A news story emerged today about “C2G”, a mobile app developed by the Conservative Party to capture voter information during door-to-door visits. Much of the media coverage and the social media chatter suggests this development is scandalous.
Actually, it isn’t.
Notwithstanding the fact that web technology and smartphones are replacing paper forms and clipboards, apps like C2G have existed for a while.
I remember being introduced to Julian Haigh several years ago when he was marketing a system called D2D (as in door-to-door), modeled on a system developed for the 2008 Barack Obama campaign. D2D incorporated a central database and relationship management system which could be accessed using a mobile app. The app allowed volunteers to do more than just gather voter information at the door. Volunteers could record whether the voter supported (or could be moved to support) the candidate, wanted a lawn sign or needed a drive to the polling station on voting day.
I saw a lot of potential in D2D and even contacted Julian a few years ago when I first started using NationBuilder for clients to suggest he adapt his mobile app to integrate with NationBuilder and make it useful for non-partisan advocacy campaigns as well. By that time, D2D had been sunset and Julian had found new work.
D2D, C2G and other apps like them (and those yet to come) are evolutionary and should come as no surprise. Similarly, Bill C-51 has given Canadians ample cause to be suspicious, so the scandal also comes as no surprise.