Results from the Summer 2016 Leadnow Community Survey

The Leadnow campaigning community brings people together across political lines for a strong democracy, fair economy and clean environment. Everything we do, from the issues we campaign on to the way we do our work, depends on the input, actions, and donations of the hundreds of thousands of people who make up our community.

It's now nearly 9 months since 39% of the vote in the 2015 election gave Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberal government a majority of the seats in Parliament - and with the government poised to make key decisions on major issues this fall, it's time to check-in.

So, a few weeks ago, we invited the Leadnow community to participate in a major survey about our approach to campaigning in this new context.

This survey focused on the community's top-ranked campaigns for this year - electoral reform, the TPP, and climate change. We also organize "rapid response" campaigns that bring people together around key moments when our actions can have the biggest impact - and these results will help guid that work as well.

Our small staff team will be using the input from the thousands of people who took part to directly inform our campaign priorities and approach for the rest of this year.

In this blog post we’ll go through the results of the Leadnow community survey, and add our thoughts on what the results mean for our work together going forward. We’re interested in your thoughts too, so please leave a comment, or email us at [email protected]

How the Liberal government relates to my values

Which of the following statements most closely fits your feelings about the how this government relates to your values?


  November 2015 June 2016
The Trudeau Liberals share my values. I trust them to do the right thing in most cases, and we should support them to take action on our priorities. 20% 15%
The Trudeau Liberals share some of my values. I expect they will do the right thing in some cases, and we'll need to pressure them on other issues. 64% 62%
The Trudeau Liberals do not share my values, and I don't trust them to do the right thing. We have to stand up to them like we opposed the Harper Conservatives. 4% 15%
I'm not sure. I'll make up my mind based on the actions they take in the coming months. 13% 8%

We asked this first question about values in our community survey last November, and again now that the Liberal government has been in power for 9 months.

A majority of the Leadnow community currently feels that the Trudeau Liberal government shares some of their values, and will do the right thing in some cases, but that we’ll need to work together to raise the bar in other cases (62%). Since November, the number of people who feel this way has remained about the same.

What is most interesting here is the shift since November: We’ve see a dip from 20% to 15% who believe that the Liberal government fully “shares my values” and are to be trusted to do the right thing.

Similarly, the number of Leadnow community members who outright believe the Liberals do not share their values at all has jumped from 4% up to 15%.

We know that Leadnow’s community members pay closer attention to issues and politics than the public as a whole, and we are seeing that for some within our campaigning community, the “honeymoon” appears to have worn off somewhat.

On the whole we’re now seeing a balance across the Leadnow community - roughly equal numbers believe this government does or does not share their values, with the majority somewhere in the middle.

Leadnow’s Approach to Campaigning since the election

After the election, we surveyed the Leadnow community to help decide our approach to campaigning with a new federal government in place. The majority of Leadnow’s members said that our approach should depend on what the government is doing:

  • We should support the government when they’re moving in the right direction. For example, we supported raising taxes on the wealthy, and restoring the Long Form Census.
  • We should work together to push for improvements when there’s room for them to do better. For example, we’re campaigning to improve the government’s plans on climate change and voting reform.
  • We should help people to speak out and oppose them when it looks like they’re taking things in the wrong direction. For example, we’re campaigning against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Which of the following statements most closely fits your feelings about how Leadnow has approached campaigning in the context of this new Liberal majority government?


Leadnow has got the mix about right. We’ve successfully supported the Liberals when they’ve done the right thing, we’ve pushed them to do better on some issues, and we’ve opposed them where necessary 75%
Leadnow has been too oppositional. We need to support the Liberals more 4%
Leadnow has been too supportive. We need to oppose the Liberals more 12%
I’m not sure 9%

Overall, the majority of the Leadnow community think we’ve got the mix between supporting the government and pushing them to do better / opposing where necessary about right. We see that very few people think we’ve been too oppositional (4%), while a larger portion (12%) think there is more room to push the government harder on the issues.

We’re glad to see most of our community thinks we’re more or less on the right track. Moving forwards, we’re seeing a degree of shift within the Leadnow community toward pushing the Liberal government a little harder on the issues, and we will be considering that in our planning as we continue to look for opportunities to help people to speak out.

Leadnow’s Priority Campaigns

After the election, we asked the Leadnow community to help choose our focus for campaigning together in 2016, in each of our priority areas: clean environment, fair economy, and strong democracy.

In each of our main campaign areas, we asked whether our current approach is still one that Leadnow community members agree with.

Climate & Clean Energy

“Support and shift on climate. Stop on pipelines.”

The government is working on a national plan on climate change. At Leadnow, we’re working to support a strong climate plan, while pushing for bold targets including 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050.

At the same time, the government has also said they want to build at least one new tar sands export pipeline. Leadnow is campaigning to stop new pipelines, and other projects that would make it impossible for Canada to meet our climate goals.

Electoral Reform

“Support the government’s commitment to implement a new voting system. Push for a strong, fair, proportional outcome to make every vote count.”

The government pledged to make 2015 the last election held under “first past the post”. Leadnow’s Vote Better campaign is working to support that commitment. At the same time, we are pushing for a fair, proportional voting system -- one that ensures that all of our votes count, accounts for Canada’s unique geographic and regional differences, and maintains local representation.

Stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The government has said they are a very “pro free-trade” party, but have expressed concerns with the TPP, and promised to consult Canadians before deciding whether or not they will ratify it. The Leadnow community voted very clearly to campaign to stop trade deals like the TPP, that would allow multinational corporations to sue Canadian governments in secret courts. Our approach here is to campaign to stop the government from passing this dangerous deal.

Building a Fair Economy

“Support increased taxes for the rich. Push to stop tax evasion. Push to secure living wages and a universal basic income to end poverty.”

The government promised to increase taxes on wealthy Canadians earning over $200,000, and the Leadnow community voted to support that policy. We’ve also been pushing for stronger action to stop tax evasion. The Leadnow community identified action on living wages and in support of a universal basic income to end poverty as priorities, and we’re looking for opportunities to build campaigns in these areas.



  I think this is the about the right approach I disagree with this approach I'm not sure
Climate & Clean Energy 77% 12% 11%
Electoral Reform 86% 6% 8%
Stopping the TPP 89% 4% 7%
Building a Fair Economy & Stopping Tax Evasion 87% 6% 7%

In general, the majority of the Leadnow community felt that our approaches to campaigning on Leadnow’s priority areas are about right. That said, we’ve noted the areas where people disagree, and as an organization driven by you - the community - we deeply value feedback, especially when people think we may not be getting things quite right.

We see that the uncertainty and disagreement with our approach on climate change and clean energy was greater than in the other campaign areas. Leadnow’s staff team working on climate and clean energy is reading through the individual responses from those who told us they disagree with our approach to understand why, and develop a plan to address those concerns in the campaign.

Overall, we’re happy to see the broad agreement with our approaches to campaigning on these important issues, and we’ll be working to have an even bigger impact through the second half of 2016.

Next Steps: Climate Change & Clean Energy


In line with this feedback, the immediate next steps for the climate campaign will focus on stopping those pipelines and oil tanker plans - especially the Kinder Morgan pipeline where the government has launched new consultations and plans to make a decision within a few months. We’ll also be working to raise awareness of the contradiction in the government's stated plan to meet evidence-based climate targets while building new oil pipelines.

Your Leadnow community has already had a strong presence at the government’s national climate plan consultations, with hundreds of people turning out to pack town hall meetings across the country. We’ll ramp that work up in the fall as the government moves closer to proposing a comprehensive climate plan.

Next Steps: Electoral Reform


We see that you want us to focus more on education. We’ve just launched a new website at with educational resources, and we’ll work to develop more. We'll also encourage people to attend consultations to call for proportional representation.

Next Steps: Stopping the TPP




We see that you want opportunities to be part of online actions and you want us to focus on engaging MPs before any parliamentary vote. We’ll look to ramp up that work over the coming months, while pushing for a strong mobilization to the government’s final TPP consultations.

We also see strong support for a campaign to stop CETA. We'll look for opportunities to campaign to stop CETA, and in the meantime we'll talk more about the problems that both of these lopsided and outdated agreements share.

Next Steps: Building a Fair Economy & Stopping Tax Evasion



We see overwhelming support for both of these ideas. We'll look for key moments to push for both!

Final Thoughts

A huge thank you to the thousands of people from the Leadnow community who took the time to respond to this summer survey.

Last fall thousands of you responded to our survey shortly after the 2015 election to call for a "support and push" approach to the Liberal government, and to pick electoral reform, climate action and the TPP as the top priorities for Leadnow community campaigns in 2016.

Now that we've launched those campaigns and we're over half-way through this government's crucial first year we needed to check-in with you to see if we're taking the right approach, and if you want any changes.

We're seeing broad agreement that we're on the right track - with more people agreeing that we should push the Liberals for greater progress on these priorities than suggesting we should push less. We'll take that feedback, and the specific feedback on each of these campaign areas as we refresh the campaign plans for a busy fall - and continue to organize "rapid response" campaigns in moments when the community can have a big impact by working together.

The Leadnow community is member-driven and independent of any political party. That gives us all an important role to play in this new political context - holding the government accountable to follow through on their positive promises, pushing them to do better where they can go further, and standing up when their actions would hurt progress on the Leadnow community's pillars - a strong democracy, fair economy and clean environment for all generations.

Thanks again. Our small staff team relies on your feedback to ensure that we're organizing campaigns that bring us together for lasting change. The government is going to be making key decisions on all the priority areas this fall - and we're excited to see what we can accomplish together. 

None of Leadnow's work would be possible without the support of our amazing community, and especially our generous donors. If you can, please chip in a few dollars to help power our work through 2016. Many hands make light work. Click here to donate today.