Author Archives: Claire Turner

Who knew knocking on strangers’ doors could be such fun?

“I don’t mind delivering leaflets, but I wouldn’t want to do canvassing.” My thoughts exactly, a few months ago. I joined the Lib Dems in the aftermath of the EU referendum, determined to do something to demonstrate my frustration at the direction the Tory Government was leading us. Delivering leaflets was a positive activity and in the excitement of the 2017 General Election, I felt I was doing my bit. But over time, it has become clear that the task to influence public opinion and make the Government take notice of the 48% is huge. The leaflets were great, but I couldn’t help wondering how many of them went straight in the recycling bin. What could I do that would make more impact with my time?

I began to wonder again about canvassing. Research shows that people are 20% more likely to vote if they have been visited by a canvasser: even a just a smile and a friendly greeting is enough to make a difference. But I was worried about what it would be like. Would I be on the receiving end of angry householders determined to give me chapter and verse of their views, or would there be endless doors slammed in my face? Eventually, I summoned up some courage and went along to an action day to find out.

I was surprised to find how pleasant the experience was. When I arrived, I was paired up with an experienced canvasser and we went to each house together. We only called at houses where previous canvassing had shown that the owners were open to voting Lib Dem, which meant that we had a friendly reception at nearly every house. There was a list of questions to ask, depending on how much the householder wanted to chat: a surprising number were happy to stand on the doorstep and tell us their concerns about the local area and Brexit. It was fascinating to find out what people thought and how they saw the local scene and the national picture. When we found someone who was willing to join the mailing list, have a stakeboard in their garden or even become a volunteer, it was a cause for celebration! At the end of the morning, we all gathered at a pub for lunch and to share our stories. After that, I was keen to have a list of my own to do.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 6 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPeter Martin 13th Aug - 6:13am
    " freedom, fairness and trust" But what does this actually mean? The concept of freedom will mean different things to different people. To the left,...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 12th Aug - 11:28pm
    And finally this evening, I wanted to return to Jennie and Mary... Jennie, I feel your pain, and have been there myself. You end up,...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 12th Aug - 11:21pm
    @ David, But it’s not just the newspapers is it? When did you last see on TV, or hear on the radio, a politician given...
  • User AvatarMichael Bukola 12th Aug - 10:56pm
    @ James Moore I sense an air of disappointment in the qualities displayed in the current Leadership race. We have to be careful not to...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 12th Aug - 10:54pm
    @ Mark.. "Does our modern media-driven politics allow risk-taking, or big ideas? I’d suggest not". You're probably right, .... but they do it for the...
  • User AvatarRichard Lowe 12th Aug - 10:21pm
    Agreed. Two things I'd like to see are minutes, especially of the Federal Board, and also voting breakdown. How do we know who to vote...