Campaign University and making St. Patrick’s Day Greener!!

Elizabeth May

Over the last two days, the Green Party held its second training school for candidates and campaign team volunteers. This one, Campaign University in Ottawa, broke new ground for as it was web cast live and in colour, for any member who registered ahead of time to watch and send in questions. We had a really big “in person” turn-out as well, with participants from southern Ontario and Quebec. But unlike other parties that fly in their candidates for one big session, we kept the event low-carbon and no one had to fly in at all!

We managed to get fair trade coffee served at the local hotel (the Lord Elgin) and the event was virtually paper-less. Every one of our local EDAs will get a DVD of the event to watch as they build their teams. Next month we’ll hold one seulement en francais in Quebec… once we get through the breakthrough election for our provincial Greens. (Go Scott GO!!)

It also attracted some major TV, with CBC national sending along a crew to film some of the session.. A high point for me was trying to do a Jim Harris imitation. Jim, previous Green Party leader, has an amazing knack at fundraising. Just breathtaking. So our Executive Director, Laurie Arron asked me to see if we could raise any money in the room to cover the cost of the event (webcasting is low-carbon, but big dollars!).

So I decided to announce I was going to try to imitate Jim and see if it worked for me too. Jim always starts with the high end donations… “who here is willing right now to make their maximum annual personal donation of $1100?” It feels very risky (and a little rude) to ask… but I did and to my amazement, not one, but three hands shot up.

Next level, any one for $500, and so on… within about 12 minutes, we had raised $12,000. Not bad!!!

Here’s the thing… all those people watching on web cast, may have put up their hands, but I couldn’t see them! Plus there’s people who read the blogs and check out the web site and I cannot see your hands shooting up either. So I’d like to make this St. Patrick’s Day weekend the greenest ever…

How about a challenge? Could we raise a nice even $50,000 this weekend??? (Counting on the luck of the Irish here!) Please go to the web site and donate. Make your donation for whatever amount you want but add a 17 cents at the end so I’ll know it was for the St. Patrick’s Day weekend total!!