Canada Federal Election Writ - DOC by ujx17691


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               The Canadian Diabetes Association must speak with one voice
                 during federal, provincial & territorial election campaigns.
                Using common wording, information & presentation ensures
               diabetes advocates across Canada deliver a strong & consistent
                          message to all candidates & to the public.

(1)    Recruit your campaign team
       Ideally you want a team with a breadth of talent, experience, skills and
       energy, as well as one that is representative of your geographical area, youth
       and seniors, men and women and people living with type 1 as well as type 2

(2)    Identify gaps in your talent pool
       The pre-election period is a good time to recruit new diabetes advocates with
       the specialized skills (computers, research, writing, etc.) that your team may
       need during the campaign.

(3)    Identify local spokespeople
       Local celebrities, students, diabetes educators, doctors, nurses, nutritionists,
       VIPs, journalists and other media-types will broaden your talent pool and
       heighten the profile of your activities – even if their only task is to sign their
       name on a letter to the editor.

(4)    Determine the scope of your efforts
       In urban centres, you may want to track opportunities in more than one
       riding; in smaller communities there may be just one riding to focus on.
       Before starting, diabetes advocates should consult with their Association’s
       Regional Director to avoid any potential duplication of effort.

(5)    Research all the candidates in your riding(s)
       Who are your candidates? Which political party do they represent? What
       have they and their party said on diabetes or health care historically? Is
       diabetes or chronic disease mentioned in their party’s election platform? Do

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       they have a personal connection to diabetes? What does the recent polling say
       about each candidate’s chance of electoral success, etc.?

                  Can you create opportunities? Could you, for instance, issue a local
                  news release on the content of your town’s all-candidates’ debate
                  (being careful, of course, to avoid alienating the hosts of the
                  event)? Your news release should include our Ask as appropriate.

(6)    Set goals and objectives
       Choose activities that help to raise awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and
       the Canadian Diabetes Association’s federal or provincial Ask. Brainstorm
       with each other on the potential opportunities for campaign activities and
       events – large or small – to deliver our message to voters and candidates.
       Examples include:

   All-Candidates                Op-Eds or columns          Breakfast, lunch or
     Meetings                     Radio                        reception events
   Town Hall forums               Commentaries               Face-to-Face
   Radio or TV phone-ins         Web-based                    meetings
   Letters to the Editor          Opportunities              Leaflets and
                                  Candidate                     brochures


(1)    Develop a campaign calendar
       A federal election campaign is a minimum of 36 days. On or before the day
       the election writ is dropped you should have your campaign calendar started,
       with it ending a week or two after E-day (election-day).

       Elections dates are now fixed in some provinces and territories. Ontario’s
       next provincial election will be 10 October 2007. Unofficial campaigning by
       all provincial candidates is anticipated this spring, well in advance of the
       official commencement of the election campaign in September.

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       Plot the important dates for each campaign as soon as you know of events.
       Using newspapers, press releases and the personal knowledge of your
       campaign team, identify and plot:
           scheduled campaign events for all political parties;
           known media activities, (e.g., forums, interviews or media series)
              focusing on health, candidate profiles, etc.;
           dates the candidates or leaders will be in your community;
           dates of existing Association events;
           holiday weekends; and
           known dates of local events (e.g., community fair or trade show).

       Look for events that might help you advocate on behalf of the Association,
       such as visits from the party leaders. Check each party’s web site daily for the
       leader’s schedule, announcements, etc. If your community or area is to have a visit
       from a party leader, contact your Regional Director or the Office of Public Policy &
       Government Relations. Staff will help you identify the potential for national media
       and advise you who to contact in the national office.

(2)    Meet regularly
       Your diabetes advocates should meet at least weekly (or shortly after a
       particularly important event) to review successes, de-brief and set strategy for
       the week ahead.

(3)    Decide which events are the best bang for the buck
       Your diabetes advocates should determine which events present the best
       opportunity to get the Association’s message out to as many voters and
       candidates as possible. Assess your local resources, and identify what is do-
       able. Don’t stretch your efforts too thin by trying to do everything.

(4)    Use smaller sub-groups to focus on big events
       Organize smaller groups from amongst your diabetes advocates. Appoint one
       person to lead the team organizing for a big event.

(5)    Identify and develop the materials you need
        A well written, sharply focussed local leaflet or fact sheet will work for a
       variety of events. Consult on the specific module for this activity in this kit
       and write it now.

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        Letters to the Editor and Op-ed pieces, even questions for All Candidates’
       Meetings should be researched and written now.
        Background information for media kits should also be prepared in advance
       to distribute at media events.

(6)    Assign tasks
       Ensure that a diabetes advocate monitors the media daily for diabetes-related
       issues or stories that may arise and that they know who to share this
       information with. Not only will this help you assess your success in raising the
       profile of diabetes, but you may also need to respond quickly to a column or
       editorial to correct inaccuracies or misinterpretations.

       Ensure that a team member keeps track of any candidate support for our
       federal or provincial Asks, and that you let your Regional Director or the
       Office of Public Policy & Government Relations know if you get a
       commitment to support our federal or provincial Asks.

(7)    Include as many diabetes advocates as possible
       If resources permit, contact your entire regional membership by phone, letter
       or e-mail, and invite them to be a part of the local diabetes advocacy
       campaign. Encourage membership to attend all candidate events in the
       community and be prepared to speak to the federal or provincial Asks if the
       opportunity arises.

(8)    Share your successes and challenges
       Keep in regular contact with the Office of Public Policy & Government
       Relations throughout the campaign. We can help you get accurate information
       more quickly. Let us know your successes and challenges, or ideas and stories
       so that we can share with other Association advocates and staff.

                   Make sure the federal or provincial Ask is front and
                    centre at each event or activity as appropriate.

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(1)    Review and assess
       Assess the commitments you extracted from all the candidates and determine
       within your diabetes advocates team when, how and who should follow up
       with each candidate. You will want to concentrate on the candidate who is
       now your Member of Parliament or Member of the Provincial Parliament;
       however, all candidates will have influence in the community and in their
       political parties, and you will want to continue building that relationship into
       the future. Debrief on the tactics and activities that worked and identify what
       did not work. Discuss how to improve your efforts for next time.

(2)    Connect with your new MP, MLA or MPP
       Send a letter of congratulations to your new MP, MLA or MPP, and ask for a
       meeting as soon as possible. If your new MP, MLA or MPP made a
       commitment to our federal or provincial Ask, reiterate that commitment in
       your letter of congratulations. If your MP, MLA or MPP did not commit to
       our federal or provincial Ask, a meeting will provide another opportunity for
       you to ask again. After the meeting, think about whether an Advocacy Online
       campaign directed to the government might be useful in your area, and let the
       Office of Public Policy & Government Relations know.

(3)    Strategize
       Hopefully you made new connections, new contacts and new relationships
       that helped increase general awareness of the seriousness of diabetes during
       the federal election campaign. Develop a strategy to build on this work.
       Nurture your new relationships with your neighbours, reporters, political
       staff, other organizations, businesses and interested parties.

(4)    Thank everyone
       Thank all your campaign volunteers and diabetes supporters, either by letter
       or even by hosting an informal party. Invite your newly elected MP, MLA or
       MPP to join the fun and speak to your diabetes advocates!

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   □ Campaign team assembled; regular brainstorming and review sessions

   □ Gaps identified in talent pool and volunteers with required skill sets recruited.

   □ Local spokespersons identified.

   □ Areas of expertise assigned (e.g., media monitoring, letter writing, research).

   □ Goals and objectives established.

   □ Scope of efforts determined.

   □ Research on candidates’ position on diabetes completed.

   □ Campaign calendar developed and important dates plotted.

   □ Key events to focus efforts on identified.

   □ Teams to organize key events appointed.

   □ Tasks assigned.

   □ Plans for participating in events or interventions developed.

   □ Additional materials required (e.g., fact sheets) identified and work assigned.

   □ Process established to ensure consultation and review with appropriate staff
     on all publicly distributed materials (e.g., news releases, fact sheets) to ensure
     consistent messaging around our federal or provincial Asks.

   □ Follow-up strategy for post-election period developed.

   □ Have fun!

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