EU Elections 2019 - Support Free Software
As mentioned in the May Newsletter, we have identified a few ways in which you can take action. We provide some tips below to help you choose the step to take that fits your abilities best. Our very first (and very important) tip is about how to word your message so that it gets heard and receives the attention it deserves:
- Try using simple and non-nerdy language that is not too technical.
- Voice your arguments so that they suit the profile of the candidate you approach. Economic arguments may fit better with candidates focused on different issues than technical policies, and not too familiar with Free Software. Fundamental rights or security arguments may fit better with digital rights experts.
- Stay calm and try another argument or contact another candidate if a candidate does not understand you or disagrees with your arguments. There are many who are interested, so do not spend too much time on those who you feel cannot be persuaded.
- Always be polite.
- Use credible argumentation.
There are lots of arguments you can use, i.e.:
- Interoperability due to open standards
- Independence through free licenses
- Collaboration shares risks and costs
- Transparency by default
- Involvement of local partners
- Auditable code
Ways to Get Active
There are a few ways in which you can get in touch with the EU Election candidates and increase the chances of drawing their attention to Free Software:
- Email the EU election candidates
- Contact EU election candidates on social networks
- Call EU election candidates
- Go to the offices of EU election candidates
- Go to election campaign booths and gatherings of the parties
- Go to public talks / panels with EU election candidates and talk about FS
- Organize or co-organize your own FS EU election event
- Connect with other Campaigns like "Ask Your Candidate", "Digital-O-Mat", "Freedomvote" and see how you can join forces with them
- Try to get the attention of mainstream media via their own communication channels
When you try to get in touch with EU candidates over email, their social media or phone, always:
- Use a short and attractive subject when using email (this will increase the chances of your email being seen and not deleted)
- Introduce yourself as an interested voter and explain in a few words what Free Software is and why the candidate should care about it (mention the four freedoms and in simple words why Free Software is important from an economic and social perspective)
- Engage them with questions - i.e. if they would be interested in supporting Free Software and work on relevant policies in the European Parliament.
- Feel free to use and share pictures, videos and articles from our site in your texts.
- If you email them, try to follow up to make sure your email has been seen and paid attention to. If you do not get an answer within one week, ask them in a friendly manner when you can expect a reply.
- Those tips can be also used if you meet candidates in their offices or at election campaign activities and venues of the parties. You can also use the direct contact opportunities to ask if they would be interested to receive more information about the "Public Money? Public Code" campaign and explain to them the idea behind it in simple words.
- If you go to public talks / panels with EU election candidates and talk about Free Software, try to engage by asking them a question where the candidates would have to clearly express their position. Maybe note the question down beforehand. Ask only one question, as otherwise they might just answer the question they like the most and ignore the others. The question can be something like: "Are you in favour of Free Software, in other words software which grants everyone the right to use, study, share, and improve the software?". Please, keep in mind that others want to raise their questions as well and that our issues might not be that important to others - be understanding of this and try to avoid giving a co-talk or stumbling into a one-to-one discussion.
- If you decide to connect with other Campaigns like ask your candidate, Digital-O-Mat, Freedomvote and see how you can join forces with them and/or organise an event together, we encourage you to contact us beforehand, as we might have some experience that we can assist you with.
- If you try to get the attention of the media, communicate with them as often as you can by trying to get into debates, or if something connected to Free Software happens, step in with a press release. Maybe you can also think about attending podcasts or radio or TV shows. If you know somebody with contacts: use them. Try to talk as much as possible about Free Software values and campaigns in public. Remember to always use credible arguments.
Share Your Experience
If you need help or would like to share the experience you had with any of those actions, you are more than welcome to contact us: email@example.com .