Mark Pack writes…Parrots, canvassing and factsheets

Parrots feature more often in canvassing that you might expect. 

A few years back, Kelly-Marie Blundell revealed her canvassing experience one day in Guildford:

“Canvassing flats, often elderly people will call out through the door before opening as a measure of precaution. When I was canvassing some flats in Guildford, I knocked on one such door, or so I thought.

“‘Excuse me, can I help you?’ came the thin, elderly lady’s voice. I replied, ‘Yes, my name is Kelly-Marie Blundell and I am your…’

“But then she repeated it, speaking over me. So I spoke a little louder and clearer, presuming she was hard of hearing. ‘Yes, my name is Kelly-Marie…’ Then I heard it again, ‘Excuse me can I help you?’

“Rather baffled, I started again. ‘My name is Kelly-Marie…’

“And then I heard a squawk. That’s right. The repeated phrase was clearly coming from a parrot!”

I have, however, been taking a gamble and omitting references to parrots in many of the training sessions for new canvassers I’ve been helping with around the country in the last few weeks. What has been clear through all the sessions is just how many of our newer and not-so-new members are keen to get active and canvassing for the first time for this general election.

What has also been clear is how effective the central party’s pilot grassroots mobilisation project can be at getting those who sign up to our national petitions coming to such canvassing training and campaign briefing sessions. That is a huge potential resource of extra help to be tapped – and one to be trained up.

Which is why in addition to those parrot-free training sessions, I’ve also put together two concise factsheets – one on canvassing and one on delivering – to easily and quickly take new helpers through the basics.

Whether you are a new helper or a veteran hand, I hope you find them useful both for yourself and for your colleagues. And watch out for the parrots.

* Mark Pack is a member of the Federal Board and editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire. He is a candidate for Party President.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

8 Comments

  • 1) If there is an unlocked porch and a working letter box in the front door, do you recommend leaving the leaflet in the porch without stepping inside, or putting it through the letter box?

    2) When canvassing is it good practice to ask about the voting intentions of other household members?

  • Peter Martin 8th Nov '19 - 1:55pm

    I hope your information on voting intentions is better than the Labour Party’s. Especially when it comes to giving lifts to voters on polling day. I remember the following conversation from a few years ago:

    Me: Thanks for turning out to vote Labour.

    Elderly gentleman: Yes I always like to vote for Mr Winterton.

    Me: But he’s the Conservative candidate!

    Elderly gentleman: Is he really?

    Me: I have two Labour posters stuck on the side on my car.

    Elderly gentleman: Would you like me to get out?

    Me: No never mind! I don’t think it will make any difference anyway!

  • Mark Smulian 8th Nov '19 - 2:29pm

    I canvassed a parrot in North Devon in 2015, when I eventually realised that the voice repeatedly shouting “hello” at me was an avian non-voter.
    A few houses further on I was talking to a voter when the lady of the house appeared affectionately cradling in her arms a large snake. I said we’d call back at a more convenient time.

  • Re (1) if the outer door/porch is open and doesn’t have a letterbox – yes, put it through the letterbox on the inner door.
    Re (2) yes asking to speak to others is a good move – and in fact people tend to like it in my experience as it shows respect for the fact that just because people live together they don’t necessarily have the same views.

  • Charles Pragnell 8th Nov '19 - 4:54pm

    When out canvassing or putting leaflets through letter boxes, use a ruler to push them through the letter box, especially if there is an angry dog the other side of the door. It saves a trip to A and E.

  • Richard Underhill. 8th Nov '19 - 6:10pm

    Gary J 8th Nov ’19 – 1:23pm
    2) It is a secret ballot and a winter election.
    A colleague may go to the same house to remind people that it is polling day.
    Accurate perceptions save legwork.

  • Yeovil Yokel 8th Nov '19 - 10:05pm

    Me: “Darling, I’m home!”
    Wife: “Why has my fish slice got teeth marks on it?”
    Me: “I’ve just been delivering leaflets for the Lib Dems.”
    Wife: (Puzzled silence).

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

This post has pre moderation enabled, please be patient whilst waiting for it to be manually reviewed. Liberal Democrat Voice is made up of volunteers who keep the site running in their free time.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Raw 6th Dec - 11:02am
    Denis Mollison is correct in both his diagnosis and prognosis. Sadly another car crash on Radio 4's Woman's Hour this morning which descended into chaos...
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 6th Dec - 11:01am
    Peter Assuming that the current poll is essentially about Brexit, we shall see if Leavers still want to leave the EU. So I think that's...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 6th Dec - 10:53am
    The Daily Mail - gobbler up of the good up of the good old Liberal News Chronicle, and now The Independent. Maybe the Guardian knockers...
  • User Avatartheakes 6th Dec - 10:50am
    John Marriott: we always expect much too much from General Eelections and never learn the lesson. I understand we have employed/recruited 100 field agents so...
  • User AvatarSimon McGrath 6th Dec - 10:42am
    Many newspapers are awful. Not as awful as the state licenced press which Leveson has recommended would be
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 6th Dec - 10:18am
    Peter The referendum quite correctly gave an in or out choice. The leave campaign was about taking back control. That means leaving all EU regulated...
Tue 10th Dec 2019