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Leadnow | March 30, 2017

Democracy Heroes Canvassing Toolkit

This toolkit contains everything you need to take action in your community and pressure your MP to be a #DemocracyHero and vote to get electoral reform back on the table.  

The first step, is signing up to host a canvass by clicking here. 

Can't host but want to attend a canvass? Find a local one near you by clicking here. 

For more information, check out VoteBetter.ca (Leadnow’s website for our electoral reform campaign)

We're here to help! Sign up to host a canvass here, and a Leadnow support person will be assigned to you, who will be calling you in the coming days to make sure you are all set to host your canvass kickoff party.

If you have any questions or ideas in the meantime, please check out our FAQs, email organize@leadnow.ca or call 1-855-532-3609 x 60. If you have set up a canvass and need to edit your information, please e-mail organize@leadnow.ca and put "URGENT" in the subject. 


What’s in this toolkit?

What is the Democracy Heroes campaign?
Why Host a Canvass Kickoff Party?
How to Host a Canvass Kick Off Party
APPENDIX: Canvassing Materials
APPENDIX: Canvassing Best Practices
APPENDIX: Extra Resources, Talking Points
APPENDIX: FAQs


What is the Democracy Heroes campaign, and why are we doing it?

We’re not done fighting for electoral reform, and our Members of Parliament know it.

Now we have heard that there will be one more vote on electoral reform in the House of Commons in May. If just 20 Liberals join the opposition, it could pass - and that could put electoral reform back on the table.

We’ve seen recent examples of how Liberal backbenchers will vote against Justin Trudeau’s wishes if they think it’s important enough. This betrayal hurts the Liberal brand, and they will need to win back young people and progressive voters to keep their majority in 2019. If we push MPs in 20 Liberal ridings, and get them to stand with us, we could win the vote and get one step closer to having electoral reform back on the table.

This plan will only work if enough of us come together in the next 2 weeks with a coordinated plan in ridings across the country. This could be our last shot at getting electoral reform by 2019 and we need all of us on board to win.
 

Why Host a Canvass Kickoff Party?

MPs are most influenced by pressure from their constituents. That’s why we are asking people like you across the country to host canvass kick off parties. You will collect signatures on a petition calling on your MP to be a Democracy Hero and vote to get electoral reform back on the table in May. 

Your goal is simple: To get between 200-500 signatures on a petition in your riding before the vote in the end of May.   

We will combine these signatures with other supporters we sign up online and deliver them to our MPs right before the vote.

We want canvass kickoff to be just the first of many gatherings between you and folks in your community/neighborhood who care about electoral reform.  We hope you plan to meet weekly, to try and hit our targets so we can build support/pressure for our MPs.

Have questions? Check out our FAQ here, or e-mail us at organize@leadnow.ca
 

How to Host a Canvass Kick Off Party

  1. Pick a date and location to host your canvass kickoff party, and then register it on our signup page.

    When you put your details into our signup page, it will automatically create an event on our website. Others will be able to see your event and sign up to attend it, and you can use this link to promote your event on email and social media. (NOTE: Your address will only be made available to those who RSVP to your canvass). Live close to several ridings and not sure which one to pick? See our target MPs list here to help you decide where to canvass:  https://www.votebetter.ca/herotargets/
  2. Invite your friends and neighbours. Click here to see all event listings!

    People can let you know that they are coming through our event page. We will also be letting Leadnow supporters in your neighbourhood know about your event, so they can join too! 
  3. Get materials

    You will need pens, clipboards, and materials to go on the clipboards.  You can get pens and clipboards at your local dollar store or office supplies store, or if you are in Vancouver or Toronto you can get clipboards from the local Leadnow office (just e-mail us at organize@leadnow.ca.) You will also need to print off some materials. You can get those in the links below.  

  4. Print copies of the petition and script

    Click here to download a printable copy of the petition in 8.5 x 11 (or download an 8.5 x 14 size here) (French copies also vailable)
    Click here to download a printable “next canvass sign up”.
    Click here to download a printable copy of the Democracy Hero handbill 
    Click here to download a printable copy of the script.

    Note: The script is intended as a resource to help you have effective conversations about this issue -- but you don’t need to follow it word for word. In fact, you’ll find you have more success if you put it in your own words, and speak from the heart about why you’re passionate about this issue.

  5. Host your kickoff party!

    1. Start with a round of introductions. Have everyone say their name and why they are taking action on electoral reform. 

    2. Explain the purpose of why we are all together to collect signatures, here are some ideas/talking points:

      On February 1st Justin Trudeau broke his promise on electoral reform. But there will be one final vote in the House in May where MPs will have a chance to endorse or reject the electoral reform (ERRE) committee’s recommendations for PR.

      If we can get just 20 Liberals to join the opposition, the motion could pass, and that could help get the electoral reform discussion started again.

      We are calling on our MP to sign our ‘Democracy Hero’ pledge to work within their party to bring electoral reform back.

      We are collecting signatures from constituents who want our MP to sign this pledge to be a ‘Democracy Hero’ and support the motion in May.
    3. Review the materials on the clipboards. Remind people to collect full data on the petition form if possible - especially postal codes, as that will tell the MP that the signers live in their riding!

    4. Go over tips for canvassing and safety

    5. [optional] Get into pairs and practice the script

    6. Make sure everyone knows what time to meet back

    7. Hit the streets!
       

  6. Collecting signatures

    This is the fun part -- getting out there and talking to people about the campaign! There’s a ton of different places you could go to collect signatures.

    We recommend two options:

    1. Streeting (collecting signatures on the street - this is the #1 way we recommend you to collect signatures!):

      Think of places in your community where there is lots of street traffic, and where those walking by might agree with our petition.  This might be in front of a local library, community centre or grocery store, on a busy street corner or bus stop, or maybe at a weekly farmers market or local event.

      Streeting often allows you to have more conversations than you normally would if you were going door to door, so this is our #1 recommended way to canvass - in our experience you will collect more signatures this way.
    2. Knock your block (going door to door in your neighborhood)

      Your neighbours might be a great place to start! Going door to door in your neighborhood is a great way to get signatures.

      Pro-tip: Make a list of where you send people, so that when you meet again you know which neighborhoods you’ve gone to!

      Pro-tip: Make sure to send people in different directions so you’re not knocking on the same doors! For more ideas on where to canvass, and tips on how to have quality conversations, click here.
  7. Take a photo of yourself out canvassing and send it to us!

    We need to inspire hundreds more volunteers to get involved with the campaign, and basic psychology tells us people are more likely to join something when they see other people are already doing it.

    If you send us photos of you out in your community collecting signatures for this campaign, we can leverage them to tell the story of our growing movement and recruit new volunteers through social media.

    Send photos to photos@leadnow.ca!
     

  8. Meet back after the canvass

    1. Ask how it went - learn from each other for what worked and what didn’t

    2. Collect everyone’s petition sheets

    3. [If door knocking] Record a list of where everyone went so you don’t knock at the same doors during the next canvass.

    4. IMPORTANT STEP: Pick a host and date for the next canvass, and pass around the canvass sign up sheet.
       

  9. Register your next canvass event onto our website

    If you keep registering your events on our website we can keep inviting new people to join you. To make sure your event shows up on the calendar: 
    1. Go to https://act.leadnow.ca/voting-reform-huddle2/
    2. Enter the information for the next canvass 
    3. You can see all event postings at http://we.leadnow.ca/democracy_heroes_canvass_parties 
       
  10. Enter the data

    Note: The data you collected is very important to keep safe and tracked. Always enter your data promptly after canvassing, and never leave filled out petition sheets unattended!

    Entering the data is the most important step. Unless you enter the names and contact information you’ve gathered into our system, we can’t include these signatures in the the total number of petition signatures to show the support across the country, and we can’t keep these supporters up to date on our campaign.

    We’ve created an online data entry tool to make it easy for you to enter the data from the petition. We recommend that you bookmark the page so you can find it once you’ve got signatures.

    Click here to go to the data entry page. If you have too much data to enter, consider inviting over a few people to help you!

    Not able to enter data on your computer? You can also mail it back to us at: Leadnow.ca, PO Box 2091, Stn Terminal, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3T2
     
  11. Call/e-mail your point person

    1. Let them know how it went, what you learned so we can share with other teams, and where you canvassed.
    2. Haven’t heard from your support person? E-mail organize@leadnow.ca
       

  12. Destroy the data

    We want to ensure people’s information is kept safe. We will be keeping track of who signs the petition in our database, and we will be able to produce a copy of who signed the petition in your riding when it's time to deliver it to your MP. To keep data safe, please ensure you destroy the data afer your canvass by shredding/tearing them and throwing the pieces out. 

    If you are unable to destroy the data for any reason, you can also mail the sheets back to us at Leadnow.ca, PO Box 2091, Stn Terminal, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3T2
     

Conclusion

We only have a few weeks until the vote, and there’s no time to waste.  We know many MPs support electoral reform, and were elected with a promise to upgrade our broken voting system.  We just need to get 20 of them on board - but it won’t happen unless we get organized and turn the pressure up.  

This is a once in a generation opportunity - and we can’t back down.  If we all work together over the next few weeks, we can get voting reform back on the table. Thank you for signing up to organize with us - and please contact us at organize@leadnow.ca  if you have any questions or issues.

We’re in this together!

Rachel and Katelynn, on behalf of the Leadnow Team
 

Appendices

Canvassing Materials

Canvassing Best Practices

Additional Resources and Talking Points

FAQs