Insult and abuse political candidates and lose your vote?

www.markpack.org.uk/151502/electoral-commission-social-media-trolling/

Mark Pack has the story on his web site – see link above

This reminds me of a couple of incidents when I have been insulted on the doorstep whilst canvassing.

The best one was when a chap came out of a house and down his path to insult a group of canvassers. He made his point and then said ‘just wait until I see that Tony Robertson I’ll tell him a thing or two as well’. I was stood right in front of him at this point and he clearly did not realise this. He must have heard us laughing as he returned to his house wondering what had amused us.

Another one was a chap who opened his door and went utterly off his head shouting and carrying on. His performance brought out the neighbours it was so loud and abusive. I just stood there until he ran out of steam and said ‘you are a a rude ignorant man and should be ashamed of yourself’. He looked around realised the whole street was watching him and slunk back into his house.

Those stories could make it sound like abuse from electors is regular, in fact it is not at least not on the doorstep; most folks are really pleasant no matter what their political views are. The problem is the internet. Yes I get abusive responses to my blog postings on the odd occasion, often from people with seemingly false names and e-mail addresses. Frankly, I just ignore and delete them.

Would I take away a person’s vote because they are ill-mannered and abusive? No of course not, except in cases where harm was being threatened to an individual as there’s no excuse for that under any circumstances.

By the way I can’t recall being insulted on the doorstep by a woman. The nearest to it came when a woman said to me she could not vote for me as I had closed her child’s school some years previously. In fact I had campaigned to keep it open and had been at that school as a child myself! But she would not have it and clearly thought I was making up the claim to have tried to save the school from closing. Now that encounter really did hurt even though it was not abusive.

One thought on “Insult and abuse political candidates and lose your vote?

  1. Phil Holden says:

    It would be a sad day if this step proved necessary – in a society that behaves with restraint it would not be. But the day may come as people seem to be getting less tolerant.

    Not that I would ever abuse a canvasser. Well, not abuse but I might have a rant. My favourite was somewhere around 2003 when I was painting in the hall and a Labour canvasser called. “I’m glad you’ve come because I am very concerned about health and, with 2 sons at the nearby school, education”. He grew taller as I spoke, until I told him that his people were making a total mess of it “and don’t get me started on Gordon Brown and his tax raid on pensions, he might well have ruined my retirement, he’s a disaster.” By now he was desperately trying to get away as I continued to list Brown’s mistakes, which were not as apparent then but soon were. Eventually I let him go and turned to my teenage son who had been listening. “I don’t know why I do that, it’s a waste of breath and my brush has gone dry”. “No dad, but it had to be done” he said. But I didn’t swear and wasn’t threatening. It was fun…. for me anyway….. (and I think I was proved right about Brown and the Blair government’s education policies let alone their contribution to the current pensions crisis…. but I’m obviously still ranting even after all this time….)

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