Pebbles Take

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What a little money can do to a campaign

So, I am reading the Saturday Globe today (props to the Rae article, even though I don't like their rose coloured glasses in relation to his inelectability in Ontario) sipping some earl grey tea with lemon, relaxing into the Style section when my phone rings.

The caller id has a 877 number. I ask myself, charities don't usually call on Saturdays, furnance cleaning places names always show up, so who is it?

After a moment of contemplating not answering, I pick up. I hear at the other end of the line, the monotone methodicalness of

"Hello, its Micheal Ignatieff!" (exclamation added, he sounded less than thrilled to be making calls.)

For a moment my political senses flutter, is it actually him? Is he trying to find the last undeclared members of the parties executive the weekend before delegate selection?

Then I hear him say in french [obviously translated by me into english] "press 1 to hear this message in French"

What? I think to myself? Does his campaign not have volunteers? How dare he use a recorded message and a Demon Dialer (albeit a high end one with the touch-tone options).

The content of the message was pretty blah, get out and vote, including the gem:

"In the next election, the Liberal party needs to speak with a strong united, progressive voice. With your support, we can make this happen. "

Progressive? Maybe. Leading to a united liberal party? I laugh at that second assertion. Ignatieff is more devisive than Volpe (everyone would be united against Volpe!) for reasons I am sure everyone acknowledges by now.

So what does the demon dialer represent? Money. How many people recieved these calls? I don't know. I do know that I and many other people respond much better to actual calls from actual people (usually volunteers) during municipal, provincial, and federal elections. I have known alot of candidates that have used auto dialers at their peril.

The lack of respect, and the contempt for voters autodialing represents is something that should be taken into account by all campaign managers. Hopefully other campaigns do not following this candidates lead in using this deplorable practice.

Micheal Ignatieff did not sound excited and engaged on the recording, and I think it was because he knew this was bad strategy, and an illadvised thing to do.


  • If a campaign mailed you a letter with a brochure in it would you accuse them of having a lot of money?
    Probably not.
    The truth is that an autodialer is about 1/5th cost of mailing a brochure (thats counting postage alone not production costs) So think about it, sending a brochure that is way more expensive and most likely to be thrown out is better?

    Think about it for another second can any campaign possibly call 100 000 Liberals across Canada in 24 hours, probably only by using a live call centre with people who act like volunteers, so if you get a live call it quite probably represents higher cost and MORE money then a dial and you get issues with the knowlede of the caller and their excitment.

    Like them or not the truth is that they work. They work well.
    They do not replace other parts of a campaign but they are a good addition to one. It is pretty obvious that you have never run a campaign or you would know how effective they are.

    I heard the message as well and it did not sound like he was bored.
    Did you get Bob Raes autodial, now he sounded bored!

    By Blogger Aristo, at 7:06 PM  

  • He divides us as much as a candidate who has almost HALF of Liberal MP support can. Divides us as much as the canadidate with the largest grassroots support can. Divides us as much as the candidate with the most Senate support can.

    You may not like him, but don't speak on the party's behlaf, as it's obvious he has a lot of support, none of which points to huge fractures.

    By Blogger YYC Liberal, at 12:33 AM  

  • Show me any proof auto dialers work, I have found they only annoy the electorate (as she has shown here). Sure, use them in safe seats to get your message out for cheap, where you don't have to worry about depressing your vote count a little bit on election day, but in unheld places, to people not necessarily open to your ideas, use at your own risk.

    As for Iggy having caucus support, it does not mean not being devisive.

    Try being a Liberal in Alberta selling the carbon tax.

    Or a Liberal in Atlantic Canada saying we should recognize Quebec as a nation.

    A liberal in metro Vancouver or Toronto supporting the Iraq war, and escalating our troops length of stay by two deadly years.

    Tell me how the liberals that don't agree with these three policy planks will come out and work the hustings for someone they are opposed to on fundamental issues?

    Will this not cause a fracture in the Liberal party, even greater than the Martin Chreitien split?

    I would think so.

    By Blogger Steve Kanter, at 2:36 AM  

  • Gerard Kennedy called last night, with a scripted voice, telling me to vote the Kennedy slate. This is not a new voice message system, it has been in place by Telus for several years now and a 30 second message to all Telus subscrbers from your favourite candidate can reach out to cell phones that might not otherwise be reachable.
    It's just a new political tool.

    By Blogger Lolly, at 9:20 AM  

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