The tele-canvassing session last night at the Clyde St office went very well. A big thank you to Dave for helping us last night - he was really on fire and in addition to showing us the ropes and working through quite a few pages of the voter's roll, would probably have sold the people an insurance policy if we had one to sell!
Our spirits were high, and we shared refreshments as we each cornered a phone and began working through our portions of the list. I saw a preserved front page of the Evening Post from 1988, showing a picture of a very young and eager Bobby Stevenson, and I realized that some things change, and some things stay the same. Despite the advances offered by technology, some things cannot succeed without good old-fashioned hard work. As yet, there are no machines that can pick up a phone and call constituents who do not list their email addresses and who would otherwise slip through the cracks.
We don't need an army to make telephone calls for 2 hours once or twice a week - four or five people will do just fine.
I'm sure not everyone likes speaking on the phone to strangers - I for one avoid phones as far as possible. I have issues about my voice, you see, and I dislike being addressed as "sir" on the phone, but hey - that's my voice and I'm stuck with it! Nevertheless, I will use it to the best possible effect I can to try to make the world around me a better place.
I'm sure you know it can be a frustrating task to call people you don't know, especially when there are people who lack manners and who put the phone down on you, or are otherwise rude - the people who embarrass themselves by admitting they are not interested in voting or in contributing to a positive change in the shared future of this country - but there are also rewarding moments when you encounter constituents who were not aware that they needed to register to vote, or proudly proclaim that they support the DA and are determined to help take the Metro in 2011 with their votes.
One gentleman I spoke to last night, originally from Scotland, told me he was "gatvol" of the way things are going in PE and SA and said my call could not have been timed better. And yes, he was most certainly a supporter of the DA and would dash down to the new IEC building at 122 Cape Road within the next 2 days!
Another person I spoke to wanted to register, but was having lengthy problems obtaining a new ID book - the Clyde St office will be contacting this person soon to help them resolve this issue with Home Affairs - and thereby ensure another vote.
Would you not find it rewarding to change the world around you for the better, even if it is by one person at a time?
Some may feel that this task of contacting non-registered voters is unnecessary or even "thankless" - but for me the knowledge that I may have helped to ensure another vote, and another vote, and another vote for the winning team - other than my own, is thanks enough.
I am sure the DA can count on each volunteer to vote in support of our party come election day, but as individual voters, we all have only one vote each. As volunteers, we aspire to do more than simply vote for the DA come election day, at least I do. In that light, I aspire to contribute more than just my own vote, but the vote of every person I can swing in our favor.
Let's make a difference together.
Ward 5 Branch Chair