Join a local canvass team
There is no better way to help a pro-life candidate than to join their canvassing team. When RightNow asks you to "volunteer for a pro-life candidate", we are asking you for your permission to put you in touch with your closest pro-life candidate to help them win. This could mean:
1. Door-knocking for them to identify supporters
2. Phone-calling to identify supporters
3. Administration (writing addresses on envelopes, stuffing envelopes, writing thank-you cards etc)
4. Delivering pamphlets
5. GOTV (Get Out The Vote) on election day to ensure all supporters actually make it to their polling station to vote
These are all extremely important duties and only further that candidate's chances of winning. For example, did you know people are way more likely to read their mail if it has a hand-written address on it? By simply taking an hour out of your day to help write addresses, you are increasing the number of voters actually opening and reading their mail, thus increasing the chances of your candidate actually winning. Also, if you are able to be part of their team that door-knocks to identify supporters, you are increasing that candidates chances of voter supporter turnout on election day by 12%! Sometimes, that is the difference between a candidate winning or losing an election. Our goal at RightNow is to get teams of 20 people or more in each riding across the country by the 2019 federal election. The more pro-lifers we have ready to help local pro-life candidates, the more we prove that we don't just talk the talk, we walk the walk. We don't just say we support pro-life candidates, we actually do it. Not only does this increase our political capital, it also brings us one step closer to passing pro-life legislation. All we need is 170 pro-life MP's in the House of Commons to win: an achievable and realistic goal if we start right now.
How It's Done
DOOR-KNOCKING: It may sound intimidating, but it's actually really easy. You will be put on a team with a few other people helping the candidate, and be given a small map. You and your partner will knock on each house on the map and say something like "Hello, my name is ________, and I'm with the (name of your pro-life candidate) campaign. Can (name of your pro-life candidate) count on your support in the upcoming election?". Regardless of whether that person says yes or no, you mark it down on your tracking sheet and go to the next house. It may seem small, but it makes a HUGE difference come election day, because your candidate can now target their supports and make sure they actually vote on election day. The more supporters that you identify, the greater the chances are of that candidate winning the election! And don't worry. You don't have to be a political whiz to door-knock. If the person at the door asks you any questions about the candidate's platform, all you have to do is direct them to the website on the literature you hand them, or ask them to call their office. Candidate's would prefer to answer these questions instead of their volunteers doing it, to ensure people are getting the right answers. It's simple. It's effective. And anyone can do it. That's why it's important that pro-life volunteers show their support for the candidate by physically helping them get elected. On top of that, you are developing a personal relationship with the candidate, by seeing them regularly during an election, something that's difficult to do after they get elected. This enables you to have more influence when it's really needed.
PHONE CALLING: Phone calling is much like door-knocking, but instead of walking door-to-door, you are calling people on the phone. You use the same script as you would if you were door-knocking, however you would be calling from the candidate's campaign office in the call centre section. The benefits are the same, and usually happens if you are available to volunteer in between door-knocking shifts.
ADMINISTRATION: Depending on the campaign office, there could be a variety of tasks you can do in-office. Whether it's writing addresses on envelopes, stuffing envelopes, writing thank-you cards, data entry or whatever other tasks the campaign office needs you to do. It may seem small, but these menial tasks free up the campaign staff to be able to do the tasks volunteers are not able to do, which means being more effective in gathering support and votes. There's something to do for everyone, and every task is equally as important to achieving victory.
DELIVERING PAMPHLETS: Some candidates like to deliver pamphlets to educate voters on policies they support and introduce themselves to people in their riding. It's easy, it's good exercise, it shows voters the candidate is active and helps increase their support by educating them on issues that matter.
GOTV: Getting out the vote is one of the most important things a volunteer can do. This starts when the advanced polls start and go until election day (1-2 weeks). In order to get out the vote, each volunteer has a list of voters who have said they will support your candidate, and communicates with them to ensure they make it to the polling station to vote before the end of the day. Whether it's delivering door-hangers and reminders, calling them, or driving them to the polling station (if you own a vehicle), making sure a candidate's supporters actually vote is the key to their success. Make sure that you mark your calendar for election day in your riding so that you are available to get out the vote and help your candidate maximize their success.
RightNow Door-Knocking Campaign
If politicians are so eager to identify new supporters when they door-knock during an election period, then the pro-life movement should be following this proven strategy because they've shown us it works. Polling shows that there are over 5 million pro-life voters in Canada, which means it's our job as pro-lifers to find these people. The best way to do that is by knocking on their door.
In between election cycles, RightNow will be putting together teams of door-knockers to go out and identify new pro-life voters by asking them to sign a petition. Whether it’s defunding abortion in Alberta, parental consent in Saskatchewan or banning late-term abortion in Ontario, we know that the majority of Canadians support these causes, which means gathering contact information en masse. If people at the door agree to sign the petition, we are not only gathering more names for our cause, we are also gathering the contact information of new pro-life supporters. If they refuse to sign the petition, we say thank-you and move on. Our goal is not to argue with anyone, or even get them to change their mind. We leave that to the educational arm of the pro-life movement that is doing fantastic and effective campaigns changing hearts and minds every day. Our goal is to identify new pro-life supporters across the country to intensify their vote by election day, and get them involved in the pro-life movement.
RightNow will supply you with t-shirts, clipboards, a map, and a simple petition and tracking sheet. We will schedule a canvassing time with all volunteers to meet, pair up, and go to the location on your assigned map. All you have to do is knock on each door, ask the homeowner if they would be willing to sign your petition, and while they are signing, ask where they stand on the issue of abortion. The tracker (your partner) will then record their answers. When they are finished, thank them and move on. That’s it! If people do not want to sign the petition, you politely go to the next house. We don’t want you to argue or debate with anyone. All we want you to do is identify, identify, identify. It’s about growing the pro-life movement exponentially so that when election-time comes, we’re ready.
The more people our team of door-knockers can identify, the more pro-life voters we have, the more volunteers we have and the bigger our movement becomes, showing that the pro-life cause transcends party affiliation, ethnicity and gender.
It's easy. It's effective. No one ever gets mad at you. And above all: it works.