On the Campaign Trail

I went canvassing this evening. It is always, interesting and fun. I’d recommend it to anyone who has even a passing interest in politics.

For the uninitiated, canvassing is going round, knocking on doors asking people how they intend to vote in the up-coming election. The election in question, is the local government (council) elections in Bristol, the Frome Vale ward.

The purpose of canvassing is two-fold; first, it is about finding out how people intend to vote, so decisions can be made about where to focus further campaigning. Second (and probably more importantly), it’s an opportunity for the candidate/their team to meet voters and listen to and discuss the issues-of-the-day.

It’s always really interesting meeting people. Sometimes, it’s not pleasant – people can be very rude, especially if they don’t like the party you’re canvassing for. Sometimes, it’s just-plain-bizarre, like this evening, where a ‘gentleman’ came to the door naked – yes, a full ‘birthday suit’ (or ‘stark-bollock-naked’, as we would say where I’m from). Fortunately, I did not witness this directly!

At other times, it’s just nice. People can be extremely pleasant; many people respect the fact that you’re out, hitting the pavement, even if they disagree with your politics and are happy to talk about the reasons why they disagree with you in a very civilised and reasonable way.

Canvassing. Try it, you might like it!

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