“In any grass-roots campaign, building an ongoing base of support is as important as winning the ultimate goal.
—Patricia Ireland

The candidates that get the most supporters to show up at the AGM and collects the most proxies will be elected and those who do not will be defeated. It is as simple as that.

So what you have to do is get the support of the owners and retain that support up to and including voting day.

The candidates
Elections are becoming more and more about telling the people how great your slate is and how awful your opponents are. However attractive that sounds, it is more important to give the voters good reasons to vote for your team.

Spend a lot of time thinking of why the owners should put you in charge of  their homes and investment properties for a three-year period.

You should have morals, skills, the ability to learn, a work ethic and experience that will help you become a great director and you need to be able to persuade the owners that you have those attributes.

The platform
People go into leadership roles in order to make a difference. So what difference are the owners going to notice?

The direction, goals and promises that you and your slate adopt is called a platform. An excellent platform may include:
Balance the yearly operating budget.
Build the Reserve Fund to meet the Reserve Fund Study requirements.
Develop meaningful housekeeping targets for the cleaning company.
Obtain three quotes before awarding any contracts.
Re-open the outdoor swimming pool for the two summer months.
Reply to all written complaints and concerns from the owners within seven working days.
Reduce the arrears by 20% per year over the next three years.
Reduce the elevator downtime by 25% by the end of the next fiscal year.
During the regular work week, all burnt out light bulbs in the hallways, staircases and garage will be replaced within 36 hours.
The broken step outside the laundry room will be repaired within
60 days.
All AGMs will be held five months after the fiscal year or earlier.
All residents will be treated with respect and their concerns looked into.
The owners will be able to inspect the corporation documents.

All of these commitments are practical and measurable. They will be an excellent benchmark to measure the your new board performs against your campaign promises.

Canvassing the voters
You, your follow candidates and your supporters will need to contact the other owners and persuade them to support you.

You need to knock on doors, distribute campaign flyers and get owners to sign their proxies and give them to you.

Your canvassers need to go in pairs, a woman with a man or two women working together is best. You will need a list of units and your volunteers need to mark down who they visited and their response.

may support us
weak support for the incumbents
strong support for the incumbents
not interested at all

In the last ten days before the AGM, spend as much time as possible canvassing the owners who may support you and those who indicated that their support for the incumbents was weak.

Don't canvas before 10:00 am or after 8:30 pm during the week. Start at about 1:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. If anyone says they do not want to be disturbed, then put them on a Do-Not-Call list.

If the rules forbid it, you must not post campaign literature up in the hallway walls, in the elevators or in the mailroom.

You can have some t-shirts or buttons printed. If all the canvassers wore blue, green or white shirts, that could become your campaign's unofficial colour.

If the rules are so rigid that they forbid you from canvassing door-to-door or approaching owners in the common elements then you need to win a majority on the board so you can change the rules.

If there is no rules on election campaigning, then the directors or the manager can't shouldn't just dream some up.

Stay polite and do not argue or argumentative. If your canvassers are harassed, keep detailed records on what was said, by who and if there are witnesses.

Inform your experienced condominium lawyer whenever there is a serious incident. Explain what happened and follow his or her advice.

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