Update: BC Green win 3 seats in the latest election. The Green’s breakthrough in British Columbia is all the more remarkable, as the province’s first-past-the-post system usually diadvantages third parties. Going from sharing only 8.13% share of the vote back in 2013, The BC Greens now hold 16%, showing a doubling since the last election. B.C. Green party leader Andrew Weaver is now joined by newly elected party members Adam Olsen and Sonia Furstenau in Government.
Founded in 1983, the BC Greens have become an important opposition voice in British Columbia politics, bringing essential issues and new ideas forward. Changing society and economy to work for people and to let them live within the limits of the earth’s resources is a massive undertaking and the time is short. The BC Greens opt to use all the tools available to them, and being successful at the polls is one way they can effect change.
The party approached Ecanvasser to help them outreach to their voters on the doors, on phones, and through follow-up emails. The integration with their existing NationBuilder database made the transition to Ecanvasser field operations a very simple one for the party.
The BC Greens conducted extensive trials into how Ecanvasser would work with their existing infrastructure and their usage of NationBuilder as their primary database. The trials worked firstly on the organizational structure and permission levels that would be necessary to safeguard voter information. Secondly, it tested the integrity of the data sync with NationBuilder to ensure data captured was populating into their satisfaction. Finally, they conducted field tests to see the mobile app element in action.
As stated, the data sync with NB was a primary functionality for the Greens. The ability to set up groups and surveys in NB and then have those elements deployed automatically in Ecanvasser was the perfect marriage of technology for them. Being able to leverage the complementary functionality of Ecanvasser and NB allowed their team to all work on the same systems and learn from each other.
Mapping the 21 ridings that the BC Greens used Ecanvasser for was a very straightforward process. As they were NationBuilder users when they came to Ecanvasser, it meant that all of the data they synced across from NB to Ecanvasser was pre-mapped. This sped up the onboarding time for campaigns significantly and meant that individual campaign managers were already familiar with a lot of the data and visualization methods that they were looking at in the new system.
Andrew Weaver, the leader of the BC Greens is unusual in that he comes from a background in climate science rather than politics. He entered politics because he was tired of standing on the sidelines and was eventually convinced to run by former Green leader Jane Sterk. He didn’t expect to win in Oak Bay-Gordon Head in 2013, but with it, he became the first Green elected to the B.C. legislature. Although he doesn’t see politics as a career path and has called for term limits for legislature members, Weaver has a knack for the political game. Despite leading a third-place party, he’s managed to grab a disproportionate amount of media attention.
Using technology such as Ecanvasser in British Columbia, not only shows the urgency with which the BC Greens want to progress their agenda, it also shows that they want to become leaders in the political technology space.
Towards May 2017
The BC Greens have run a very well organized campaign under the stewardship of Evan Pivnik, their campaign co-ordinator. It is the most extensive digital campaign rollout of any regional Green party and will be watched closely by other provinces across Canada. Targeting a significant uplift in vote share is one key goal for the team but increasing the number of representatives they have in parliament will be the real test of success or failure. We look on with interest.
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