May 11, 2024

Canada Welcomes Ken Martin

Ken Martin, a Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, has been actively involved in Democratic politics. His leadership roles include being the President of the Association of State Democratic Committees and the Chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party. 

During a whirlwind tour from Toronto to Hamilton, Democrats Abroad Canada welcomed Ken Martin. His engagements included speaking at the Toronto Chapter annual general meeting, inspiring and motivating attendees. He also visited students at the University of Toronto, attended a fundraising dinner at the Hot House restaurant in downtown Toronto (with proceeds benefiting Democrats Abroad), and met with the Hamilton Chapter—all within a two-day time span.

The top photo was taken at the Toronto annual general meeting with board members and quests. The bottom left photo is Ken with Sue Alksnis, Canada's Membership Secretary, representing the Progressive Caucus and bottom right is Ken with Colleen Mahaffie, Toronto Chapter Secretary. 

Key Points from Ken Martin’s Speech:

  1. Avoiding the “Eeyore” Mindset: Ken emphasized that Democrats should avoid being the “Eeyore” party—the one that sees the glass as half empty. Instead of fixating on candidates’ imperfections, he encouraged focusing on the bigger picture: elections are not solely about candidates but about democracy itself.
  2. Ignore the “3 Ps”: Ken’s message to the audience was clear: ignore “the 3 Ps”—pollsters, pundits, and Politico. Instead, focus on actionable steps to ensure the re-election of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
  3. Comparing Candidates: Drawing inspiration from Joe Biden, Ken highlighted that voters need not love Biden personally to vote for him. The comparison should be between Biden and the alternative, emphasizing democracy and the rule of law.
  4. Overseas Voting Impact: Ken stressed the importance of overseas voting. With an estimated 6.5 million voting-age Americans living abroad, their participation can significantly impact federal elections across the country. Razor-thin margins in races—from Georgia to Pennsylvania—underscore the significance of overseas ballots.
  5. Action Items for Democrats Abroad: Ken urged Democrats Abroad to take specific actions:
    • Register More Voters: Currently, only 23% of voting-age Americans abroad are registered (approximately 1.5 million out of 6.5 million). Increasing registration by 5% would add 325,000 voters.
    • Boost Voter Turnout: Of the currently registered overseas voters, only 7.8% actually vote (117,000 people). Doubling voter turnout to 15.6% would yield 234,000 votes. Given the Democratic advantage among overseas voters (75% are registered Democrats), this effort could impact critical races back home.

In summary, Ken Martin’s speech emphasized the power of overseas voters, the need for registration and turnout, and the collective impact Democrats Abroad can make in crucial elections. Let’s heed his call and work toward a stronger democracy!