November 30, 2015


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Welch's Gripe Juice

Best door-knockers

I was just in Edmonton and my parents, both politically active, were talking about candidates who can turn a vote at the door. This was prompted by a story  in the Edmonton Journal, a fun read about the science of door-knocking. I did a similar story a few years ago.

Raj Pannu, the dapper former Alberta NDP leader, could turn a vote at the door. He is just a decent and reasonable man, and that came through on the doorstep. My parents’ Reform-loving neighbour even put up a Raj lawn sign once, to my dad’s surprise. Edmonton’s smart young councillor, Don Iveson, can also turn a vote at the door. He apparently uses the leap-frog method the Journal wrote about.

That got me wondering which Manitoba politicians excel at the door. My first thought was Healthy Living Minister Jim Rondeau. He wins his centrist riding on the strength of his constituency work, and I’ve been out door-knocking with him. He’s warm, a little goofy, and remembers a little something about most people he meets. NDP candidate Rebecca Blaikie says the trick with door-knocking is to befriend someone and make them want to talk about politics — a tricky thing at the best of times. Candidates have about ten seconds to get that done so they can earn another 30 seconds of someone’s time, and then maybe their vote.

A good politico friend of mine said former Liberal MP John Harvard was good at the door, mostly because people recognised him from TV and were chuffed to see him on their stoop. But he was also a super-fast door-knocker, not wasting any more time than he needed. He’d start backing away as soon as the screen door opened. Ross Eadie, now a city councillor after a couple failed tries at public office, spends ages at each door, debating policy, which is admirable, but not all that effective.

Free Press reporter Mia Rabson says she was impressed with Tory MP Rod Bruinooge when she went out door-knocking with him last election. He was friendly and relaxed.

Who else? What candidate has earned your vote at the door?

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