It's summer on PEI! Islanders are outdoors enjoying friends and family at our amazing beaches, festivals and backyards. Politicians are out doing the social circuit, basking in their break from the Legislature. This is, perhaps, the time when they would least expect to be reminded of the unfinished business awaiting them back at the Leg - showing Islanders how they intend to Honour the Vote for Proportional Representation in last November's plebiscite.
But we haven't forgotten at all, of course! Let's make sure our MLAs know that, and have some fun while we're at it :-)
Here's the idea: This summer, let's send Island MLAs summery postcards - traditional and digital - to let them know in a light-hearted way that democracy is important to us - even with all the distractions of the summer!
NOTE: Please refrain from using nasty or disrespectful language or images when making your impatience or displeasure known to politicians. A bit of humour will go a lot farther, while offensive, threatening or disrespectful language will reflect poorly on all PR advocates and undermine our cause.
Method #1: The old-fashioned way
Everyone loves getting postcards in the mail! Use this low-tech way of getting noticed by your MLA (or even by the Premier).
To the right is an example of a postcard being mailed to Richard Brown, MLA for District 12 (Charlottetown-Victoria Park).
Where do I send my postcard?
Just use our handy-dandy "Friends of Democracy?" page to find your MLA, and click on their name to find their mailing address. On that page, MLAs are conveniently organized according to their personal record on honouring the will of voters as expressed in the plebiscite for Mixed Member Proportional Representation.
If your own MLA already has a positive record of honouring the vote, you may consider sending your postcard to Premier Wade MacLauchlan instead.
Remember: Unlike mail to federal Members of Parliament, you do need to affix a stamp to mail sent to PEI Members of the Legislature.
If you can, please also take a photo of your postcard before you send it and share it on our Facebook page, tweet it out (and be sure to tag us at @practionteam as well as your MLA, if they are on Twitter), or simply email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll share it for you!
Method #2: Digital postcard fun
This is where you can really get creative and have some fun! It's easy to take an image of a postcard and add some text to turn it into something like this:
Or like this:
There are a number of programs you could use to help make postcards like these quickly and easily. One that we can recommend is Canva.com (this link will take you straight to their postcard design tool). After signing up for your free account, you can upload your postcard image using the "Upload" link in the left menu bar, then use the text tools to add your own creative text.
To download the "Honour the Vote" logo used on the examples above, click here.
Don't have the time to make your own postcard? Feel free to download and use the two examples above - simply right-click on the image and choose "Save image as.." to download to your computer.
Where can I find good postcards to use?
The postcards used in the example above were found by searching for "vintage vacation postcards" in Google Image Search. A great source of PEI vintage postcards can be found on UPEI's postcard archive.
And no - your postcard doesn't need to be vintage, but vintage postcards do match nicely with our out-of-date voting system, do they not?
I've designed my postcard! What next?
- on our Facebook page, and yours;
- on Twitter (and be sure to tag us at @practionteam as well as your MLA, if they are on Twitter);
- email it to your MLA or to the Premier (use our Friends of Democracy page to find your MLA and click on their name to find their contact info), or even to an entire caucus of MLAs (click here to easily copy the email addresses for entire caucuses)
- email it to us at email@example.com and we'll share it for you!