Support, but don't sign up
JUL 26, 2013 | BY DYLAN HORNBY
Once you give a major political party your email, you risk giving away a lot of your time online
When I shuffle through the day's emails, most of them are always from political parties, asking me to donate money to this campaign, sign the petition to condemn the government's actions or give $5 for the chance for Justin Trudeau to come host a BBQ in your hometown.
Its not just one particular party, and it's not just one website either. When you give one email out, you eventually end up receiving mail from all over. In my case, I get mail from Trudeau to Turner, from Young Liberals to Queer Liberals, from the BC Liberals to the Liberal Atlantic caucus. I've been getting daily mail for years from all sorts of places and people I never gave my contact information to. Friends in different parties have also lamented about similar tales.
All it takes is one email address, a few oblivious strokes of the pen at the clubs fair, and hundreds of different people now have a digital hold on you for life. Thinking about compiling the daily minutes i have spent since University combing through such emails, only to find out most are after more money makes my blood boil.
Day after day, every and any party can bombard you. Politicans are never up-front. Even if you already donate monthly, they'll ask twice as much, since you've already shown a commitment to donate.
They seek to sweeten some sense of generosity out of you with metaphors about country BBQs, raising barns and reviving Canadian spirit in the summer. During Christmas they will type about charity and goodwill, and many will reveal the infamous "fundraising goal", because we cant let our opponents win in the money department! No siree!
Political emails encompass an irritatingly grey void in people's inboxes- news that is relatively insignificant, but on topics that you intellectually support. Stopping them is a virtual impossibility. Ask one to stop and you'll eventually have other addresses contacting you. Points of contact for their members are like crack for any party, you can bet that your contact is shared and spread during each election cycle. And emails enable you to get ALL the information.
In this way, Emails certainly do have their benefits. Getting the essential word out is important, and there certainly are relevant emails in politics. That's ultimately what makes this all so annoying to me. The time we waste combing through piles of political schlock to find what news we actually care about.
Im convinced that these constant emails do make people weary of getting into politics. Emails take that deep, personal commitment of aligning yourself with certain political values, and mechanizes it. The initial dreams of making a policy-based difference in your party ends for many as they soon realize their most relevant place in their party is on the receiving end of a 50 000-member daily email list.
Nothing seems more impersonal to me than receiving daily emails for over two years from the same place, and that they still address you as "Friend".
- Subtitle: My late-night grievances on the use of mass emails in politics.