Charlotte Vere canvassed by the Greens: I wonder how she will be voting?

Charlotte Vere has been much amused by being canvassed by a member of the Green Party, so much so that she has Tweeted about the incident. Twice. I have two observations to make.

The Greens may have made inadequate preparations for their canvassers. A party with mature canvassing records will normally have made a note of die-hard supporters of other parties and would therefore avoid calling on them. This avoids wasting time and does not “rattle the cages” of their opponents for fear of encouraging them to become active.  In this case, it may well be that Charlotte is not yet on the electoral record for Vere Heights so the Green Party worker can be forgiven for calling on her.

The second observation relates to how a candidate or party supporter should respond when called on by the opposition. One response is to be pleasant, introduce yourself, and wish your opponent well. The other, as practiced by a Labour candidate some years ago when called on by a Tory lady who had not recognised his name, was to ask them numerous and detailed questions about their policies, the character of their candidate, and any other delaying tactic.  The purpose of this was to reduce the time the canvasser had to meet other voters.

The above mentioned incident ended when the Labour candidate thanked the Tory for her time and trouble but said that he would not be voting Tory. It was only at that time that the Tory lady asked for the his name. He introduced himself and added that the main reason for not voting Tory was because he was, in fact, the Labour candidate. The Tory slapped him on the arm, proclaimed “You beast”, turned and stormed away.

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3 Responses

  1. As the Green canvasser who had the rather unusual experience of knocking on the “opponent’s” flat door this week, I am so relieved that brightonpoliticsblogger has decided that I should be forgiven for doing so. However, I will confirm that the electoral role did NOT indicate Charlotte Vere’s name – clearly if it had done we would not have been so foolish as to waste our time. In fact, in the split second it took me to recognise her when she unsuspectingly opened her door, and make the arguably understandable, and now well-publicised, comment “oh how embarrassing”, I did resist her slightly menacing offer (“shall we have a chat?!!) right away and move on. There was no introduction, greeting, pleasantries or well-wishing from Charlotte but rather more a strange display of delight as if the 2 Greens facing her (simply out doing the kind of job one supposes her own supporters are doing) had been caught red-handed. I can only suppose she thought my initial reactive comment was a sign of weakness or guilt. It’s disappointing if that’s what she was thinking, and even more disappointing (though not at all surprising) that she chose to immediately tweet about it and repeat it again the next morning. I certainly have nothing against her personally but I might have hoped she would have made a greater effort to be light-hearted (and a bit more gentle!) about the incident rather than mocking. As a business woman with no previous political campaigning experience (as I understand it) I wonder if the Pavilion electorate would appreciate a Tory MP who seems to enjoy criticising and gloating at those who don’t subscribe to her politics? If she were to win in the elections how many constituents would dare go to her surgeries? I think in those circumstances I might actually be tempted to knock on her door again…

  2. Dear Green Canvasser.
    Yes, I was mystified and actually very worried by those strange twitters (amongst many) from CV. I feel 100% sure that Caroline Lucas or Nancy Platts would represent all of their constituents fairly,irrespective of political affiliation. I do not feel that way about CV.
    The anger and contempt she reveals whenever she comments on the Greens is very disturbing coming from a PPP for a constituency with a very high number of Green Party supporters Her views on the Greens are so malign that I seriously doubt that she would be capable of fairly representing her non Tory voting constituents.

  3. Today I went along to the hustings meeting organised by Riba for candidates to discuss architecture as a social and political force.

    Being a gentleman, and aware of her address, I did not of course ask Charlotte Vere whether she thought the bunkerous block of flats in which she chooses to lodge is the finest that Brighton has to offer.

    There were, however, some other interesting revelations at the meeting.

    It also emerges, I heard afterwards, that the BNP could be standing, perhaps in Kemp Town. It had somebody at an Election briefing. I doubt that it will get many votes. Ukip could worry the Tories.

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