Take Action
How to Engage Candidates

Facebook and Twitter
Social media is a popular campaign tool. Like the candidate’s own website, they will often have Facebook pages that allow for wall posts, discussions and sharing links. This is another great space to ask specific questions and prompt the candidate to respond publicly.

Twitter provides another opportunity to question the candidate on their position. Find a candidate’s Twitter ID and pose a question by posting “@” before the candidate’s Twitter ID (e.g. @JoinTheFight_sk). These questions must be in short form, as Twitter is limited to 140 characters.

Spread the word
Our collective voice will make all the difference in the fight against cancer. Help bring even more voices to the fight. Invite your friends to join us in speaking out for public policies that will improve the health and quality of life of the people in the province of Saskatchewan. Sign up for our e-newsletter, follow us on Facebook and invite your friends to do the same.

Send an email or write a letter

emails and letters are a great way to communicate your thoughts and opinions to candidates and they’re tracked by campaign staff. Draft your own email or letter about any Vote For Health issue. A personal message is always more effective. If you need help getting started, use one of our letter templates.

Campaign offices recognize template letters and cut-and-paste formats, so a little extra attention to personalize your message generates a more positive response. Make sure to request a response so that you know your voice has been heard.

Make a phone call
Phone calls and personal conversations with candidates or their staff can be more compelling and have a lasting impact when addressing an issue. Cancer has touched almost everyone and if you are comfortable sharing a personal experience, it can help highlight the importance of healthy public policy.

Campaign staff will track the number of calls made on different issues, so even if you speak with a staff member, your call and position will be documented. Tips for a successful phone call:

  • Prepare for your call ahead of time by reading about the election issues and preparing the questions you want to ask.
  • Explain the reason for your call and what you would like to discuss.
  • Make a request for a specific response, such as a position on the issue.
  • If appropriate, ask for a follow-up response call.
  • Be prepared to speak with a staff member rather than the candidate. Remember, staffers act as messengers, so treat them as you would a candidate.
  • Be courteous to whomever you talk to and remember to thank them for taking the time to speak with you.

Door-to-door visits
Some candidates may canvas door-to-door with their campaign teams. Door-to-door is ideal because a candidate is likely to spend more time with you then they would online or in a public debate.

You may not know when candidates are canvassing in your area so be prepared. Gain an understanding of the issue you wish to discuss from information on this website and prepare your questions in advance. Review the sample questions for the issues.

Candidate websites
Many candidates will have websites, some of which allow the public to post comments, and participate in online question and answer opportunities and video chat sessions. This is a great space to ask specific questions and prompt the candidate to respond on their website.

Attend an all-candidates forum
During the campaign periods, there will be all-candidates meetings. Be aware that some of these debates may be televised and will probably be video recorded.

What to expect - debate vs. town hall
Debate: In a formal debate, candidates come prepared with an introductory speech, which they will deliver within a set time limit. After all of the introductory speeches are given, candidates will then enter a set time-limited debate where they may ask each other questions, respond and often heckle each other. In the end, each candidate delivers concluding remarks.

Town Hall: In a town hall, a moderator will ask candidates a series of questions. Candidates will have an opportunity to answer each question during their turn, within a given time limit.

Hybrid: Many all-candidates meetings are now a hybrid of the two styles ,allowing for formal introductions and conclusions by the candidates with questions posed by the moderator or the audience.

Submitting questions
Depending on the style of meeting, time limits and anticipated size of the audience, different all-candidates meetings use different ways to collect questions.

In advance: This method is often used in the most widely-attended meetings. This is usually the style for larger urban areas. In this method, there is often a website set up to collect questions and meeting hosts will select questions from those submitted.

Lottery: If a large audience is expected, but questions were not submitted in advance, organizers create a ballot box where attendees are asked to write down their questions. Questions are then drawn by the moderator from the box and asked to the candidates by the moderator.

At the microphone: Most all-candidate debates continue to use this method. At a set time (the moderator will announce it), attendees will be asked to come up to the microphone and ask questions. If this is the style, it is a good idea to sit close to the microphone. In most cases, only the people who get to the microphone quickly get to ask their questions.



GET INVOLVED

Tell us how you are engaging your local government officials.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Share with your community how you are joining the fight.
Join the conversation

SAMPLE LETTERS

Write or email your candidates and ask them if they support action on these important health issues. If you need help getting started, use one of our letter templates below.

Letter template – smoke-free outdoor spaces
   
Letter template – pesticides
   


GET THE FACTS

Prepare for your call ahead of time by reading the information provided for each issue.

Explain the reason for your call and what you would like to discuss.

Make a request for a specific response, such as a position on the issue.

If appropriate, ask for a follow-up response call.

Be prepared to speak with a staff member rather than the candidate. Remember, staffers act as messengers, so treat them as you would a candidate.

Be courteous to whomever you talk to and remember to thank them for taking the time to speak with you.
Vote for Health on November 7, 2011

THE LATEST ISSUE
Tobacco Control
Reporting of asbestos in all public buildings needs to be a mandatory part of the online registry in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan is the first province in Canada to set up an on-line registry for reporting asbestos in public buildings; however there are no legal requirements for schools, health care facilities, and other public places to submit a list of their buildings to that registry.

With your support, bill (27) 604 would change that. Bill 604 has received second reading.
Read more...


PROVINCIAL ISSUES
Tobacco Control
Funding needs to be increased to the initiatives under the province's Tobacco Control Strategy. Read more...

Indoor Tanning
There is no safe way to get a tan and indoor tanning has been declared a known carcinogen that causes cancer. Read more...


MUNICIPAL ISSUES
Smoke-free outdoor spaces
Smoking in select outdoor spaces, such as parks and playgrounds, can be detrimental to both our health and the health of the environment. Read more...


Cosmetic Pesticides
There is serious concern about the use of non-essential or cosmetic pesticides on private and public spaces. Read more...