Wellington Scoop

Campaigning on the street


by Lindsay Shelton
There aren’t any election billboards in our Brooklyn street, But even without them, the election campaign has repeatedly reached us.

It began with a knock on the front door and the delivery of a red leaflet promoting Paul Eagle (photographed with a baby) as the Labour candidate for our electorate.

The (young) woman door-knocking for Labour was friendly and didn’t seem to be in a hurry. So we talked about the different parties and the different candidates, and we talked about Paul and his record as a councillor.

Second came a blue brochure advertising Chris Finlayson. But there was no personal delivery. His brochure was left in the letterbox on a day when NZ Post wasn’t delivering, so it didn’t get lost in the clutter.

I’d been wondering about the Green candidate, as no Green material had arrived at the house. (There’s been plenty via email though.) Then on one of the stormy days a Green person came knocking on the door – an older woman – and again we had a friendly conversation. Politics and weather and polluted rivers.

Neither of the visitors was pushing their parties’ policies. But they did, somewhat diffidently, try to find out how I’d be voting.

Next: contact from the Conservative Party. (Who knew we had a Conservative candidate?). His sombre brochure was left in the letterbox, in a personally addressed envelope.

And then: a second leaflet from the Labour Party, this one with the familiar image of Jacinda on the cover, and a summary of some of her policies inside.

Followed unexpectedly by a telephone poll (via the landline) from a robot. It was an efficient robot, and fast, and its questions were brief and to the point. I pushed yes (1) or no (2) on a dozen issues, and it was done.

And just when I was thinking that the campaigning was over, there was another knock on the door and two women in black were waiting outside. Hello, I said, trying to guess which party they’d be promoting.

They had a question for me. Did I believe that the Bible contained scientific evidence? Something of a disappointment, when I was expecting to be talking about politics. But I didn’t want to get into a discussion about religion – so they departed, and I’ll never know who they were representing.

Was that the end of campaigning in my street? Not quite.

I missed an election meeting on the corner. It was raining. I didn’t know that Grant was coming. (And I’m not in his electorate.) But I’d have walked to the corner to say hello, if I had known.

Wait. There was more. In the letterbox on Saturday, a severe eight-page booklet from NZ First, with a grim brown cover asking if I’d “had enough?” On page 7 it was hoping for donations. I didn’t feel obliged to answer the question.

And yesterday – two more brochures in the letterbox. Blue ones. One was advertising the Wellington Central candidate, with a photo of her with her husband and four children. (But I’m not in her electorate.) The other telling me that National is “delivering for families,” a message which no doubt excludes the families who are homeless or whose children have been going to school hungry.

It must be time to vote.

1 comment:

  1. Troy H, 23. September 2017, 5:47

    They should keep it on the street. I have a problem with the number of not the candidates but their workers coming to solicit at my home .
    This is inappropriate and also the phone calls I received after txting them to stop.