It’s Election time here in Canada, AGAIN (the fourth time in seven years)… Seeing that campaign emails are really not that different from Marketing email I thought I’d check in on our four main parties (there are actually five big parties but one only runs in Quebec and since I’ll never be able to vote for them I’ve left them out) and their email programs.

Sadly I’m sorely disappointed in our governments grasp of email and the power of electronic communications.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada

I subscribed on March 28, 2011 to the CPC’s newsletters and so far have received ZERO! That is right not even a welcome message. You would think that in the middle of an election the leading party would want to be talking to potential voters, announcing upcoming local events and reminding you of your local candidate at least once a week. Hello anyone home? Bueller? Bueller?

The Good: Nothing good to say as I’ve received no emails.
The Bad: I’ve received no emails!

The Official Opposition – Michael Ignatieff the Liberal Party of Canada

Also Subscribed on the 28th or March – total email messages ONE – it was a welcome message and nothing more – no donate now, no find your local candidate, and no follow ups. What’s that? The welcome is an important part of the dialog? Sure of course it is, but for the second place team communicating directly with your supporters should be top on your mind – I’m right here! Talk to me… *Waves*

The Good: The welcome message works.
The Bad: I’ve received no other emails.

Jack Layton and New Democratic Party of Canada

Here is a team of forward thinkers – extremely active with there emails sending multiple announcements a week, covering everything from upcoming events to comments on the other parties platforms and policy. Expect multiple emails a week updating you on Facebook, Twitter and live streaming events. The NDP are actively inviting members of their online programs to one of their most recent emails announcing the NDP “Platform launch – be a part of it” either in person or on the web via one of their many selected communication channels.

The Good: Multiple messages each week, full of details and information on the parties next steps, multi-channel program.
The Bad: From addresses could use some work, mostly sent from the personal name of the ‘Campaign Director’, some from Jack Layton – test the from name as the Party name may bring more recognition. Missing calls to donate/join party.

Elizabeth May and the Green Party of Canada

While Elizabeth may not be invited to the Televised debates but her team is hard at work getting the party message out in an environmentally friendly way – Email (it’s not dead – really!). Sending multiple message every week sharing videos, photos and the details of the campaign trail. Keeping messages short sweet and to the point these have always been clean looking messages and easy to understand, by staying focused on an individual message with a clear call to action.

The Good: Strong awareness of email’s power and excellent execution on sharing the party message
The Bad: Missing some strong actions around find your local candidate and missing calls to donate/join party.


  • The two leading parties are virtually ignoring the power of email when managing their campaigns and getting in touch with their supporters
  • Email should be a vital tool to get people out to the polls and supporting their local candidates – I predict voter turn out at an all time low due to the number of elections in the last few years
  • The two smaller parties have fully embraced the power of email to communicate with party supporters, but could use a little more polish on both of their programs

Where all the parties fail is with localizing their messages – I actually don’t even know who two of the four representatives are running in my home ridding, something almost each and every party asks for (by way of postal code) when registering or via a preference centre post registration. This type of communication is not a “should” be during election time it is a “MUST” be.