Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bowthorpe Gets Dirty: Part 2 - "Rude & Aggressive"

We've now had several complaints about political canvassers in this election being "rude and aggressive". I haven't blogged about it until now, but the most recent contact has been rather bizarre.

A young Mum from Clover Hill got in touch to say she was canvassed by Labour this week; when she said she voted for me the canvasser turned on her, calling her "stupid" and walking away. Is this a moment of anger boiling over or a general campaigning technique? The voter was very angry indeed with that response - we disagree in politics but there should always be courtesy.

This seems to be a reoccuring theme for some in the Labour Party; a certain leading figure crossed the road in North Earlham to barrack Andrew, the Conservative candidate, up a residents pathway with the voter at the door! I've heard of crossing the road to start an arguement but that takes it to new levels. If the voter was wavering on deciding to vote at all, that scene would certainly had put them off. I am glad that Andrew was decent and polite throughout.

This has been a negative by-election; with spin, PR and smears a plenty. I hope local people notice who is doing it ...

14 comments:

Comrade said...

I once went to a Labour canvassing workshop inthe early 90's run by a leadig trade unionist.

The advice was - "you look em in the eye and say "you're Labour?" - you can tell if they're lying by whether they flinch"

Andreas Paterson said...

Well, I like to think that I personally have always been polite and courteous on the doorstep. I've met some really nice people on canvassing for this election (apart from the bloke who told me "sod off socialist").

I was even quite polite to one of your chaps when we ran into each other as we ran into each other delivering in opposite directions.

Antony said...

... and both of you Dan & Andreas are always decent to all sides, but some clearly are not. No matter how rude the elector (and believe me, at this by-election every side will have come across it) you have to remain dignified and serious.

Anonymous said...

Bowthorpe/Earlham ward resident speaking. Ideally canvassing should be over a cup of tea and buscuits; or a glass of wine. Dog poo is the manner of this microscoped ward election; which is hugely disappointing. Come on party leaders.. clean up your act.

IMO, elections should be like parties, friendly, listening, and unearthing how to push a ward's quality of life forward, with the best people.

My feelings are Labour are hanging onto past support without doing the doorstep or particularly leaflet effort. As a North Earhlam resident I have have zero information / leaflets from Greens/Labour which is hugely disappointing for electoral choice. Greens are nowhere with a holographic/paper candidate

On canvassing effort/candidate quality/communication its a close call between Andrew Wiltshire and Dave Thomas who both have made the effort to really engage with the residents. Residents appreciate this. Dave Thomas has run a good campaign but I think Greyhouse slurs/mentions of financial management will count against him (re: LibDems 2006 misaacounted £2million).

Antony.. thanks for running a clean but highly relevant, high local issue, high communication campaign with Andrew.

CH resident said...

My brother in law in Chapel Break had a woman from Labour come by on Saturday and he said that she was very very nice and talked to him for ages so I dont know how you can say that Labour is not talking to people. And he said that he would vote for whatever party she was in so it not about party anyway but it is about people. She was blonde and had a kangaroo pin on and he thinks she was a consiller.

Antony said...

CH resident; you have every right to leave lots of pro-Labour messages on here, but people have a right to know where you are coming from. I am sure it will be another tight contest next week and people will vote for all sorts of reasons. However generally people tell us that they have had *less* contact from Labour - not *no* contact, but just *less* than other parties.

Anonymous said...

I have been visited by both the Conservatives and Labour here in Three Score and found the Conservatives to be friendlier and more interested in the local area.

Anonymous said...

Hi Antony, I am a Bowthorpe resident and student at the University of East Anglia. I have found this by-election to be quite low key, or maybe i've not been looking hard enough! My house has currently had no canvassers from any of the political parties (maybe we've just been out when they've knocked?) we've had a few leaflets from you guys and the Liberal Democrats, and a couple from Labour. On terms of leaflet quality me and one of my housemates believe the Conservative leaflets to be very positive, which we do like very much. Labour have been of an ok quality and they are at least more positive then the liberals, the Liberal Democrats have been very generic and very negative in what they've been saying. I also notice The Greens are standing, not surprising I guess as they're quite strong in Norwich, but we are yet to have a single leaflet from them!!
I look forward to a canvasser from any of of the political parties! it may just make the difference who me my housemates vote for!

Anonymous said...

I live in Clover Hill and have had plenty of leaflets from all sides. LibDem very negative; Labour incomprehensible; Tory well designed and position - none from Greens. Been canvassed by shirty Labour woman who huffed when I said I may vote Conservative; very young Tory canvasser (they are growing them in jars) but seemed to know little about the area. Apparently the Tory candidate lives in the next street to me.

The campaign hasn't changed a thing for me - I will probably vote Tory now and would have probably voted for them weeks ago.

UEA Lefty Student said...

I suspect the anon above me was canvased by one of the scarily large Tory student group. Student Tories always depress me.

Anonymous said...

Lefty students worry me as they havent a clue about matching hard reality and the ideals of youth.

Anonymous said...

CH resident - Labour haven't bothered with us. Perhaps residents in flats don't matter; assume they are deprived and natural labour voters.

Comrade said...

The last time I ever got canvassed it was by the Lib Dems - I told them I was a staunch Tory and away he went.

Reactions to canvassers don't always reflect voting intention

CH resident said...

Ive not made up my mind yet who is getting my vote but I am sure it won't be the Lib Dem man because he had a leaflet through my door after the counsillor died and I did not know him much but it was not respectful and I know Jo Storie and she has more experience but Andrew might have more energy.