E-Day Training #2

Day 75.

Today was training session #2 for Election Day volunteers, and our E-Day guru Corey was leading the night. So that means the rest of us got to leave at a reasonable hour tonight. The best line of the campaign so far?

“This is what 7:15 p.m. looks like? It looks like 10:00 p.m. That’s disappointing.”

– Jeff Kovalik-Plouffe, Campaign Manager

Full disclosure: I’ve never really been involved in GOTV efforts (don’t know what GOTV stands for? See yesterday’s post). But this campaign, I’ve been tasked with being the deputy GOTV person. One thing to know about politics, there is always something to learn. This is one of the things I love the most; I’m always expanding my skills.

Like I said yesterday, the efforts towards GOTV are all about getting your people out to vote. So every campaign, regardless of political stripe, will literally do anything to make sure that their supporters can vote. Does someone need childcare while they go vote? We’ll do that. Does someone need a ride? We’ll take them. Does someone need a call from the candidate before voting? We’ll arrange that. The irony of people thinking that their vote doesn’t count, is that their vote counts even more.

Did you know that Winnipeg South Centre had the highest turnout of advance voters in Manitoba? I think that speaks volume of the efforts Jim has put into getting to know the constituents of his riding, and the volunteers that have committed hundreds and thousands of hours over the past 2 years. It’s truly amazing to be part of this movement; and I can’t wait to see the results on October 19.


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GOTV Training #1

GOTV = Get Out The Vote

The culmination of all efforts in a campaign is getting your candidate elected. How do you do that? You have to get as many of your identified supporters out to the polls to vote for you. Getting out the vote is what it’s all about.

gotv shirt

I think we ALL need this shirt! 

In Winnipeg South Centre, where I’m working, we are lucky to have such a great candidate in Jim Carr. The team has worked so incredibly hard to cultivate such a large group of volunteers committed to seeing Jim elected. We have had to break out GOTV training sessions into 3 different dates just to accommodate everyone. Tonight was our first night of training.

If you have never volunteered on a campaign, it is truly an incredible experience. It is the best way to learn more about our Canadian electoral system – and it’s a free education! Plus campaigns generally provide food for you during the day 😉

If you have never worked in politics, you might not know that every person has an individual voter identification number. This number identifies each person throughout the election system. Not only does Elections Canada has access to this information, so does each party. Why are those numbers important? During the day, forms called ‘bingo sheets’ are filled out stating which people have voted. Parties have access to these forms and take them back to their campaign offices to input this information. So when you receive a telephone call or a door knock from someone on Election Day asking when you plan on voting, there really is no point is trying to say you’ve already voted when you haven’t. Because they know if you have or haven’t. And the best way to get them to stop coming around to ask you to vote? Go out and vote.

We have 5 more sleeps until the polls open on Election Day. I urge everyone, regardless of your political views, to get out and vote on Monday. This is our chance to shape our country; we shouldn’t take that lightly.


Voting is cool



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Election Day 73…

This morning started off bright and early; it was just a little chilly this morning when a group of us met to greet morning commuters as they drove to work. Managed to get a selfie showing the temperature – let’s just mitts (Olympic red ones of course) were necessary!


Check it out – only 1°C at 8:19 am!

Spent most of my day at the campaign office, although I did get a chance to leave to put up some signs and visit a supporter. Brownie has been a proud Liberal for over 60 years, and saw Pierre Elliott Trudeau when he spoke at the corner of Portage and Main many moons ago. One thing that I love about campaigning in the opportunity to learn about voters and listen to their stories. I took 20 minutes today to sit with this man, who has given so much to his community (he volunteers at a hospital, meals on wheels, played hockey until he was 75) and he is just so passionate to see Justin Trudeau elected Prime Minister. And to tell you the truth, just sitting with this man and listening to him tell me his experiences felt really good. It felt right.

Today also saw Anna Gainey, President of the Liberal Party of Canada, arrive in Winnipeg for a two-day visit to several Winnipeg ridings. I missed meeting her at the Montreal convention where both she and Justin were elected. Check out this news story from her win in 2014. She is the very definition of #addwomenchangepolitics. It was wonderful to finally meet her – and I look forward to seeing her again in May, at convention (which will be  held in Winnipeg!)


#addwomenchangepolitics – Anna Gainey (centre), Rebecca Parkinson (right), and myself at Jim’s campaign office

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Surviving 70+ days of an election campaign

Executive Director of MLP and strategist extraordinare

Staying upbeat on the campaign trail is easier when surrounded by friends

It’s not easy to survive over 70 days of election campaigning. Not only are you working under extremely stressful circumstances, which would be taxing in itself, but you’re also being pulled in multiple directions.

You can have anywhere from 5 – 25 core people working on a local campaign. Try to think of your campaign team like a sports team; a number of people, with different strengths, united in the one goal of electing your candidate. It’s helpful to remember that as it should guide all your decisions.

Here are some other tips that I’ve picked up over the years:

  • Get rest where you can. When people are running on empty, tempers can sometimes flare up.
  • Try to eat something ‘green’ (re: healthy produce) each day. I was extremely excited when one of our volunteers brought in apples today.
  • On the food topic, campaign offices aren’t necessarily known as the healthiest. Try to stay away from the chocolate (as much as possible) and choose water over pop.
  • Try to unplug for an hour every day. Put your phone on silent, don’t check your email, and for social media staff – turn off the twitter machine. The world will not end if you check out for an hour at the end of the day.
  • If there’s a disagreement or conflict, think about whether it’s something that is truly worth your time or if your efforts are better used elsewhere. A quote I like is this: “Is this the hill you want to die on?”
  • Take time for yourself – pockets of time – when you can. Don’t neglect your family and friends.
  • Try to think big picture – not every decision needs to be made instantaneously. In fact, the more important the decision the less instantly it should be made. Always have someone else to bounce ideas off or look over your work.
  • Put effort in the activities that will garner the biggest gain. Meaning social media at the riding level should take a back seat to getting out the vote. The biggest impact of social media? If you screw up, not if you do it well. Although, this tweet from today made me smile:
  • And finally, get out and be active every day, even if it’s just walking around the campaign office. Of course, door knocking is the best way to stay in shape.

Anything you’d add?

PS: did you know there’s only 7 more sleeps until Election Day?!

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Top 5 things I’m thankful for

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I would write the top 5 things I’m thankful this holiday:

  1. I live in a country with a free and democratic political system.
  2. I am encouraged to follow my passion in working in partisan politics.
  3. I’m able to talk to people about my political beliefs without fear of reprisals or persecution.
  4. There is a political party and leader I believe in with all my heart.
  5. There are so many friends I’ve made through politics, that will last a lifetime.

What are you thankful for?

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