Government relations: promoting your interests in the lead up to electoral campaigns

The next general election in Quebec will be held no later than October 1st of this year. For the first time ever, Quebeckers will be privy to a fixed election date. This allows political parties, the chief electoral officer and of course, organizations, to prepare for the election in advance.

For political parties, this preparation mainly involves consolidating their teams (who’s in, who’s out?), finding good candidates who are likely to win new ridings, setting priorities and a political agenda, and drafting their electoral platforms and budgets. Then, the action behind the scenes gets underway! Strategists select their teams for the election: Who will go national? Who will work the ridings? Which teams will be in charge of media, touring, liaising with candidates, etc.

Outside of political parties, fixed elections also bring their share of benefits to organizations. Planning for elections is perhaps most importantly also about preparing for a potential change of guard.

Here is some of Octane’s advice on how to get your organization ready for an election campaign:

1. Make your list

An electoral campaign involves adopting a political agenda. Try to leave room for new ideas to satisfy potential voters or to calm public discontent. Organizations must seize this opportunity and make a list of commitments, reforms and investments that they want the future government to consider as part of its campaign promises. You must also reassert your priorities as an organization in terms of how the government should work. After setting your policies, you should then promote them in the public space and especially with political parties, elected officials and candidates.

2. Meeting elected officials and candidates

When it comes to government relations, it is essential to maintain strong ties with all political parties. You never know who the next leader may be! Organizing government-relations tours with all political parties helps organizations raise awareness about their work, assert their positions and protect their interests in anticipation of the formation of the new government.

3. Be proactive 

Take advantage of all opportunities to occupy public space and attract the attention of elected officials from all political parties. Be sure to keep up with political news and to react accordingly. In the next few days, the government will unveil its new budget: what better opportunity to position your organization for the political debate.

 The next provincial elections will be underway in less than seven months and the current parliamentary session is set to end on June 15. In the Salon bleu, the debate is sure to heat up and new topics will be on the agenda. As an organization, you officially have until June 15 to sign up to attend parliamentary debates in the National Assembly. Then, you will need to continue to occupy public space to reach MNAs and candidates. 

Pssst! Did you know ?

The French version of this text was published using the “neutral feminine” instead of the usual masculine. As part of the ongoing national conversation on gender equality and parity, the Office québécois de la langue française has suggested developing the habit of using more equality in the use of masculine and feminine forms in writing. This practice has not yet been widely adopted in the public space, but the debate is being had and some new formulations are appearing in our daily publications.

Since all organizations should be questioning how they are making their writing more inclusive, and considering how underrepresented women are in politics, we chose this political piece to conduct an experiment and participate in progressive practices.

Don’t hesitate to question yours and adapt them to our changing social standards!

 

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