Thursday, 17 April 2008

Canvassers Face All Kinds of Situations

Canvassing for the May Elections for seats at local and county councils elections is not without its dangers and hairy incidents. In general the reception one receives is useful and positive and quite encouraging, and interesting and stimulating discussions take place which at worst hold up the canvasser anxious to complete his/her assigned itinerary before sundown. There are, however, moments of trepidation and even dangers ranging from fierce dogs to outright physical assault.

At times the householder's dog hurls itself at the door and devours the proffered campaign pamphlet the instant it is inserted into the letter box. Another hazard is the letterboxes with a spring-loaded flap which grips the fingers like a vice-like mouse trap from which it is difficult to extract the hand. In other cases the residents are obviously at home but do not deign to answer the door, or they answer the door and glare at the canvasser as if he were at the least an unwelcome intruder, and at the most a sworn enemy, at the same time suggesting that the persuasive political pamphlet, if taken, would be destined for the litter bin. There is a fair amount of apathy among the electors whose ancestors may have fought so bravely to gain the right to vote, and there is a definite and widespread distrust of politicians who are blamed for the mess in which we all now find ourselves. Yet the majority of potential voters are well aware who deserves the bulk of their wrath and the magnitude of their blame.

Nevertheless the intrepid canvasser proceeds regardless content that his/her efforts will make a difference and survives the experience to live another day, a day when Wales (or Cymru) comes into its own.

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