We’ve been out conducting neighbourhood surveys in South Belfast —
perhaps you’ve been kindly greeted by one of our canvassers. I’ve been
pleased with the quantity and quality of responses that our team of
volunteers have received. I have found over the years that voters are
generally pleasantly surprised that any politician even cares to ask
anyone for what they think is really important.
About a quarter or so of those we meet are willing to complete the
survey form for us. I think that’s a pretty good result. And while most
people we meet are receptive to our request — so long as you are brief
and to the point — there are always a few who just aren’t. While I
remain ever polite, I walk away most unhappy from the well-off,
completely-disinterested-in-politics non-voters. Sure, we’ve got a
divisive, sectarian political system in Northern Ireland, but there are
alternative parties to vote for! It’s the smug attitude of, “I’m
alright, Jack, leave me alone.” Yes, voter apathy peeves me, and I’m
out there to do something about it.