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Ask your candidates!
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<meta content="About talking to local, regional, and national politicians about Free Software: when, what and how to ask." name="description" />
<meta content="political candidates Free Software Challenging local regional national politicians political parties elections campaign lobbying policies policy Open Standards" name="keywords" />
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<p id="category"><a href="/work.html">Campaigns</a></p>
<h1>Ask your political candidates about Free Software</h1>
<div id="introduction">
<div class="image">
<img src="/graphics/ballot-box.png" alt="ballot box"/>
</div>
<p>Challenging local, regional, and national politicians on their position on Free
Software is a very important ongoing activity. Particularly in the run-up to
elections, engaging candidates and parties in software related questions can have a big impact.</p>
</div>
<h2>How to ask your candidates</h2>
<h3>When to ask</h3>
<p>Any time is a good time to ask your candidates about Free Software, but the run up to elections provides a particularly good opportunity as more attention is paid to the policies, intentions and promises of politicians and their parties. FSFE maintains a <a
href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/AskYourCandidates/Dates">wiki calendar of European elections</a> which can be used to determine the best time to initiate your own 'ask your candidates' campaign. The calendar relies on community contributed data, so please update and improve it if you can.</p>
<h3>What questions to ask</h3>
<p>Before you start asking questions you should think about what you want to
ask. We encourage you to dive into our <a href="/work.html">different
areas of activities</a>, <a href="/news/news.html">our news items</a>, and take
a look at <strong><a
href="/campaigns/askyourcandidates/example-questions.html">already asked
questions</a></strong> as an inspiration for your own questions.</p>
<h3>How to contact political candidates</h3>
<ul>
<li>Identify candidates working in an area where an election is taking place, and ideally who have knowledge or experience relating to Free Software and/or Open Standards. Such a person is more likely understand and respond to your question.</li>
<li>Send the candidate your questions by email, post, or both.</li>
<li>Publish your message (eg. on blogs.fsfe.org) in order to increase the incentive for the candidate to reply. </li>
<li><a href="/contact/contact.html">Let us know</a> that you've sent it so that we can raise awareness of your actions and help to follow them up.</li>
</ul>
<h3>How to contact political parties</h3>
<ul>
<li>Create a survey<!--, optionally using <a href="/projects/askyourcandidates/survey.html">our examples</a>-->, and send a printed copy to the party's postal address..</li>
<li>For each response that you receive read through the answers to your questions and summarise them on the dedicated survey answers <a href="http://wiki.fsfe.org/AskYourCandidates/ELECTIONNAME-DATE">wiki page</a>.</li>
</ul>
<h3>How to increase the impact of your actions</h3>
<ul>
<li><a href="/contact/contact.html">Inform us</a> of your plan to contribute to the campaign so that we can notify you of previous attempts and provide assistance.</li>
<li><a href="http://wiki.fsfe.org/AskYourCandidates/ELECTIONNAME-DATE">Create a wiki page</a> with the questions that you asked and the answers that you received (examples: <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Bundestagswahl2009">German parliamentary elections 2009</a>, <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/groups/vienna/Wahl2010">Viennese communal election 2010</a></li>
<li><a href="http://planet.fsfe.org">Blog</a> and microblog regularly about your activities in order to give others the opportunity to follow what you're doing. Some ideas for what to blog about include what prompted you to begin contacting candidates in the first place, your experiences composing and sending the questions or survey, any interesting enquiries you receive as a result of sending them, and what responses you expect to receive.</li>
<!-- Why not keep it in the wiki? We would have to translate all the questions and answers if we move it to the static pages... -->
<li>Once you've gathered responses from enough candidates or parties we will create a page on fsfe.org summarising them, possibly with a coinciding press release (example: <a href="/campaigns/btw09/btw09.html">German Federal election 2009</a>).
<!-- we can't expect them to do this themselves - hardly anyone has web svn access outside the web team so they won't even be able to copy an existing page and edit it. We can't expect people to learn our build system simply in order to contact a candidate
Save the page under /projects/askyourcandidates/NAME_OF_ELECTION-YEAR. <a href="mailto:fellowship@fsfeurope.org">Submit it to FSFE</a> for publishing.-->
</li>
</ul>
<h2 id="successful-campaigns">Successful campaigns</h2>
<ul>
<li><a href="https://www.digital-o-mat.de/">2017-04-19: [Germany] State parliament election in Nordrhein-Westfalen: The parties' positions on digital freedoms</a>.</li>
<li><a href="https://freedomvote.nl/candidates/">2017-03-02: [Netherlands] General election: The parties' positions on digital freedoms</a>.</li>
<li><a href="/news/2016/news-20160831-01.de.html">2016-08-31: [Germany] State parliament election in Berlin: The parties' positions on Free Software</a>, and the <a href="/campaigns/askyourcandidates/201608-germany-berlin">complete answers</a>.</li>
<li><a href="/news/2016/news-20160823-01.de.html">2016-08-23: [Germany] State parliament election in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: The parties' positions on Free Software</a>, and the <a href="/campaigns/askyourcandidates/201608-germany-meck-pomm">complete answers</a>.</li>
<li><a href="/news/2015/news-20150916-01.en.html">2015-09-16: [Switzerland] Federal election: The candidates' positions on digital freedoms</a>, and the <a href="https://freedomvote.ch/candidates/">complete answers</a>.</li>
<li><a href="https://fsfe.org/news/2014/news-20140304-01.en.html">2014-03-04: [EU] European Parliament election: WePromise.eu and Free Software Pact</a>.</li>
<li><a href="/news/2013/news-20130703-01.html">2013-07-03: [Germany] Parliament election: The parties' positions on Free Software</a>, and the <a href="/campaigns/askyourcandidates/201309-germany-bundestagswahl.html">complete answers</a>.</li>
<li><a href="/news/2012/news-20120508-01.html">2012-05-13: [Germany] State parliament election in Nordrhein-Westfalen</a>, and the <a href="/campaigns/askyourcandidates/201205-germany-nrw.html">complete answers</a>.</li>
<li><a href="/news/2012/news-20120502-01.html">2012-05-06: [Germany] State parliament election in Schleswig-Holstein</a>, and the <a href="/campaigns/askyourcandidates/201205-germany-schle-hol.html">complete answers</a>.</li>
<li><a href="/news/2012/news-20120322-01.html">2012-03-25: [Germany] State parliament election in Saarland</a>, and the <a href="/campaigns/askyourcandidates/201203-germany-saarland.html">complete answers</a>.</li>
<li><a href="http://wiki.fsfe.org/groups/Zurich/AskYourCandidates_2011">2011-10-23: [Switzerland] Elections for the national and city council in Switzerland</a></li>
<li><a href="/news/2011/news-20110913-01.html">2011-09-18: [Germany] State parliament election in Berlin</a>, and the <a href="/campaigns/askyourcandidates/201109-germany-berlin.html">complete answers</a>.</li>
<li><a href="/news/2011/news-20110520-01.html">2011-05-22: [Germany] State parliament election in Bremen</a>, and the <a href="/campaigns/askyourcandidates/201105-germany-bremen.html">complete answers</a>.</li>
<li><a href="/news/2011/news-20110325-01.html">2011-03-27: [Germany] State parliament election in Baden Württemberg</a>, and the <a href="/campaigns/askyourcandidates/201103-germany-baden-wuerttemberg.html">complete answers</a>.</li>
<li><a href="/news/2011/news-20110325-01.html">2011-03-27: [Germany] State parliament election in Rheinland-Pfalz</a>, and the <a href="/campaigns/askyourcandidates/201103-germany-rheinland-pfalz.html">complete answers</a>.</li>
<li><a href="/news/2011/news-20110318-01.html">2011-03-20: [Germany] State parliament election in Sachsen-Anhalt</a>, and the <a href="/campaigns/askyourcandidates/201103-germany-sachsen-anhalt.html">complete answers</a>.</li>
<li><a href="http://wiki.fsfe.org/groups/vienna/Wahl2010">2010-10-10: [Austria] Elections for the municipal and district council in Vienna</a></li>
<li><a href="/campaigns/btw09/btw09.html">2009-09-27: [Germany] Election to the Bundestag</a></li>
</ul>
<h2>Related news</h2>
<fetch-news/>
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<timestamp>$Date: 2010-09-10 16:29:11 +0200 (Fri, 10 Sep 2010) $ $Author: mk $</timestamp>
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