Your Impact Using CARP's Tools

November 26th, 2010- In the November 12th 2010 edition of CARP Action Online we invited CARP members to vote on some of the Private Members Bills being proposed. It seemed that you overwhelmingly endorsed “Bill C 501”, a bill that calls for pension plan liabilities to become secured debts and thereby rank ahead of other creditors when companies go bankrupt, and to make it easier for pensioners to make claims against company officers (94% of you either Agreed or Strongly agreed with this the idea behind this bill). You might wonder what this means and how you it will impact MPs when the time comes for them to vote on the bill.

CARP calls attention to these results by regularly sending issues of the newsletter to MPs of all parties, by sending out news releases and making deputations at Parliamentary Committees.

However, what you may or may not know is that one of the most effective statements you can make, after you fill out our online polls, is to send MPs a letter telling them what you want them to do using CARP E-Voice.

Remember that when it comes to democracy, there is strength in numbers. We routinely get over 3,000 respondents. Professional polling firms that make the national headlines figure they have a representative sample when they manage to get 1,500 respondents. And while this certainly carries weight, writing an email telling an MP that you will be watching their actions when it’s time to vote, sends an even more powerful message. Not only are you willing to spend your time filling out an online poll but you also know about the political process, you are engaged, and your vote just may depend on their voting the right way on your issue.

The results speak for themselves: In June 2009 we asked you to press your members of Parliament on a Motion to support an increase to OAS, GIS and CPP as well as address the retirement security of Canadians. CARP issued the call out late Saturday night and in a matter of just 3 days MPs all across the country had their inboxes flooded with more than 6,000 emails sent to them from CARP members via our E-VOICE Such a show of concerted support for the motion no doubt contributed to the 294-0 vote that took place three days later, a historic show of parliamentary support for retirees and older Canadians.

On November 12th we asked you to tell MPs how you felt about Bill C-481, a Bill intended to repeal the mandatory retirement exemption of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Just one week later, CARP E-Voice was used to send MPs more than 2500 emails. Each and every single MP received at least one e-mail from CARP members. You can be sure that when this Bill comes up for a vote, we will be watching their every move and reporting back to you but chances are, your e-mails will have had a strong impact on the vote.

So “vote” early and “vote” often. At least, with E-voice, that’s legal! And effective.

Keywords: government