Friday, October 15, 2010

Don’t just vote — engage

Just getting yourself out to vote, while necessary, isn’t going to be enough to get a better city council and school boards for our city. If we are to achieve that, we all need to get out on the last few days of the campaign to engage our friends, neighbours, colleagues, etc., in getting them out to vote. The more people who vote, the greater the odds of getting a more representative result from the election.

Please tell everyone you know that you are voting (or have voted if you did the advance vote). Nothing encourages behaviour in people more than seeing others engaging in that behaviour. “Primate see, primate do.”

However, I strongly recommend against saying things like “you should vote” — nobody likes being told what they “should” do (and it often triggers a rebellious response leading to the opposite behaviour out of spite). Far more effective, in my experience, has been things like “I’m voting on Monday, have you thought about your vote?”

If that hook catches them, I then say something like “there is a website with links to all the candidate information if you want to know more about what the choices are,” and then give them the link to Calgary Democracy.

Support your candidates

If you have a candidate you really like, please try to volunteer a couple hours with their campaign over the next few days. They really need to make a big final push to get their name out as much as possible. With so many of the races being very close this year, it genuinely could make the difference in determining who wins.

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