20 March 2010

Local election canvassing 101 - find out who runs the council before you begin

Tonight, one of our local Labour Party members popped round for a cup of tea and a chat. During our conversation he told us about a mildly amusing experience he'd had on his doorstep earlier today. I thought I'd share it with you too.

An unsuspecting Liberal Democrat canvasser had knocked on his door and asked to have a chat about how he might be voting in the May local elections. Our member wanted to know what the Lib Dems had to offer the people of Peckham Rye, so he played the role of an undecided voter. The conversation that followed went something like this:-

Lib Dem Canvasser: 'Which party do you think you might be voting for in May?'

Labour member: 'Well, I'm undecided. But I'm put off voting Lib Dem locally because they've gone into coalition with the Tories.'

Lib Dem Canvasser: 'Sorry?'

Labour member: 'The Lib Dems. They've run Southwark council with the Tories since 2002. The Tories are a bit right-wing for me. I'm not too comfortable with the Lib Dems putting them in power in Southwark.'

Lib Canvasser - (Looking somewhat perturbed): 'Hmmm. Neither am I to be honest. Erm. Bye.'

Labour Member: 'Bye!'

It is amusing that someone would go out canvassing for a local party they know so little about. Sadly, it stops being so funny when we consider the impact the Lib Dem/Tory coalition has had on local concerns such as recycling, social care, primary schools and Peckham Rye's green spaces.

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