Group organizes campaign to get Muslims out to vote
A new non-profit organization has been touting their campaign aimed at getting Muslim Canadians to the polls for the October 21 federal election…which could sway the results in a number of key ridings across the country.
The Canadian Muslim Vote (TCMV)'s mandate is to get Muslim Canadians to participate in the democratic process during elections and in between. They said they recently completed its "Muslim Vote Weekend" with get out the vote (GOTV) sermons at 130 mosques, bringing Muslim voters to advance voting, which took place from October 11 to 14 between 9 am to 9 pm.
According to organizers, they managed to do the following:
Volunteers distributed 20,000 pieces of GOTV literature ridings from Vancouver to St. John's, including 7,500 doors.
80,224 phone calls were made to Muslim voters, including by volunteers who joined the national "remote" phone canvass and called from their homes.
The social media campaign garnered 200,268 impressions and reached 112,624 people on Facebook and Instagram over the holiday weekend, a 30 per cent engagement rate.
Elections Canada just announced that 4.7 million Canadians voted in the advance polls, which is up 29 per cent from the last election.
TCMV said they conducted their campaign in 64 ridings across Canada based on riding projections from election prediction website 338 Canada where there was a predicted victory of 5 per cent or less. A number of those ridings were in the western GTHA area in cities such as Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville and Hamilton.
According to the report, the riding by riding analysis was based on:
"Our campaign has broken down barriers to democratic participation by educating Muslims about voting early through Friday sermons, fliers, door-knocking, phone banking, and social media including our chatbot. We have brought Muslims to the Advance Polls to make sure our voice is heard," Executive Director Ali Manek said in a statement.
"For many in our community, this election is their first time voting. Our GOTV campaign continues at full speed through Election Day focusing on our Imam Video Series aimed to break down religious stigmas to voting, our influencers campaign targeting youth, and our upcoming "First Time Voters" events in Toronto and Ottawa to make sure our community is fully engaged."
In the western GTHA, ridings that were targeted were:
TCMV identified 14,104 Muslim Canadian voters in this riding, the most out of the ridings targeted (seconded by Richmond Hill with over 10,000). As a result, the Liberal candidate would come out ahead by a 2.7 per cent margin, or 1,494 votes.
TCMV identified 8,289 Muslim Canadian voters in this riding. As a result, the Conservatives would squeak out a win here by a 3.2 per cent margin, or 1,792 votes.
TCMV identified 6,055 Muslim Canadian voters in this riding in Canada's ninth largest city. As a result, the Liberals would win here with a margin of 4 per cent, or 1,585 votes.
TCMV identified 5,165 Muslim Canadian voters in this riding. As a result, the Liberals would win here with a margin of 4.6 per cent, or 2,216 votes.
TCMV identified 4,411 Muslim Canadian voters in this riding. As a result, the Liberals would win this riding by a margin of 4.2 per cent, or 1,909 votes.
TCMV identified 3,469 Muslim Canadian voters in this riding. As a result, the NDP would win this riding by a margin of 3.5 per cent, or by 1,762 votes.
TCMV identified 2,637 Muslim Canadian voters in this riding. As a result, the Liberals would win by a margin of 4.2 per cent, or by 2,718 votes.
TCMV identified 3,843 Muslim Canadian voters in this riding. As a result, the Conservatives would win the riding by a margin of 4.4 per cent, or by 2,675 votes.
TCMV's campaign went to many other GTA based ridings but also places like Halifax, Quebec and in places as far as Yukon (where only 45 Muslim voters were identified) and Sault Ste Marie (where 49 Muslim voters were identified).
Fleetwood-Port Kells, a BC riding in the city of Surrey, had the closest margin of victory at 98 votes, which would see the Conservatives come out ahead of the Liberals.
People should take these numbers in with a grain of salt. Most of the GTHA ridings have upwards of over 100,000 people and way more than just a few thousand registered votes. A candidate should not be relying solely on one voting bloc's support, let alone assuming that ALL Muslims would vote for one party in each constituency.
Riding by riding predictions are fun to watch for members of the political class who live and breath politics, but it is my experience that the actual election results yield a vastly different outcome. For example, a candidate predicted to be in a close race may end up winning comfortably or a candidate predicting to win a massive landslide may only win by 10 percentage points.
What do you think of campaigns like the one from The Canadian Muslim Vote? Are they helpful in helping you decide who to vote for on October 21?
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