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Chasing Leadership: Mike de Jong & The BC Liberals

The thing with leadership campaigns is that they can either be a walk in the park or things can go down to the wire with everyone vying for that coveted title. The leadership battle for the BC Liberals in Canada looks to be the latter. In a field of 6 strong and experienced candidates, roughly 60,000 paid-in-full, card-carrying Liberals will get the opportunity to choose their leader between Feb 1st and 3rd.

Sometimes party leadership campaigns go by relatively unreported due to a number of different factors; lack of competition maybe, or simply only relevant to a small cohort of individuals. The BC leadership campaign in Canada is relatively different, there is a brewing battle between traditional political methods and promises of a large overhaul in the party structure by others.

One candidate who is making waves using old-style politics and one we are happy to be following is our user, Mike de Jong.

Election Campaign Strategy

Leadership campaigns are a relatively untapped area for political software users but there are wonderful opportunities there to make significant progress in a short space of time. This is exactly what we have seen happen in the de Jong case. It's great to see the versatility that some users are finding when using Ecanvasser and phone banking is a great example of this.

Using phones to canvass

Mike entered the race for leader back in Sept 2017, giving himself enough time to push his message and his reasons for wanting to take his political career to the next level. In terms of the groundwork he has put in, we can confirm that nothing was left to half measures. Working off a party membership list of over 35,000 paid up individuals de Jong has already touched base with over 15,000 of them through phone banking and house visits.

Phone banking is a great tool to be able to rely on when your message is simple and you want to engage with a lot of people during a time of the year when perhaps door knocking isn't as convenient due to weather conditions.

This is made easier again when your membership data is of a high quality, which is evident in the case of de Jong. Looking for email addresses and phone numbers will help you a great deal when opting for phone banking or email outreach.

Another key point when running a leadership campaign is focusing on gathering voters intentions. It's a simple question (Do I have your vote?) and it's a time saver when scheduling for the second round of outreach. Using Ecanvasser to capture these intentions and furthermore, capture reasons why you may be losing votes, could help you upon election.

Systems such as Ecanvsser aim to simplify this issue gathering exercise and thus help you in the crucial stages of your campaign.

Reputation Helps

“I’ve tried to serve loyally under two leaders for almost 24 years now and along the way have developed some specific ideas and approaches that I would like to have a chance to pursue in the capacity as leader,” de Jong said in an interview. “I think the free-enterprise team needs to be re-energized. Candidly, I think I’ve got the energy, the experience, the talent, the communications skills to do that.”

Evan as a veteran of the game, endorsements are often seen as important, none more so than that of the Interim BC Liberal leader Rich Coleman. And who received that lucky endorsement? None other than de Jong of course.

A few of the candidates sought his public backing, only to be told he wasn't endorsing anyone. More recently, he decided to give his long-time colleague, Mr. de Jong, his support. A senior backroom official working for another candidate said Mr. Coleman's endorsement of Mr. de Jong is significant, especially under a voting system where members have to rank their choices.

Looking at how the de Jong campaign team has embraced political technology and some backing from significant politicians shows us that he will go far in this election and we are excited to see how polling day goes.

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