Diary of a Canvasser: Enda Comes to Town

I did not expect to be adding to my diary today, but last night I got a text to say that Enda Kenny would be campaigning in Cork today. So I got up early to head into town to meet up the leaders tour.

The rain was terrible, and the tour and run over time in the Simon Community and St Johns College so when Enda arrived we went to the English Market, that favourite of campaign stops when on a tour of Cork. There was a large crowd of supporters from both Cork City constiuencies and a number of candidates were also in attendance in cluding Pat Burtion, Jerry Buttimer and Simon Coveney.

It was an interesting morning as you had the usual Cork characters out in force ranting and raving about the SAS to the price of wine. Yes, I am serious I was lucky enough to be standing in front of this particular person.

There was also a protest by those against blood sports, what is missing from that report is that when Enda drove off the protestor shouted

“You are against blood sports don’t vote for the Green Party”

That of course led to cheers from us and a look of complete embarrassment on his face!

An interesting morning was had.

Diary of a Canvasser: Dawn to Dusk (and beyond!)

Election Poster

I have finished another week on the door steps and this week saw me canvassing for Jerry Buttimer and Deridre Clune.

On Monday we were out canvassing in Ballinlough for Jerry Buttimer and we got a good response. I got my first local issue on the door that night. Someone was giving out about City Council and the pothole outside their house. This was no ordinary pothole though! It was huge! So she had to complain! Thankfully Enda had decided to turn up to the debate on Monday so there was no questioning like the last time.

On Tuesday I was out in Ballinlough, again out canvassing for Jerry. This was the day that the Irish Language Policy really became an issue on the doors. I only got it the once, and I managed to canvass that vote as Gaeilge! I was very proud of myself! Enda’s debate performance was raised and it certainly impressed people.

Yesterday was my longest day of canvassing yet. It started with being collected at 7:45am by Jerry to canvass early morning traffic! This is a hard canvass as it can be difficult to interact with people, but people were receptive and will to take the literature.

After a coffee break we were down in Mahon at lunch time. It was a hit and miss area as a lot of homes were empty with the time of day and all that. But people were quite open to being engaged with. After another coffee break in Mahon Community Centre we headed out to Douglas to do a few estates. At this point I was drenched to the bone and my knee was acting up. I did canvass a number of houses, and got a good response, (limping always brings out the sympathy!) by the end of the canvass I was told to stay in the car cause I was in too much pain!

After going home and drying and dosing myself I headed out again (glutton for punishment I am!) This time to Donnybrook with Deirdre Clune. We got an amazing response and quite a number of people wanted to engage with us. Which is good. There was questions on one-party government, jobs, public sector, tax, education and student nurses. A really interesting canvass. I finally finished canvassing at 9pm! Thats makes it at about 13 hours of canvassing! Not to be done in rain I will advise! I have at least 2 more full days planned next week! Its going to be a long week!

Tomorrow is the last week of canvassing and it will be a case of canvassing up until the last moment. So dont be surprised if there is no update until election day! and remember be nice to canvassers!

Diary of a Canvasser: Where’s Enda?

Enda Kenny
Image via Wikipedia

So we come to the end of the second week of the Election campaign and its been a funny old week on the doors. I was out of the country until Monday so I was only out two nights this week.

On Tuesday I was out canvassing with Simon Coveney in Mount Oval. This was the night of the TV3 debate in which Enda Kenny had decided not to take part in. This was one of the recurring themes on the door that night. Some of it was light-hearted ribbing, others were more serious. Some were brought around, others remained to be convinced.

On Wednesday I was out with Jerry Buttimer in Carrigaline. After encountering a Fianna Fail canvassing team in the estate we had to make a hasty retreat to another estate. The rules of engagement are clear on this, if another team are there before you, you pull out.

Again the issue of Enda came up on the doors, but no one passed comment on the performance of the other leaders. Maybe Monday’s debate on RTÉ will change that.

Apart from Enda the same issues are still coming up on the doors. Health, jobs, public service and political reform.

No Canvassing took place in Cork yesterday following the tragedy at Cork Airport.

Diary of a Canvasser: 3 Nights, 3 Candidates

Cork South Central (Dáil Éireann constituency)
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This week I have been sharing my time with the three Fine Gael candidates in Cork South Central. I find that is the best and easiest thing to do. It also broadens your canvassing experience!

Monday

So on Monday I was out with Deirdre Clune. We were canvassing in Donnybrook in Douglas. I was paired with Fiona and it seemed that we got every nice person in the estate! We had lovely chats with people who wanted to talk about disability, social welfare and of course the leadership of Fine Gael, which is a bit of a recurring issue!

There was one house with a bunch of lads and we ended up talking to a few of them and one of the was a Fine Gaeler from Wexford! So all in all a good canvass with a good response and again, people seemed more interested in national issues. That as I have said previously is a good thing in my book.

Tuesday

On Tuesday, after we finally found out when the election would actually be held, I went canvassing with Jerry Buttimer in Turners Cross. Here I was invited into a house for the first time! (yes, it was someone I knew but still!) The reaction was very positive towards change.. I would hate to have been a Fianna Failer knocking on any of those doors. Again the issues that came up were national issues. Higher Education funding and Social Welfare policy was brought up on doors and people were genuinely interested in the policies that Fine Gael had. I must say I am enjoying this campaign!

Wednesday

On Wednesday I went out with Simon Coveney in Ballyphehane. This is an area I knew well as it is where I went to school and have plenty of friends living in the area. It was also a fairly well established area. Again I noticed it was mainly national issues with the Economy being the major issue. Another thing I noticed was the number of people who did not know who they were going to vote for. This was extremely true of elderly people who said they would have normally voted for Fianna Fáil and now don’t know who to vote for. Its going to be interesting to see if they will change their votes on election day.

So all in all 3 nights which were very interesting and I didnt mix up candidate names too often! I am off to Paris now for the weekend so I won’t be on the canvass  trail until next Tuesday.

Diary of A Canvasser: Day Out, Day In

An image of the Cork College of Commerce, a Fu...
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Well with election coming up, canvass teams have swung into full operation down here in Cork. Last week for the first time I both ended and started my day with a canvass!

This would be something that would seem to be a recurring theme for the election. There goes my lie-ins!

Last Monday (24th January) we canvassed an area of Douglas with Jerry Buttimer. We had a very good response and covered great ground. The issues on the doorstep where very detailed which sent us scurrying for policy documents and the candidate when we weren’t sure of exact details.

This is something I have noticed this time around. People are showing huge interest in the actual policies of the parties! FairCare, newERA and Re-inventing Government all came up on the doors. People seem to moving away from personality politics and hopefully, they will vote for the policies that they wish to be implemented.

The next morning saw me up early, at 7am! To be ready to be collected at 8am for canvassing again with Jerry Buttimer at Union Quay Bridge outside my college. This was the first time I had done an early morning canvass during an general election, I did a few during Lisbon, but that was a different kettle of fish.

The people that morning were a mix of students and professionals and it was a mixed response. Well some people just aren’t morning people. It was fun to canvass one of my teachers who was Dan Boyle’s campaign manager during the European Elections!

All in all in was a good morning and evening. Thank god I am off this weekend to cathc up on my beauty sleep!

Diary of a Canvasser: Slip, slidey, Christmas edition

House decorated for Christmas. Jeffreys Bay, E...
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So I am just home from another night on the canvass. It was an interesting experience, but quote an uplifting one on a number of fronts. One was the response we got on the doorstop. Yes, while it was mainly anti-Government there was some very Pro-FG responses. Others wanted to complain and were eventually brought around.

The other reason it was uplifting was the Christmas decorations on all the houses. Lots of houses were all set for Christmas and of course that did make a difference to peoples attitude.

Very few people mentioned the budget, even tough it is tomorrow. It will be interesting next week to see what effect the budget will have on the doorstep.

It was an interesting experience tough canvassing tonight. Plenty of slipping and sliding around the estate, but no major falls. We called it a night once it started to rain as it was most likely to get worse. I wonder will it snow tonight?

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Canvass Diary: Day 1 of Lisbon II

Jack Straw on the doorstep with local councill...
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Today was my first day out on the canvass trail for the Lisbon II referendum. We were in Farran Woods this morning canvassing before a triathlon. There was a good crowd there and we received a very positive reaction.

Lots of people were willing to engage with us. One guy came up and quizzed me and why I thought we should vote yes and he complemented me on my knowledge of the Treaty. Little does he know, thats what I am eating sleep and drinking!

Of course there were a few people who were opposed to the treaty, and there was some friendly banter. There was one guy who was convinced that if the 3 major parties were agreeing then it couldnt be right! Another person was opposed to us being there as sport and politics shouldnt mix, but Lisbon actually gives the EU a supporting role in sport so to me it was a good place to be!

It was an excellent first canvass in my opinion and it did re-ignite my faith for a YES vote, which was down following Friday’s poll.

Coming home we met some COIR campaigners in Cork City and they were handing out literature, and we searched it for something true (I really don’t mind genuine reasons, but COIR’s aren’t genuine), and we couldn’t find any! When we challenged one of the campaigners on the Tax issue, he did not understand the veto and kept going on about voting strength. I think I need to send a dictionary to COIR.

I will be canvassing again later this week in Cork City as well as attending a few other events. Hopefully it will go as well as today!

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Diary of a Serial Canvasser – Part One

Jack Straw on the doorstep with local councill...
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I mentioned before how busy I was with canvassing and with tomorrow marking 5 weeks to election day I decided to start a bit of a diary on how the canvass is going.

Lets start with last Wednesday. I went canvassing for Cllr. John Buttimer (South West Ward) in Deenrock in Togher. I would know a few people in the area here through being involved in the Scouts in Togher. It was a mix of a canvass. Some areas of the estate were very much against politicians in general and other parts were very positive towards Fine Gael.  We had a large team out and got a large area canvassed.

Thursday saw no canvassing due to weather.

Last Friday then saw me in Blackrock with Cllr. Laura McGonigle (South East Ward). What a different world compared to Wednesday night. Big houses and a good reaction nearly on every door. A big issue here was dog shit, I kid you not. A good canvass and lots done.

Monday saw me canvassing my own road with Emmet O’Halloran (South Central Ward). This is only the second time I have ever canvassed my own road. The last time was for Jerry Buttimer during the General Election. We got a great response and the majority of the nieghbours were nice to me when they recognised me (They don’t often see me wearing glasses). A great canvass really and very positive towards Fine Gael and Emmet.

Tuesday sees me scouting

Last night I was back in South West Ward with Cllr John Buttimer in the College Road area. We had a good canvass despite the weather, but we had to finish early due to the weather and the match. There are a lot of students in the area and complaints about them featured on many doors. On one road I managed to knock on the door of the Chair of the residents association. That was an interesting conversation I tell you, but she didnt complain about students!

Tonight sees me back in South Central Ward with Emmet and tomorrow night I am out with the Lord Mayor Cllr Brian Birmingham in South West Ward.

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Wrecked = Little or no blogging

So this week I seemed to be untterly exhausted when I get in the door and onto “liam” I am falling asleep.

My canvassing schedule is getting busier with me out four nights a week at the moment, I get Tuesdays off for Scouting!

So far I am canvassing for:

  • Emmet O’Halloran (South Central): Mondays and Thursdays
  • Cllr. John Buttimer (South West): Wednesdays
  • Cllr. Laura McGonigle (South East): This Friday
  • Cllr. Brian Birmingham (South West): Next Friday

That covers only the next two weeks. Have another four weeks to go after that! So staying in bed on Thursday!

Hopefully blogging will return to normalish soon. I will try!

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First Canvass of 09

Jack Straw on the doorstep with local councill...Image via WikipediaWell I am home after my first night canvassing in 2009. I was out canvassing for Emmet O’Halloran a candidate (for Fine Gael, in case you didn’t know) in Cork South Central Ward for Cork City Council. We were canvassing near where I went to secondary school in Deerpark. It had been awhile since I had been out canvassing door to door (last time was the generals in 07) but it didn’t take me long to get back into the swing of things and peoples reaction did help alot.

There was alot of anti-FF on the doors tonight. More so then towards the end of the General Election Campaign in 2007. I personally would not like to be a Fianna Fail canvasser this time round. Alot of people were saying never again would they vote for Fianna Fail. The budget, Beverly Cooper-Flynn and Government inaction on the jobs front featured heavily as well as local issues.

Language was an issue I came across tonight. Under EU law all EU Nationals have to right to vote in Local and European Elections, so it is worth my while knocking on the door and hoping they speak English. In a few houses I knocked on, there was an obvious language barrier, which was very annoying for me as I didn’t know if the person understood me at all!

Overall I really enjoyed being back on the canvass and I suppose the reaction helped majorly, especially as it was so cold! Looking forward to many more, considering its a good few weeks to June!

So if you live in Cork South Central, very soon you could have me knocking on your door!

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