Sunday, September 28, 2008

Manning the Phones

Tonight I was out manning the phone lines for a local Candidate. My apologies to anyone I annoyed with my brief queries. Hello... I am ... Can we.. support? thank you ... goodnight.

It's a pretty easy gig. 'Cept with some ladies. I sit and stare at those pages that list two inhabitants. I might see one response next to the man of the house, not supporting or 'won't say'. The next call to make is to the lady of the house. But I hesitate oft times. Do I call?? They always encourage you to call the numbers you're comfortable calling. The best thing for the candidate is an easy-going canvasser. With the ladies I'm not always so easy going. Too many times I've been cut of by a growly male voice declaring "WE are" or "WE are NOT" supporting.. blah blah, slam!!

So I don't call. But is there such a thing as "we are" voting? That's never been the case for my spouse and me so it's pretty hard to swallow.

A little tiny barrier, as I see it, to the franchise; but still somehow profound. I hate to let the women-folk down, m'self.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate the canvassers, cause I like to keep my vote private. I would HATE to be called TWICE, once for DH and once for me. Just because the person you're calling says "we" doesn't mean their partner is disenfranchised -- s/he can still make their own private mark in the polling station. They just don't have to tell you about it on the phone.

9:13 AM  
Blogger mo-wo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:40 AM  
Blogger mo-wo said...

Hey anon. I totally understand the vote is private. I always say thank you when someone won't say. That is entirely the idea. No one assumes votes should be disclosed. Just as, I assume, no one insists partisanship MUST BE A SECRET?

Me I am demonstrably partisan and therefore I never mind if a party asks me where I offer support. I'll try to calm down that you hate.. HATE. Even being asked. SORRY.

Overall, though I guess you would like me because basically I am not making those second calls. I am still pretty one call per household.

But each time I do that I am thinking 'why do I assume' the opinion of one householder should stand for a whole address? That's why I reflected that here.

ps... I question this AM if I even should have suggested if it was a male/female issue. I just marvel at the prevalance of homogenous voting and the barriers to imagining variety of opinion of in our current society. So many things point to us being more dynamic socially but politically we are still profoundly backward?

10:41 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

'WE are voting'??? ick.

I'd totally talk to you if you called me ;)

1:08 PM  
Blogger NotSoSage said...

Hmm. I'm trying to think of how I answer those questions. I am on the whole more politically engaged than Joe (though the whole arts debate has him ranting and raving a lot lately) and I think we've always voted the same way, but I know I asked him the last time we put a sign on our house...

I just don't know that I wouldn't say to a canvasser, "We are voting..." Certainly I might, but only because I would know it for sure. But...as has been noted before...my voice is surprisingly high and girlish, so they might think I'm speaking for my parents. ;)

1:47 PM  
Anonymous cheesefairy said...

I think the "party household" does still exist. I know some folk like that. "We are an NDP family." By previous consent of each of the family members. In my house each of us speaks for him / her self (and we are often amused because the phone is listed in my name and my husband and I each kept our own names...so he is referred to as MR. ME...or my dad, I guess)

Doesn't sound like that in this case. But people can be pretty touchy on the phone. I generally hate using the telephone but I always like talking to the political canvassers. And the Vancouver Sun pushers.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Subspace Beacon said...

Personally, if I hated canvassers (aka unpaid volunteers) I'd make sure my number was unlisted, and screen my calls as soon as the writ was dropped. Is this really an issue? I've only had one or two queries in 17 years of voting.

Your example of "We are" supporting made my chuckle and made me think of my grandmother. She addresses all letters to me by my husband's first and last name and the title Mrs.

10:28 PM  

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