Frequently Asked Questions
How many people have visited the site?
As of election day we’d reached 2.3 million page views or “hits” (i.e. each time someone looks at a photo on the site). The number of unique visitors would be somewhat less than this, but needless to say we’ve been quite overwhelmed by the response since we launched the site last week. (Thank you for visiting, by the way!)
Why did you make www.vintagevoter.ca?
We didn’t really have anything better to do. We made the web site for two reasons.
First, because we thought the concept had the potential to be funny.
Second, because we’re enormously concerned with the state of Canadian democracy. In the last federal election more than 40% of Canadians didn’t vote. Among people under 30, it’s closer to two out of three. We think that’s not only worrying, but a national shame. Our country should be a shining star of democracy, not some place where half the population feels it’s not worth their time to cast a ballot. For the sake of our country and ourselves, we need to do better.
Fine. But surely you don’t think that funny photos of politicians will miraculously boost civic participation. Do you?
Nope. But it’s not such a bad place to start, either. It’s clear we need to break down the barriers to the political process. Humour and satire can be pretty effective in that regard. The prospect of voting becomes far less daunting (and far more appealing) when we can make politics approachable, accessible and human.
We do know this: Every time someone tweets or sends us an email to say that they don’t follow politics but that they enjoyed the site, we’re reminded that it’s no more than a matter of finding the right tools to connect (or reconnect) people to the political process. In other words, Canada’s current democratic deficit is a fully treatable illness. And if a funny picture can serve as that small-but-all-important first step toward greater civic participation, fantastic.
I’ll bet you just LOVE to blabber on about democratic renewal, don’t you?
We sure do. Send us an email. (firstname.lastname@example.org is best)
I’m a reporter. How do I contact you?
Send us an email. We’ll call you right back.
Who made the site?
The site was produced primarily by David Leibl, a Canadian communications consultant, speechwriter and recovering government press secretary, along with the help of a couple people kind enough to kibosh the unfunny parts. If you’re sitting on a good idea, maybe we can work together. Send us an email. We’d love to hear from you.
Where do you get the photos?
Some were sent in by random strangers (thank you, strangers), and a number of them originate with CBC Archives (i.e. before we ripped them off the internet and posted them here). We’re hugely appreciative of CBC Archives for a) their wonderfully positive response to the site and b) the important work they do to keep our shared history alive. As well, three of the photos you see on the site were sent in by the parties themselves. Good sports, hey? Incidentally, if you bump into Stephen Harper at a Tim Hortons somewhere, remind him that we’re still waiting for his photos.
Are the pictures Photoshopped?
Sadly, no. Turns out our political leaders actually looked like this.
Why didn’t you put ads on the site? Wouldn’t you make, like, a lot?
We really wrestled with this. There’s a democracy-themed project that we’d absolutely LOVE to do (i.e. right now it only exists in our heads), and putting ads on the site probably would have funded it. In the end, we decided that putting advertising on the site just wasn’t the right thing to do. So now we’re onto a new plan, which involves hunting for a kind-hearted, wealthy benefactor interested in breathing new life into Canadian democracy. Are you a wealthy benefactor? Please send us an email. Let’s go for coffee.
I'm not on Twitter. Is the site popular because people are sharing it on Twitter and Facebook?
To a large extent, yes. Thousands of people have shared the site via social media, and this site wouldn't have been possible without these game-changing new tools. But the largest spikes in traffic have still come after a mention in the good old traditional media. So when Jian Ghomeshi so graciously tweeted about the site, we saw a sizeable bump in traffic. But when he spoke about the site on his national radio show Q, traffic really soared. We're grateful to media large and small who have shared the site with their audiences.
If there was just ONE thing I could do in these dying days of the election to help boost voter turnout, what would it be?
Bring a non-voter with you to the polls. Yes, this only treats the symptoms and not the root causes of voter apathy, but it’s probably the best short-term fix we have. Having you there will make voting seem slightly more appealing, more social and less awkward. If your friend’s voting card is buried in the recycling bin under a stack of old newspapers and KFC coupons, tell them he/she can quickly find out where to vote here: www.vote.ca