Canadian Election Advocacy Resources

While there’s been a lot of coverage of the US Election (in particular the, er, interesting choice of an apparent wannabee book-banner as Republican VP nominee), the relatively un-showy and non-flashy Canadian Federal Elections aren’t getting much press in the LIS blogosphere. October 14, 2008 is not just the first Open Access Day, it’s also Election Day for us Canucks!

If you are Canadian in any way, shape or form, you can do something to influence the political agenda in this country.  Telecom and information issues are not really making the headlines in the campaign coverage, even though Canadians clearly care about issues such as copyright and net neutrality in 2008.

Here are a couple of resources to help you remind the candidates that we care about library and information issues, to push the parties to make committments, and to advocate for the kind of change you want to see.

MP Contact Info & Suggested Questions

1) How to contact your candidates

On the Elections Canada FAQ page , find your electoral dictrict by typing in your postal code.

On the lower right-hand side, under “Candidates,” click on:

Who are the candidates in my electoral district?

On the upper right-hand side, under “Related Questions,” click on:

How do I contact the candidates in my electoral district?

This will give you at least the phone number of your candidates.  I know, email is better, but I haven’t found an email directory of all the candidates yet, so the best thing I know to do is google “Firstname Lastname.”

If you know of a better source, please let me know in the comments!

2) What to ask/tell your Candidates?
Obviously, you should ask about anything you find important.  However, two sources that I know of have compiled collections of issues and talking points you may find useful:

  1. The CLA’s 2008 Election Campaign Kit (link to pdf)
  2. The Campaign for Democratic Media‘s question list “Where do the candidates stand on democratic media?” (link to pdf)

The CLA kit offers general election advocacy tips and focuses on 9 issues: Copyright, Library Book Rate, Removal of the GST on Reading Materials, Library services for Canadians with print disabilities,The Community Access Program, Public Library Infrastructure, Support for libraries through Library and Archives Canada, National Literacy Initiatives & Net Neutrality.

The CDM list offers a brief summary of the issues and suggested specific questions to ask candidates about: Net Neutrality, Cultural Funding, Canadian Ownership of Broadcasting & Telecommunications, The CBC, Local News, Employment Equity, Concentrations of Media Ownership, Community Media, Appointments to Federal Boards and Commissions, & Broadcast and Telecom Regulation.

If you get answers from any MP Candidates avout the CDM questions, post them, please! I’m sure the CDM would like to collect responses.

Thanks to the tireless folk at CLA and CDM for making it easier for the rest of us to make a difference!

-Greyson

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1 Comment

Filed under government, media democracy, The Profession, tips and tools

One response to “Canadian Election Advocacy Resources

  1. greyson

    As a last-minute update, CDM has put out a press release with the party reponses to their media survey. Perhaps it may be helpful in informing your voting on Tuesday. It can be found here:
    http://democraticmedia.ca/news-item/conservatives-refuse-answers-media-communications-policy

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