This election I don’t know who I’m going to vote for. When the electioneering machine started cranking up, so did the recorded messages. You know, the taped messages that lazy and/or cheap telemarketers seem to like. Saves them paying real people in India or Moncton to annoy householders at dinnertime. This election, it seems to me, there’s been more of these recorded calls coming from candidates and pollsters.
“Hi, I’m blahblah for the blahblah party and I want your vote October 6th.” Not bloody likely, I say to the recording and hang up. I’ve waited through the spiel for the option to press a key to get taken off the calling list. It isn’t there. So I made a vow: I will not vote for any party that phones me with a recorded message. The Liberals were first out of the gate, no problem. I wouldn’t vote for Dalton McGuinty if he came to my house and made my dinner. Second was the Conservatives, a recording for Tim Hudak at 5:45 pm. No danger I was going to vote Conservative anyway, but what are they thinking? What are most people doing at that time? Either making dinner or eating it.
So I thought it was clear sailing. Whether because they don’t have sufficient resources or that they have the sense to know how alienating such calls are, I hadn’t had a recorded message from the NDP. Hadn’t had any live NDP calls either. Then, last Friday evening, 6:30, making dinner – phone rings. “Hi, I’m Kathy Cornish … NDP candidate…” No, it wasn’t really her. I’d have talked to the real Kathy Cornish. Wouldn’t have been thrilled with her timing, but was even less thrilled with it being a recording.
The only actual human who has called campaigning was a lady on behalf of our Conservative candidate Jeff Yurek. I told her I wouldn’t be voting for his party under any circumstances, but I appreciated having a real person doing the calling. She said many people prefer the recorded calls. I asked why and she said she didn’t know. I cannot imagine. Maybe easier to hang up on?
And pollsters – I don’t mind them usually. They have a job to do and I’m usually willing to help them. But not an automated one. For pollsters and candidates alike, if you can’t be bothered actually having a human call me, I can’t believe my opinion or vote would have much sway with you.
So I’m voting with my phone. Right now, the choices left to me in my riding are the Freedom Party or the Greens. They are the only ones who have not bothered me with phone calls, either recorded or live.