At this stage the canvass drive has been in full swing for nearly three months. With the exception of my 12 day honeymoon in January I have been pretty much knocking on doors solidly every week. Its been an interesting way to spend my first year of married life!
I really enjoy the canvass despite the cold weather and dark nights. January was tough and I think most people took pity on me with my clipboard and ice cold hands! That said and I think every candidate will agree, the first door you knock on at the start of a canvass is always the hardest. You’re a stranger in a family driveway and especially in Winter I’m knocking on doors in darkness.
I’ve been mistaken for quite a few people – TV Licence Inspector, Immigration Official, Salesman, Preacher and one of the local TDs! That said once I explain who I am and the reason I am knocking on their door 99 times out of a 100 people are very polite and patient. They give me their time and allow my to say my piece.
Talking to people about issues and their views on Irish politics makes it all worthwhile. Election campaigns are long and lonely and there are times you do ask yourself is it worth it and when you take a knock it can be soul destroying. However there is no better antidote than canvassing, after every canvass I’ve done I have felt absolutely invigorated.
As Spring slowly creeps in and the evenings get longer the experience of canvassing will change. In my experience people are far more engaged when the evenings are bright and the election date is insight.
With ten weeks to go there are hundreds of doors to knock on.