You can expect to receive questionnaire replies from most, if not all, major party leaders in your province/territory. Campaigns often have staff tasked with researching and replying to incoming questionnaires from organizations like The Arthritis Society during the election period. Campaign staff will attempt to meet the deadline as closely as possible, however it is occasionally necessary to send a reminder.
Receiving Replies from Party Leaders
When replies to the questionnaire are received, read through the reply for any specific commitments and take note of these for use in your post-election letters. Also note any statements that indicate broad support for your issues, or any areas of conflicting ideology. Questionnaire replies are an indicator of what the party has specifically prioritized and will be your foundation document in working with the party's members over the next term.
Expressions of Interest from Candidates
If, as a result of advocates asking questions to local candidates, you receive any expressions of interest, write a short note to the candidate at their campaign office thanking them for their interest in arthritis issues. Include a copy of their party's questionnaire reply if you have received one. If not, encourage the candidate to ask the central campaign to reply. If the candidate is elected, follow-up with a post-election letter attaching their party's questionnaire reply (if received). You can use the "Have Your Say…The Arthritis Society's Self-Advocacy Toolkit
" section on meeting with provincial representatives to build a relationship and educate your champion. If the candidate is not elected, write him/her a letter thanking them for their interest – you might have your next volunteer!
If you have not received a reply from any of the parties by your due date, send a reminder e-mail to the central campaign office. Use the Model Electronic Content: Reminder E-mail [PDF]
to nudge the parties into responding, and attach a copy of the cover letter and questionnaire.
Posting Replies on the Website
In your cover letter to leaders, you stated that you would communicate the replies publicly. Use the Model Electronic Content: Model Replies Page
as a guide to writing and posting party replies. Make sure to post replies you have received by your due date and a news item on your home page pointing visitors to the questions and replies. Party leaders and campaign staff want the replies made public as much as you want to publicize the commitments received.
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