Door-knocking with the Green Party

Today I spontaneously decided to spend the evening volunteer  door-knocking with the Green Party, on their mission to re-elect Caroline Lucas, the UK’s one and only Green MP.

I’ve been wanting to do it for ages, but they always do it on Saturday mornings, when I’m busy carrying dishes of spaghetti around in a tiny Italian restaurant. However now it’s getting closer to election time (well, still 7 months) they’ve started doing it like, everyday. I wasn’t working tonight and my boyfriend was out, so I figured I’d give it a whirl.

I was expecting canvassing to be more than a little soul-destroying, to be honest. I wanted to do it because I admire Caroline so much and desperately want her to be re-elected, but I thought it would be highly unpleasant.
I’m happy to report it was actually painless, verging on fun.

The other volunteers were really lovely people. The team leader had this amazing charisma and energy about her that was just completely contagious. Don’t you just love people like that? And there was another student too, who was the same age as me. It was really nice to meet someone my age who’s as passionate about green politics as me.

Excitingly, and surprisingly for me, Caroline Lucas herself came with us as well. I think it’s so great that she spends her own evenings door-knocking. She’s such a down-to-earth and real person, not like other politicians. And I was really excited to meet her properly because I’ve admired her for ages and really look up to her. I can’t believe she now follows Earth Baby on Twitter!

Here’s a photo of me, Caroline and the other volunteers after our canvassing session.

 

Me on the far left. Caroline Lucas is the lady in the middle with the white tshirt.

Me on the far left. Caroline Lucas is the lady in the middle with the white t-shirt.

Me and the two other newbies were paired up with seasoned volunteers for the actual canvassing, and we were each given a nearby street to cover. We had fancy Green rosettes and folders full of leaflets and forms and stuff. We were warned the area we were covering wasn’t very Green-friendly. So with that in mind, it wasn’t too bad that I only spoke to two people who were definitely going to vote for Caroline next year. Several people were very upset about the local Green council’s traffic policies. They said the bus lanes and 20mph roads had caused “absolute chaos”, and even that they had “ruined the town”. We also encountered one huge hairy angry topless UKIP supporter, but thankfully he was about to move to another city.

I was struck by how narrow-minded people’s grievances were. I suppose we should count ourselves lucky that we live in a place where a few buses making your journey ten minutes longer, or your recycling collection coming one day late, is the most people have to complain about. No one challenged us on the Green Party’s national policies. They seemed to only care about their own households and personal convenience. The country didn’t feature, much less the wider world and environment. But saying this, it was nice to hear people’s views. Even if I don’t see these issues as particularly valid, as a volunteer representing the Greens I thought it was important to find out what people were displeased about, and to note down their grievances.

The second to last house we called on, a heavily pregnant woman answered the door and said she would definitely be voting Green next year, as she thought it was so important to prioritise the environment. After assuring us of her vote, she said “now if you’ll excuse me, I’m actually in the early onset of labour!”. Oh my goodness I was so surprised, I had no idea. Bless her for being so patient and polite in that state!

On reconvening, the other volunteers said they’d had mostly good experiences. Well, for a difficult area, anyway. I’m really glad I went, and I will be doing this again next time I have a free evening. It’s a really good feeling to be so actively doing something towards a cause that’s important to me.

Writing and social media can only do so much… It’s good to put in the legwork as well!

4 thoughts on “Door-knocking with the Green Party

  1. When I was young I took buses everywhere. Being responsible I always took the bus earlier than needed if it was going to be close. You can’t predict traffic or accidents that could delay your travels. I hope your candidate wins and more politicians take after her lead and care enough to join the green party.

  2. It’s a tad arrogant to dismiss legitimate concerns over late buses and recycling not being collected on time? People have been fired from their jobs for turning up to work late thanks to unreliable transport and heavy traffic. As for recycling collections, this is a service people pay for via Council Tax. They pay their money, they expect a decent service which is something they are currently not getting.

    1. I’m sorry if my attitude came off as arrogant, it wasn’t meant in that spirit. I suppose they are valid complaints. It’s just that to me they seem quite trivial things to dismiss a whole national political party over. Also it’s not that the buses were late, but that special bus lanes had been introduced. This makes the buses much faster but can make car journeys a bit longer. I can totally understand why this would be annoying, but it’s not really surprising the Greens would favour public transport over cars.
      Thanks for reading and commenting Jenny (:

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