Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Advising Ontario's Political Parties
Ask students for examples of Canadian political leaders and/or parties that have been successful during recent election campaigns, and why they think they were successful. Ask for counter-examples of leaders and parties that have not enjoyed much, if any, electoral success in recent times, and what they think are the reasons for this.
Outline the Opportunity
In groups, students will visit the topic Ontario Elections: 25 Tumultuous Years on the CBC Digital Archives website. Groups will select and research one of the following Ontario political leaders and their party: Bill Davis (Conservative), Frank Miller (Conservative), David Peterson (Liberal), Bob Rae (NDP), Mike Harris (Conservative), Dalton McGuinty (Liberal), Howard Hampton (NDP), and Ernie Eves (Conservative).
In role as paid campaign advisers, each group will write a two-page brief to the leader of the party. The brief should outline the party's strengths and weaknesses and offer campaign strategies about how to improve the party's chances in an upcoming election.
Revisit and Reflect
Each group will present a summary of its evaluation. As the groups present, make a list on the board or chart paper of the strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions. After the presentations, discuss with the class what factors are the most important in running a successful campaign. Does success depend on the leader of the party? The issues? The party's platform? What other factors influence a party's success or failure?
Students can write a brief report to discuss how the style, personality, and platform of one of the leaders researched led to his party's success or failure.