Tuesday 20 March 2018

Electoral candidates: Sorry to have milked you

Liam Fay

Delivering the message on the doorsteps is supposed to be what canvassers do at election time, as political parties advertise their wares in the would-be marketplace of competing ideas. Curiously enough, however, most of the electoral messages being delivered to my doorstep are disconcertingly identical. "Sorry to have missed you!" is the headline phrase on the majority of the leaflets that have been popped through my letterbox by local authority candidates, incumbents especially.

The sorrow expressed by these canvassers is touching, and no doubt heartfelt. A stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet – so it is tragic indeed that so many friendship-building opportunities have been squandered. The tragedy is compounded when one considers that it will be five years at least before most of us get another chance to cross paths with a councillor.

Moreover, on almost every occasion when callers claim to have "missed" me, I was actually on the premises, only a doorbell's tinkle away. A sensitive soul could get the impression that some councillors are attempting to perform the difficult trick of eliciting votes while evading voters.

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