The Mathematics of the Phone Canvass

Marlene Wells

The Equation

A great phone canvass + A great GOTV team = A great day at the polls

The Explanation

We have all received the emails asking for help with the phone canvass in this round of by elections. But why is phone canvassing so important? Let’s begin with the explanation of the actual phone canvass, then move into the reason it is vitally important on voting day.

 A great phone canvass is made up of MANY people (500) phoning into a riding, in a very organized way.  Each household in every poll is called by one of the phone canvassers previous to voting day. But how does this translate into a great day at the polls?

 The secret to the success of this equation is in the purpose of the phone call.  The purpose of the phone call is not to convince people to vote Green.  It is not to sell the candidate, or the policy.  It is simply to identify if the callee is going to vote Green on Election Day (EDay). Identifying as many Green voters as possible is the purpose of the entire canvass. This information only becomes useful on EDay.

 On Election Day, the data from the phone canvass is priceless. On EDay a 'Get Out The Vote' (GOTV) team will be able to use this information to quickly contact (by a second wave Election Day phone canvass), all the Green voters that have been identified in the early phone canvass.  When we know the people who are absolutely going to vote Green it makes it possible to move them to the polls on EDay so that they actually do vote.  This is critical to winning elections.

 This political tactic is particularly successful in a byelection.  In a byelection voter turnout is traditionally lower than in a general election.  There is less interest in the election itself because there is less attention paid to it.  This makes a good GOTV effort very lucrative. With lower than normal turnout to the polls, a strong turnout for the Greens will equal a far better return from the polls and a larger percentage of the vote. A larger percentage of the vote results in a political win. 


 You agreeing to help in the phone canvass that is going on right now, will directly affect the outcome of 3 of the most important byelections in the history of the Green Party of Canada.  Every phone call is critical.  When you call 20 homes, 30, 50, or even 100,  you are helping to identify critical Green votes.

In Calgary and Victoria we have candidates that are peaking at just the right time in their races.  The phone calls you make in the next 6 days could be the difference on Election Day.

Please, if you have any free time, please contact You will be instructed on how to make the calls so that they are not a long distance charge to you.  You will be given a script so you do not have to feel as though you don't know what to say.  You do not have to convince people to vote Green, or talk about GPC policy with people.  Your single purpose is to find out if the person will vote Green on Election Day so that our GOTV team can make sure that all Green voters make it to the ballot box on Election Day.

All you need is a phone line, a computer with an Internet connection, and the desire to be part of a winning equation!  We proved it when we elected Elizabeth May in SGI.  We can do it again, and elect more Greens to the House of Commons.  You have seen how effective one Green can be.  Can you imagine how effective 3-4 would be?

A great phone canvass + A great GOTV team = A great day at the polls

What are you waiting for? Contact now!

PS.  Want to be part of the GOTV effort too?  Email today!