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April 10, 2003

Practical politics: Iain Coleman, of the fine weblog Why Do They Call Me Mr Happy?, is an official Liberal Democratic candidate for City Council in Cambridge, England.
I’ve canvassed before, but always on someone else’s behalf. I’m finding it very different now that I’m asking people to vote for me. It’s impossible to take the detached attitude that I’m just performing a data-gathering exercise. This is a job interview. In fact, it’s about thirty job interviews every night.

It’s tiring, but it’s overwhelmingly a positive experience. Every night I get to chat with smart, well-informed people about local politics, to be challenged with some difficult questions, and to convince a few people that it is in fact worth taking the trouble to go to a polling station and put an X beside “Coleman”. That more than makes up for the occassional encounters which go more like this:

ME: “Hi, my name’s Iain Coleman and I’m the Liberal Democrat candidate in the City Council elections. I’m just coming round to ask you if you’ll vote for me.”

HIM: “I don’t vote, ‘cos politicians are all a bunch of liars.”

ME: “I’ve never lied to you.”

HIM: “Well, I don’t mean you personally, but politicians are all the same.”

Even there, there’s a positive aspect of self-discovery: I’ve discovered this amazing ability to not tell people to fuck off.

He’d have my vote. Of course, if I lived in the UK, I’d probably vote LibDem anyway. Then again, if I had a pony, I’d sell it and buy a better computer monitor. [05:31 PM]
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Comments on Practical politics::

Sinboy ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2003, 07:41 PM:

A pony would get you a hell of a better monitor.

What size and type of screen are you looking for anyway?

Iain J Coleman ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2003, 08:03 PM:

The moral support is much appreciated, Patrick. I would suggest that you emigrate to Cambridge, take on British citizenship, and get yourself on the electoral register, but I fear the deadlines for this election went by a couple of weeks ago. Never mind.

Scott B ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2003, 01:36 AM:

For heavens sake, Patrick, just link to your Amazon wishlist!

And good luck to you Iain!

Andrew Brown ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2003, 07:54 AM:

I'm in Saffron Walden, the next constituency down from Cambridge. None of our candidates put "Hackers are a load of fucking cunts" in their blogs. Perhaps they'd get more votes if they did so.

Andrew Brown ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2003, 08:01 AM:

Sorry. I should have checked my refrences.

"Christ Jesus, hackers are such utter cunts." was it.

Iain J Coleman ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2003, 12:03 PM:

All part of my long-standing policy of being against Bad, and for Good.

Andrew Brown ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2003, 05:35 PM:

It's OK. You'd have had my vote even without the clarification. But perhaps everyone else is getting tired of local politics.

Scott B ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2003, 08:14 PM:

I can't quite imagine any of my City Council members speaking with such candor. 'Tis a pity, really.