Campaign Terminology

When you are around politics as much as I am, there is a certain terminology that you get used to.  I thought today might be a good time to explain a few terms.

 

advance voting:  where voters cast their vote before election day

burma-shaving:  where candidates and their supporters hold signs and waving to traffic during rush-hour traffic, essentially boosting their visibility and name recognition (hopefully)
also called bus-stopping, as it sometimes takes place by bus stops where you can also interact with voters as they wait for their bus

busstopping CBC

Example of burmashaving here in Winnipeg

campaign manager:  the person responsible for overseeing all aspects of the campaigns and all decisions run through this person

canvass:  2 definitions – going out to knock on doors or the area that you will knock on doors

constituency: the geographical area represented at the provincial level by a Member of the Legislative Assembly (at least that’s what it is in Manitoba, other provinces and territories may have different names)

Dipper:  another word for a member of the New Democratic Party

door knocking:  going out and knocking on doors to talk with voters
also known as the most important activity in an election campaign

e-day:  election day

GOTV:  also known as Get Out The Vote, which is campaign efforts to get your identified supporters to the polls to vote

Grit: another word for a member of the Liberal Party of Canada

identifying the vote:  goal of all efforts, to figure out how many people support your candidate/party so you can get them out to vote on election day

incumbent:  someone who held the office previously and is running for re-election

leader: the leader of a political party, who is ultimately attempting to win enough seats to form government

left-wing:  more small ‘l’ liberal ideology

lit:  another word for campaign materials, such as flyers and brochures
see also lit drop, meaning going out to distribute this material to households in your area

majority government:  the party who wins at least 170 seats across the country and who’s leader is asked to be the Prime Minister

minority government: when no one party has won more than 170 seats, you have a minority government where the leaders of the parties have to work together

partisan:  a person who is strongly devoted to a political party
see also non-partisan, meaning not tied to any one party

phone bank:  collection of phones used to call voters, often in a separate area of a campaign office

rally: an event where your volunteers and supporters are fired up

rally JT

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau at a campaign rally for Terry Duguid

riding:  the geographical area represented at the federal level by a Member of Parliament

right-wing:  more small ‘c’ conservative ideology

staffing:  someone assigned to travel with the candidate, ensures they arrive on time, depart on time, helps take pictures or get contact information
Tory: another word for a member of the Conservatives

ward:  the geographical represented at the municipal level

writ:  government document ordering an election that officially dissolves the government
see also “dropping the writ” which means the election has officially started

and finally, volunteer:  also known as the heart of any campaign
volunteer image

 

Are there any terms that aren’t on here that you’ve heard and want to know about?  Let me know!

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About Dani K

Passionate young professional with a commitment to positive change. Partisan politico. Sometimes runner.
This entry was posted in Diary Of A Campaign Volunteer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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