OREA Election Campaign Overview


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Andrew Hodgson, Former Chief of Staff to John Tory, PC Party of Ontario and Broker/Owner, Century 21 Granite Realty Ltd. Presentation on the Election Campaign to OREA's 2011 Campaign College (April 19, 2011).

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OREA Election Campaign Overview

  1. 1. Ontario Real Estate AssociationCampaign Overview<br />Andrew Hodgson, Broker of Record/Owner<br />Century 21 Granite Realty Group Ltd.<br />4718 County Road 21<br />Haliburton, ON K0M 1S0<br />andrew@century21granite.com<br />705-854-0130(cell) 705-286-2138 (office)<br />
  2. 2. Andrew Hodgson<br />After a successful 10-year career in political organization at the highest levels of government, Andrew Hodgson decided to return to his hometown of Haliburton to pursue a career in real estate in 2006.  In December 2009, Andrew and his wife Anne purchased Century 21 Granite Realty Ltd. with 29 realtors and 4 offices serving Haliburton County.<br />Andrew acquired his political and campaign knowledge from the senior political roles he has held professionally for 10 years. Prior to working in this profession, Andrew has spent most of his life volunteering in numerous elections campaigns. This extensive experience has provided him with significant knowledge and familiarity on political and government processes, both at the federal and provincial levels of government.<br />Andrew most recently served as Chief of Staff to Ontario’s Official Leader of the Opposition, John Tory. Part of his job was to set the foundation for the office in the first year and a half of Mr. Tory’s term. Andrew’s experience also included serving as the Executive Director of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, Campaign Manager for both John Tory and former Ontario Premier Ernie Eves in their successful provincial leadership races.<br />
  3. 3. Andrew Hodgson<br />Andrew was also the Director of Organization for the Tony Clement federal leadership race. In addition, he worked as the Director of Operations for the Official Leader of the Opposition on Parliament Hill in 2000 – 2001.<br />Andrew has experience with developing and implementing strategic plans, national marketing, project management, fundraising and stakeholder relations. Additionally, he has managed large and complex budgets involving full-time staff and volunteers.<br />Andrew’s community roots have also provided him with a strong connection and dedication to his community. He volunteers his time with several local organizations that contribute to the vitality of the county. Presently, these include the Haliburton Rotary Club, the Haliburton County Economic Development Corporation, and the Board of Governors for Fleming College.<br />
  4. 4. Today’s Goal<br />When reviewing public policy pertaining Realtors, how do we get senior bureaucrats, MPPs, caucuses, Cabinet and the Premier to question “How does this affect Realtors?”.<br />
  5. 5. Political Parties<br />To influence change, it is critical to get involved in the policy platforms.<br />All political parties have some form of a grassroots policy development process.<br />This ultimately leads to the platform development for a campaign.<br />
  6. 6. Political Parties<br />In Ontario, we have a fixed election date and we are subject to elections every four years. The next election is scheduled for October 6, 2011.<br />This provides an excellent opportunity for organizations to place significant pressure on both governing parties and opposition parties in the year leading up to an election.<br />It is important that organizations try to secure guarantees in writing from all political parties that could potentially become the new government.<br />Political Parties are looking for alliances and initiatives that will result in a positive reaction from a large number of people. (Convince them you have sway).<br />
  7. 7. How Campaigns Work<br />Relationship building is the basis for all political campaigns.<br />Our first-past the post system ( meaning the candidate with the most votes wins) means that there is significant emphasis on the political party leader and the party platform document.<br />The public tends to place less emphasis on the local candidate.<br />
  8. 8. Central Campaign Roles<br />Media/Message of the Day<br />Communications<br />Crisis Management<br />Tour<br />Fundraising<br />Policy<br />Organization<br />Priority Ridings<br />Voter ID<br />3rd Party Activities<br />Information Technology<br />Social Media<br />Transition<br />
  9. 9. Media/Message of the Day<br />Political parties pay significant attention to polling data. In addition to polling data, they also pay close attention to the media.<br />This includes national and provincial newspapers, local newspapers, radio and television.<br />Campaigns hire media monitoring services and the first meeting of the day consist of reviewing the media and making strategic plans to address any contentious issues.<br />In addition, political parties try to control the news stories by developing the Message of the Day.<br />The message of the day consists of the key points the want their leader and all politicians to deliver. (Almost always an event).<br />
  10. 10. Communications<br />The communications department works closely with the media spokespeople and the policy department.<br />They focus on message discipline.<br />All materials going into the campaign flow through the communications department to ensure they emphasize the key campaign themes.<br />
  11. 11. Crisis Management<br />There are individuals on the central campaign team that are called Issue Managers. These individuals deal with crisis management – both from the perspective of the central campaign or if there is a serious issue with one of the local candidates.<br />They are present at the first morning meeting reviewing the media package for the day.<br />They work to address urgent or crisis situations that may be emerging. <br />They work closely with the media spokespeople, communications and policy individuals to determine an immediate course of action, key messages, etc.<br />
  12. 12. Tour<br />Tour organizes the logistics surrounding the leader’s schedule every day.<br />Their priorities dove-tail with the priorities of other areas of the campaign team.<br />Events need to focus around media, message of the day, support local candidates, etc.<br />The 6 pm news clip is the key for tour.<br />
  13. 13. Fundraising<br />Campaigns cost significant money to run (both on a local level and especially from the perspective of the Central Campaign.<br />The major political parties with representation in the federal and provincial legislatures all hire professional full time fundraisers.<br />It is the job of these individuals to plan fundraising events, send fundraising letters to supporters, solicit donations by phoning supporters, etc.<br />
  14. 14. Policy<br />Individuals working in policy, are focused on working to develop the materials outlined in the party platform document. <br />These are the main issues that differentiate the direction of one party from other parties in any election.<br />Policy individuals are responsible for helping the local campaigns interpret the party’s position on any given issue (whether it is in the platform document or not), they respond to surveys submitted from various organizations, and they meet with stakeholders to discuss the implications of policy decisions on various groups.<br />
  15. 15. Organization<br />Political organizers are responsible for finding suitable candidates to run in all ridings in an election.<br />They oversee the nominations process and ensure that nominations meetings are run in accordance with the party’s constitution and rules.<br />They provide training and tools for candidates and local campaign teams to help them prepare for the various parts of their local campaigns.<br />They help to determine priority ridings.<br />
  16. 16. Priority Ridings<br />Organizers identify priority ridings (where they spend more of their political resources). It is winning or losing these ridings that will make the difference as to whether a political party will win or lose.<br />There are currently 107 ridings in the province of Ontario (Liberal– 72; Progressive Conservative– 25; NDP – 10)<br />Of these 107 ridings, typically there are approximately 25 priority ridings in any given election.<br />
  17. 17. Priority Ridings<br />There are several reasons that a riding may be designated as a priority riding:<br />Swing ridings (ridings where historical data suggests that the results of previous elections have been close and the riding has been frequently represented by different political parties).<br />Ridings with candidates who are party leaders or star candidates.<br />An issue-based riding (e.g. amalgamation issue, or hospital closing).<br />Popular incumbent retiring.<br />
  18. 18. Priority Ridings<br />Election results tend to be much closer in priority ridings than what is referred to as a ‘safe riding’.<br />As a result, there is more focus placed on the local candidate because in these ridings a strong local candidate can actually swing a few votes to their side and make a difference<br />
  19. 19. Third Party Activities<br />Advocacy by third parties is a powerful campaign tool. <br />Seen as non-partisan and objective and when used to support a political party, can impact voter approval.<br />Recent examples in Ontario would be the impact of the Working Family Coalition.<br />
  20. 20. Information Technology<br />Voter identification and demographic breakdowns are critical in any election.<br />As voter turnout declines, identification based on issues, parties support, etc. becomes very scientific.<br />Using phone and mail programs, campaigns spend enormous dollars on identifying people that may be swayed to support them.<br />Therefore, lists based on issues, employment, etc. are like gold.<br />
  21. 21. Social Media<br />An effective campaign uses all the suitable means of connecting with their supporters, volunteers, media and voters.<br />Like other industries, in recent years campaign tools have had to place more emphasis on using social media initiatives to connect with people. <br />
  22. 22. Transition<br />Every election results in changes to the composition of the legislature.<br />Sometimes, these changes are major (in an example where majority of the seats goes to a new political party). In this case transition teams for both the outgoing and incoming governing party need to plan for a smooth transition of government. <br />In other instances, where there are no changes to the governing party, there is still work to be done by the transition team. A new cabinet needs to be selected, etc.<br />
  23. 23. How You Can Get Involved in Political Campaigns<br />Get a political party membership<br />Attend party policy conventions<br />Join local riding associations<br />Help on election campaigns<br />
  24. 24. Ways to Secure Commitments<br />Platform documents<br />Participation in campaign teams<br />Surveys/Questionnaires<br />Attending local all candidates debates<br />Writing letters to the editor<br />Policy convention attendance<br />Internal policy advisory committees<br />Provincial or National Party Vice Presidents<br />Local riding policy meetings<br />On-line policy development<br />Write to website<br />Meetings with elected officials and political staff.<br />