Information is Power

As an educator, and someone who prides herself in possessing more than just basic knowledge about some issues, I am frustrated by an abject lack of knowledge about our political system, as exhibited by people in my sphere.

Case in point: I just heard about a family in Cote St. Luc (a predominantly Jewish municipality in Montreal) who were Liberal voters but, after hearing Pierre Poilievre speaking at the synagogue in their area, will now vote Conservative.

The problem is that they likely won’t get involved other than voting.

I parlayed, to the friend of the family who told me about them, how they can help. I suggested they contact the Mount Royal Electoral District Association (EDA) and make a donation. EDAs are in place to support the candidate for their riding (district).

As the president for my riding Association, I know we need to hold events for members of the riding to get to know the candidate. We need to fund those events. Hence the need for donors to help us support our candidate.

Events cost money. There’s rental of a venue, refreshments, and sometimes the need to advertise (during election campaigns). I now understand a lot more than I did before becoming involved at this level.

Every EDA can use the donation. We can use the volunteers too. Everything we do is to get our candidate elected.

Here’s something else a lot of people do not understand. We cannot vote for our choice of Prime Minister. In our electoral system, we vote for the candidate in our riding. The party who has the most candidates elected across Canada then becomes the party to form government, and the leader of that party becomes Prime Minister.

Too many people don’t understand that when you vote for a candidate, you are also voting for his/her party.

With events, we can help educate the public as to how this works and why their vote is for more than just the candidate of their choosing.

But I’ve gotten pushback from my suggestion for that family to get involved. “These people won’t get involved, they won’t donate, they’ll just vote for Pierre Poilievre.”

They can’t – unless they live in Carleton, his riding.

And my frustration is this: no matter who the candidate is – known or not – by the time Election Day rolls around, it may be too late.

The Conservative Party of Canada is now in election-readiness mode. We don’t know if Trudeau will let time run out and the election will be on the last day of the 4-year anniversary of our last election, or if – somehow – an election will be triggered before that point in time. With a minority Liberal government, even being propped up to majority status by the coalition with the radical-left NDP isn’t always a guarantee. There’s a lot of road to travel between now and the next 19 months. An election is always a possibility (though not a likelihood).

That’s why we are doing everything we can to publicize the policies and viewpoints of the CPC. It is amazing to hear Pierre speak, and to hear his commitment to fixing our country (build the homes, fix the budget, axe the tax, and stop the crime). It is, as a Jewish Canadian, deeply gratifying to know a Poilievre government will stand up for Israel and the Jewish community.

Source: Pierre Poilievre X @PierrePoilievre. Pierre Poilievre addresses attendees at Cote St-Luc’s Beth Israel Beth Aaron synagogue, March 26, 2024

But it isn’t enough. Too many people have the wrong pre-conceived misperceptions about our party. Too many people know almost nothing about conservatism. Too many people vote by rote, because their parents and grandparents voted that way. Too many people don’t understand the impact politics can have on their lives.

The uninformed voter is a dangerous person. Too many in our country are in that category. Uninformed, unengaged, uninterested.

So we need to help the process by educating, informing, and motivating voters to play a role in their own destiny.

That includes the tough, but necessary, task of asking for donations. It includes holding events with members of Parliament (such as the one we recently co-hosted with Mount Royal where we invited people to come hear Melissa Lantsman speak). It includes holding events with our local candidates who will lay out not only the CPC perspectives, but how our district will benefit from being represented by a Conservative MP.

Don’t get me wrong, voting for the Conservative candidates on Election Day is the goal.

But it isn’t where it starts; Election Day is where it ends.

And I love hearing how former-Liberal voters are no longer going to support that party.

But their vote isn’t enough; we need – at the very least – people to get involved even if it’s just word of mouth.

We EDA members can’t be the proverbial Little Red Hens. We need our support system.

Talk is cheap.

Actions matter.

If you want to ensure a Poilievre government, it’s crucial to support your local Conservative candidate and your local Conservative riding association.

I just wish people would listen so that they’d understand why voting isn’t the only action that has to take place.

Spread the word. If you know people who heard Pierre speak – whether in person, on TV, or on social media – ask them to do more than just say they’ll vote for Conservatives.

Every little bit counts for the Big Win.

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