On Monday five weeks of election campaigning will culminate in millions of Canadians heading to the polls for our country's 43rd federal election. If you still haven't decided who you are voting for - don't panic! You have until Monday evening to learn more about your candidates and what’s at stake before casting your vote. There are many factors to consider when deciding who to support, and for philanthropists it's a reminder that like with your charitable giving and community involvement, your vote is a direct line to shaping and supporting leadership on the issues that matter to you the most.
Here are five quick and easy tools to help you make an informed decision at the voting booth while considering your philanthropic values.
1. 2019 Toronto's Vital Signs Report
Toronto Foundation's Vital Signs report is often regarded as the city's "report card." It tracks 10 key determinants of quality of life in Toronto through robust research and consultations. This is a great place to start understanding the state of our city and the connection to provincial and federal politics. This year's report compiles more data than ever before and the evidence is clear: Toronto is not working for all – and inequality has become the new normal. Browse the executive summary and issues area that matter to you: torontofoundation.ca/vitalsigns2019
2. Democratic Engagement Exchange Toolkit
This toolkit is packed with valuable and easy to use information for first time voters - but the How to Identify Bias, Political Advertising and How it Works, and Fake News, Accounts, and Bots sections provide great insights and refreshers we can all use to help wade through the vast amount of election coverage and accurately assess each party's platform. Particularly interesting for some may be the links to download political party ad trackers and ad libraries.
3. Community Events
There's no slowing down in the last few days of campaigning! If your local MP candidates are hosting events this weekend go out to meet them and ask them how they plan to tackle the key issues related to inequality.
4. Your favourite charities
We often choose to donate to charities based on personal connection to causes. The same themes likely factor into our voting decisions so it's helpful to remember that along with providing community programs and services, charities also have the expertise, leadership and data to make informed policy recommendations to move the dial on key issues. And media coverage doesn't always include the “on the ground” or lived experience perspectives that charities provide. Refer to your favourite charity's communication channels - like websites, reports, social media, blogs, newsletters etc. to get a deeper understanding of the issues.
5. Political Party Official Websites
Party websites are an obvious place to learn about their respective platforms - both federally and locally through your MP candidates. We recommend evaluating party platforms in conjunction with the perspectives of grassroots organizations like charities and insights from reports like Vital Signs. Using your philanthropist lens can help you assess and prioritize how you value each party's plans.
And remember – election day is THIS MONDAY – October 21st. Happy voting!