Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Volunteer Energy - What We Can Do For The Election

SCOOP LINK:

Volunteer Energy and Political Tipping Points - What We Can Do

By Paul Rogat Loeb, The Smirking Chimp
October 15, 2008 - 9:33am


For Full Story See…
Volunteer Energy and Political Tipping Points - What We Can Do

On election day four years ago, I was canvassing in my home state of Washington, alternately knocking on doors for gubernatorial candidate Christine Gregoire and breaking to call Ohio and Florida. After three recounts, Gregoire won by 129 votes. I had no idea my state election was so close, but I did get three people who wouldn't have otherwise voted--one forgot it was election day, one needed a ride to the polls, and a third didn't know how to turn in her absentee ballot. If you multiply my efforts by those of thousands of other volunteers, we clearly helped make the difference.

The same happened in 2006. During the election's final weeks, I spent about 30 hours calling through MoveOn's Call for Change program, contacting voters in Virginia, Missouri, Montana, and other states with key Senate and Congressional races. Grabbing spare moments where I could, I dialed my way across the country, convincing maybe 20 people who wouldn't have otherwise to back the Democratic challengers. Some initially resisted saying, "They're all the same. They're all corrupts." Or "My vote won't matter so why bother." But I convinced them to vote, and added a few with election-day reminders. Later I read that MoveOn had 120,000 volunteers. If each had half the impact of my efforts, that meant over a million votes, in a season when US Senate seats swung on margins as close as Montana's 3,500 votes, Virginia's 9,000, Rhode Island's 29,000, or Missouri's 48,000. Our common efforts again tipped the balance.

It's easy to think of our individual election volunteering as insignificant. But when enough of us act even in small ways, we can have a powerful impact. Studies have found that if you talk to a dozen people by going door-to-door, you'll likely add at least one new voter for your candidate, a ratio that tends to hold true from local to federal elections, so long as you're working in reasonably receptive neighborhoods. Phone outreach can have a similar impact, though you need to talk with more people for a comparable result. Imagine what a few hundred more volunteers could have done to shift Florida's 537-vote official margin in 2,000, even with all the Republican machinations.

For Full Story See…
Volunteer Energy and Political Tipping Points - What We Can Do

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Scoop HiveMind Project: Universal Basic Income - Are We Up For It?

This is an opportunity for you as one of the 4 million potential funders and recipients of a Universal Basic Income to collectively consider the issue:
1. Is UBI is a desirable policy for New Zealand; and
2. How should a UBI system work in practice. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: National Announces Plan To Hit Youth With Big Mallets

The National party has announced its youth justice policy, which includes a controversial plan for recidivist serious youth offenders to be hit over the head with a comically large rubber mallet. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: This ->

It's been brought to my attention that Labour's new campaign slogan is "Let's do this". A collective call to action. A mission. I myself was halfway out of the couch before I realised I wasn't sure what it was I was supposed to do. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Hivemind Report: What New Zealanders Think About Affordable Housing

Ordinary citizens have had very few venues where they can debate and discuss as to what they believe has led to the crisis in affordable housing and how we might begin to address this. The HiveMind on affordable housing was about redressing the balance. More>>

ALSO:

New Hivemind Exploration: Opening The Election - Freshwater Quality

This is an opportunity for you as one of the 4 million guardians of our common water resources to help us find mutually agreeable solutions to the critical task of collectively managing these resources for health and sustainability. More>>

ALSO: