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The line between canvassing and marketing

Posted by Ilise Benun on

A neighbor of mine here in Hoboken, a kid in his early twenties, was sitting on his stoop smoking a cigarette on election day this week when I asked if he was planning to vote. He said, "No." Of course, I asked why not and he said, "Because they called my cell phone." He doesn’t know how they (the candidates) got that number but he didn’t like it. "It’s fine if they call my land line but not my cell phone." That’s why he wasn’t voting. He was getting revenge by withholding his vote. That really irked me.

Also on Election Day, when I was campaigning for the local city council candidate, some people on the street avoided me like they avoid the guy handing out flyers and coupons for the local gym (or girlie club).

People seem unable lately (or maybe I’m just beginning to notice it) to distinguish between marketers trying to sell them something and neighbors trying to involve them in the democratic process.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there is no difference between the marketers (I am one of them) and the politicians.

What do you think?

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