Mittens and Cartoons: how political parties are trying to mobilise their supporters this Winter

liberal mittensI have been loving some of the stuff that our sister party in Canada has been sending out to supporters. Their Winter fundraising push involves them sending this fetching pair of mittens to anyone who donates over $100 over a two day period. It’s caused such a stir that those cheeky little mitts have their own parody Twitter account.

I bet their supporters team, led by the  equivalent of our Austin Rathe, had fun coming up with the accompanying email:

The Liberal Party of Canada is committed to keeping Canadians’ hands warm, and snug this winter

That’s why, for the next 2 days only, everyone who donates $100 (just $25 after your tax credit), or more, will receive a special thank you gift: me!

Canadians are suffering enough under Conservative rule. There is no reason they should endure frostbite too.Don’t wait — warm up now

Limited edition membership cardsAustin and his team have come up with a similar gimmick, except it’s not your money they want. Everyone who recruits a new member before the end of the year will receive a special limited edition membership card featuring a cartoon of our three UK Liberal Democrat leaders, Kirsty Wililams, Nick Clegg and Willie Rennie. I have no idea how much Willie paid to have quite that much hair. And is it just me or is there something weird going on with Nick Clegg’s teeth? It’s a lovely bit of plastic, but is it as much use as a pair of lovely red mittens? I was trying to think up a few uses for a small credit card like thing, but not all of them were legal. You could certainly use it to scrape the ice off your car, or to spread butter on your toast if you needed to. You could use it as a pastry or dough cutter.

There are of course plenty reasons why it’s worth each of our 44,256 members recruiting someone that doesn’t involve a new membership card. Austin’s shiny incentive scheme, which has put £200,000 back in local parties’ coffers over the last year gives recruitment real local benefit. Local parties may wish to start making a massive fuss as the English party wants to cap the amount it pays out under this scheme. It seems very strange to want to do a thing that encourages people to bring in new members. Scottish local parties need not worry. Despite the scheme costing us 4 times what I’d allowed in my budget, we are not considering such measures.

It’s quite something that at the most challenging time we’ve had in decades as a party, our membership has grown by 10% in the last 18 months. Yes, I know it’s not as meteoric as the SNP’s rise, but it’s still a remarkable achievement. Some might say we were defying gravity. I’m not, of course, suggesting any witchcraft from lDHQ, but we need to see that trend continue. The more people we have in the Liberal Democrat family, the easier everyone else becomes.

So, invite a sympathetic friend to that Lib Dem social or action day and sign them up. There’s something in it for you and your local party. You know it makes sense..



* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • a special limited edition membership card featuring a cartoon of our three UK Liberal Democrat leaders, Kirsty Wililams, Nick Clegg and Willie Rennie.

    Why no picture of the leader of the Liberal Democrat in the European Parliament?

  • I hope the Liberal Party of Canada win the next Canadian Federal Election as their leader champions my pet cause, the full legalisation of marijuana for recreational purposes. If only the Lib Dems were as liberal.

    I believe the Canadian Liberal Party are still ahead of the Conservatives and the Social Democratic NDP in the polls in five out of Six of Canada’s regions?

  • It doesn’t even begin to compare to the growth of the SNP, now the third largest party in the UK and with twice as many
    members as the LDs have – despite the SNP obviously being based in only one part of the UK which comprises only about 8% of UK population.
    I don’t think cartoon plasticy thingies are the answer – exciting policies and a sense of conviction might be.

  • Tsar Nicolas 7th Dec '14 - 1:14am

    “JohnTilley 6th Dec ’14 – 2:54pm

    a special limited edition membership card featuring a cartoon of our three UK Liberal Democrat leaders, Kirsty Wililams, Nick Clegg and Willie Rennie.

    Why no picture of the leader of the Liberal Democrat in the European Parliament?”

    I hope it’s not because she’s a woman!

  • Paul in Wokingham 7th Dec '14 - 7:58am

    As a Fulham FC supporter I receive a Fulham calendar every Christmas. Each page of this year’s calendar features two of the players who were playing for the club at the start of the 2013/2014 season. Since Fulham got relegated in May and many players have gone, the first day of each of the last few months has involved a moment of surprise as I turn to the next page and wonder “whatever happened to him?”.

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