Saturday, November 1, 2008

Newsflash: Researchers Discover That Dogs Can Be Brainwashed Too!

Tried my hand at canvassing today. It's the first bit of campaign work I've done since working the phones, as per my last post. Been buried under lots and lots of work. But I finally feel that I have my head above water at last (hmm... did I just mix a couple of metaphors?).

A mass of supporters were lined up at the campaign headquarters waiting to get their marching orders. So many volunteers ready to make one last push before the Tuesday elections.

This door-to-door thing is a bit intimidating. Fortunately, we were knocking on "warm doors," as my partner said, meaning that we were contacting persons who were either registered party members or who had given some indication that they might vote for our candidate. We were just giving them one last reminder about how important their vote was, and also asking if they needed transportation to the polls.

My partner Heather, a young, self-employed photographer with a 1-yr-old little boy, had never done cavassing either, so we went together to the first few houses, taking turns knocking on the door and speaking to the resident who answered. It was Saturday morning, and lots of people were out of the house running errands, no doubt, as I usually do on Saturdays. Once we felt like we had the hang of it, we each took a page and split up, each one cavassing her respective section, and then meeting up again at the next corner to take a new page.

As I was starting up one side of the street, I saw a senior gentleman walking a very large dog. He gave me somewhat unfriendly look, but I just kept going. When I rejoined Heather later on, she told me about her encounter with said gentleman. He had asked her who she was working for. She explained that she wasn't working, she was volunteering. Ok, he says, so for who? So Heather told him. Then the gentleman tells her (and without a smile on his face) "My dog is trained to bite _____ workers." Heather just walked on.

Gee, I didn't know it was possible to brainwash dogs too! :-)

Leaves me wondering why some people can't disagree in a more agreeable way.

We were canvassing a pretty up-scale development. The beautiful autumn day and spectacular foliage were my reward. And a few hours out in the fresh air felt great.

Since work has me feeling wiped out, I'm taking a Monday and Tuesday as vacation days. I promised to report back to the headquarters on Tuesday to do some last-minute Election Day canvassing.

It's been a long, long campaign season... I'm sure people are as tired of it all as I am. I can understand if they feel turned off by someone knocking on their door and distributing still more campaign literature. Frankly, I'm torn between my reluctance to try to influence an adult who must decide for him/herself and the conviction the political process in a democracy is this: individuals getting out and vouching for the candidate of their choice.

Still, Tuesday can't come soon enough.

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