenty of good, fun stuff that can be done in between elections. If your’ EDA is scratching it’s collective head wondering what can be done, here’s a great idea for a monthly activity. Once again, kudo’s to Erich, and the Barrie EDA. This is part of the reason why they are in a position to spend $58,000 on a campaign, and win over 11% of the vote. If they can keep this great work up, they will be one of the Green Party’s breakthrough ridings.