With a couple of weeks now between us and the election, it seems everyone involved is on a feedback kick. Moveon have just held their house parties and now the Democratic Party is asking for feedback. I’ve spent the past quarter-hour enjoying the opportunity to hold forth on the numerous mistakes I felt like they made. It’s quite cathartic.
My main comments were about language (in a nutshell: “be assertive”) and about my perception of their failure to properly take advantage of local volunteers. I offered to help early on, specifying that I was available during the daytime most days, but the calls were always looking for evening telephone support. I mentioned in the feedback that they should do more to use volunteers outside of the traditional door-knocking/cold-calling/fundraising space. It certainly seems to me like one of the reasons moveon has been so popular is that its members really feel a connection and they’ve utilised skills beyond those.
So I was a little saddened to get to the page thanking me for the feedback. It offered three opportunities to get more involved. And they basically boiled down to “tell your friends” or “give us money”. There’s no real attempt to build a picture of the skills available amongst their supporter base. No indication of ways to get involved in more creative ways on a local level. No true indication of a meaningful engagement with grassroots politics.
This was supposed to be the election that re-shaped the political landscape. I can’t help but feel like this feedback mechanism could have reflected that better.