I had a phone call the other night on our home phone, which could only mean one of two things. My mum is calling, or it’s a canvasser or scammer. In my usual manner to ward off “cold callers”, I answered the phone with “Bon jour, ca va”. Answering in another language works most of the time. I just get a delay and then they hang up. Not sure that all my friends are aware of my habit, but hey, it keeps the call centres and scammers at bay, so I’m stickin with it.
This particular caller however, either ignored my greeting in french, or was so nervous that he didn’t even hear what I said. He must have been concentrating so hard on what he was supposed to say, he was not remotely aware of my apparent “Parisian” background. So, he ignored my french fluency and got straight to the point of his call. It was if he could not contain himself any longer and with the briefest of greetings, got down to business.
So, this young gentleman, whom I will call “John”, identified the candidate he was representing right off the bat, and asked if I had any concerns regarding local issues. Our previous long standing member (Bob Such) was very much dedicated to the local community and much loved. A decent fellow (RIP). Anyway, “John”, represents Nat Cook, a brand new Labor candidate, who stands on an anti violence platform. “John”, then went on to ask what were my concerns in the local or wider community. Well, I felt like asking him if he had enough time this fine evening, because I had much to say, but knowing full well, he probably would not be too interested in my slightly right leaning/Libertarian views, I picked just a couple of issues to niggle at his socialist heart.
“Not so much local issues” I said, “but more macro issues are my concern”, sounding very knowledgeable with my politico economic speak. “The recent bungle with our soon to be moth balled Desal plant and water rates hike, as well as electricity prices, (which incidentally here in SA are among the highest in the developed world) are my biggest bug bear! These two, along with our emergency services levy which has increased this year, up to 400 odd percent (average is supposed to be 62%), is sapping all of our “hard earned” before we have the chance to support the local economy by spending it at the businesses that employ our kids etc.
I then could not help my self but have a dig about extra costs associated with renewables of which we all end up paying more for, with absolutely no benefit at all! John, I have to say stayed composed throughout our conversation, however, he did still appear quite nervous and unsure of how to answer my questions. His standard response to many of my comments was, ” I will pass on your concerns to Nat”. His nervousness was more obvious by now, (was it me?) and feeling his awkwardness, I helped him finish up the conversation. ” I have a pressing engagement and have to go now”, I said. He seemed happy to leave the conversation there and proceeded to make his two closing statements. “You can call Nat any time to discuss any of your concerns”, and, then he asked whether I had decided who I was going to vote for. I am sure if he had considered any part of what I had just said (mostly issues with labor policy) he would have realized that it would not be in Nat’s favor. We parted company cordially, and I am sure he was thankful that this call was over.
I do wonder now whether I had been just one more non Labor supporter (Labor are not strong in this electorate) he had rung that night, and was nervous about the possibility of being abused or being asked difficult questions “again”.
I do have to add though in spite of the fact that I probably will not vote for Labor, at least they made the time to call. I have not heard anything from any other candidate as yet. I may have to harangue the other candidates at the local shopping centre over the coming weeks.
Not sure who to vote for though. Is the Marijuana Party running in this election?