Events, contests and other initiatives by The Tyee and select partners.

Waging an Underdog Campaign? Take Saturday's Master Class

HST giant slayer Bill Tieleman teaches his secrets. A few seats left.

By David Beers 22 Oct 2014 | TheTyee.ca

David Beers is executive editor of The Tyee.

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Saturday's Master Class instructor Bill Tieleman: read this article to learn his Tip #2 for winning come-from-behind victories.

If you are waging a campaign this year to sway the public to your political cause, and you aren't overflowing with funds from rich backers, then Saturday's Tyee Master Class conducted by HST-defeating strategist Bill Tieleman could be the key to your victory.

There are still a few seats left but they are going fast, so find out how to enrol here.

We've already shared one of Bill's tips for winning here. As a final enticement, here's Tip #2:

It's fine to have campaign assumptions -- as long as you test them.

"Many campaigns have been carefully crafted, meticulously researched, well financed, fully resourced -- and have failed miserably.

"That's often because the campaign leaders are locked into the plan and don't respond to changing circumstances -- or alternatively panic and ditch their campaign at the first sight of problems.

"As Britain's brilliant wartime prime minister Winston Churchill humorously put it: 'However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.'

"Exactly! Yet too often we see campaigns that lurch to disaster without anyone trying to correct course, despite obvious problems.

"Currently we see the sinking campaign of Toronto mayoralty candidate Olivia Chow heading for what was unthinkable just months ago -- a likely third place finish.

"Chow is an experienced politician who has been a Toronto member of Parliament and city councillor; she is the widow of Jack Layton, the former New Democrat leader, and was widely respected for the grace with which she dealt with his death in public; and she has some of the most veteran strategists in Canada working on her campaign.

"And yet a look at cumulative polling results in Toronto shows a steady decline from front-runner by a mile to third place with just 22 per cent of the vote now -- behind John Tory at 42.5 per cent and Doug Ford at 34.3 per cent.

"No one should presume the results before the Oct. 27 vote but there is already much speculation on what went wrong -- with campaign post-mortems and insiders revelations yet to come.

"But what is unmistakable is that a major campaign with a huge lead in the polls has tanked -- because it didn't look at the results as it went along and adjust strategy accordingly."

That's the kind of advice that might make a difference between victory or defeat for you and your cause. If you're going to be in the thick of it, spend five hours to get indispensable training and insight from a proven winner.

About the instructor and class

Bill Tieleman is the strategist who...

... joined Bill Vander Zalm to kill the Harmonized Sales Tax in a stunning citizens' initiative that beat big business and the BC Liberal government;

... led No B.C. STV to defeat the single transferable vote in two province-wide referenda;

... helped Glen Clark as communications director in his upset 1996 NDP win over Gordon Campbell;

... and has been central to dozens of successful elections, nominations and leadership fights at the provincial, federal and municipal level, as well as single-issue campaigns.

Now Bill will tell you how to win against all odds with minimal resources but superior strategy, tactics and messaging.

Whether you are involved in a civic election, provincial battle, federal fight, nomination challenge or issue campaign, you and your cause will benefit from Tieleman's invaluable insights on what it takes for victory -- without big dollar budgets.

Agree or disagree with his positions, Bill Tieleman knows what it takes to be the winner -- and will tell you what you need to succeed.

In The Tyee's beautiful new downtown classroom, you will have an opportunity to huddle with Bill and discuss the specifics of your campaign; break down case studies element by element, and take home materials that will help guide your efforts. The fee is $200 and lunch and a splash of B.C. wine are included.

To find out more or enrol, go here.

The last time we offered a version of this class it sold out quickly. In order to make the session productive for all, we have limited it to a small group. That means space is limited so don't delay. Register today.  [Tyee]

This article is part of a Tyee Presents initiative. Tyee Presents is the special section within The Tyee where we highlight contests, events and other initiatives that are either put on by The Tyee or by our select partners. We choose our partners carefully and consciously, to fit with The Tyee’s reputation as B.C.’s Home for News, Culture and Solutions. Partners do not have editorial control over articles within Tyee Presents initiatives. Learn more about Tyee Presents here.

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