I think this is a great campaign - my organizations have already taken part in similar grassroots campaigns in the past, but this one seems much more likely to succeed because of cooperation from Canada Post. However, I have a question about election flyers and how they are treated by the reddot process.

As a past and future election candidate, election fliers are a vital part of reaching voters. Although I sometimes use flyer delivery companies, newspapers, or volunteers, I also sometimes use Canada Post bulk unaddressed mail. Will this be stopped by reddot?

If so, then I have a serious concern about fairness. Your literature states:

community newspapers and letters from the House of Commons, provincial and municipal electoral offices and Elections Canada” will not be stopped.

If these are allowed through, but items from other candidates are not, it gives a huge additional advantage to incumbents - this in addition to their ability to use public funds & free mailing to promote themselves outside election writ periods.

Election materials may seem like junk mail to some, but they are qualitatively different. First, candidates aren’t making a profit from advertising, especially since most are not ultimately elected. They are using publicly-subsidized funds in many cases (due to contribution tax credits etc.) and personal money otherwise, so to make them waste campaign money would be to waste public or personal money, not corporate marketing accounts.

But most of all, flyers are a critical part of having an informed electorate. Without information about candidates, people can’t make an informed vote. There may be newspaper ads, or even radio & TV (rare for local candidates, as very expensive), but not everyone gets the newspaper, listens to the right station, or watches that channel. With flyer delivery to each home, at least you know your message has made it to each voter to decide to read or recycle. Nowadays flyers contain important information on further paperless contact options - email, website, phone, office address - without flyers, it can be hard for people to find all this information in a timely manner. Flyers are a key part of candidate visibility, especially for non-incumbent challengers. This is especially critical for municipal elections, where local candidates are least able to afford alternatives like newspaper, radio, or TV adverts.

Election advertising may seem like a bother, but it is a critical part of the democratic process. Government electoral authorities do minimal advertising, counting on party advertising to keep people well informed of voting day, voting locations, and who the choices are. Without it, the voter turnout would be far lower and people would end up voting based mainly on who they already know - the incumbent. Since TV and radio are the preserve of the large, well-funded campaigns, anything that suppresses direct mail can create greater barriers for smaller/newer parties and magnify the influence of big $ on the democratic process.

I hope the reddot campaign will not block election materials. If it does, I would like to know how I would make an official appeal to change this policy. Other than this concern, I hope for great success.


Erich, Barrie, ON

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