As the Canadian Federal Election draws closer, all of the major political parties are stepping up their game and doing whatever they think is necessary to drum up support for their various campaigns. However, it seems the Conservative Party is managing to turn away some of their own supporters, after one Reddit user alleged the party has been repeatedly soliciting them for money, for months.
According to the original Reddit post, which was shared on Friday, the Conservative Party had been ‘harassing’ the writer for months, despite them pleading to be removed from any Conservative contact lists. According to the original Reddit thread, some people had been spammed by the political party for years, with one user claiming that their mother had been repeatedly receiving calls from the party asking for donations for 15 years!
The original thread on Reddit was posted with the title, “The Canadian Conservative party of Canada will NOT stop soliciting me for money.” In the main post, the user explained, “Since May they have been calling once a week for money. At first, I donated to them (no judgment on politics please). It was a huge mistake. They won’t stop harassing me. I’ve asked to be removed from caller lists, and they said they would but I keep getting calls. It’s ridiculous.”
The post concluded, “For any conservatives out there, do NOT donate to them or look out for harassment while you are sleeping, while you are working.”
Within a number of hours, the post had almost 70 responses, many of which agreed that this kind of scamming was common. One Reddit user replied to the original post to say, “My mother donated to the Cons once. The harassment lasted about 15 years.”
Another Canadian Reddit user expressed their frustration with the alleged repeated contact, explaining, “Both my wife and I contribute to the campaign every campaign but the pushy phone calls have angered both of us. Way too pushy and annoying. I didn’t even appreciate the Trudeau bashing that took place either.”
It is not uncommon for political parties across the spectrum to contact members of the public, hoping to earn votes or donations, particularly from those who have expressed a prior interest in the party. That said, according to the Reddit thread, some of the tactics used by call-handlers to obtain donations are not particularly ethical.
One Reddit user claimed to be a previous call centre employee, that allegedly had a contract with the Conservative Party. In their post, they wrote that employees were expected to attempt to solicit money from people regardless of their circumstances, even if they were jobless, and especially if they were ‘emotionally vulnerable.’
Another user added that they had also worked at a call centre that had outsourced calls from a political campaign. The user explained that when a call-handler tells you they can take you off the call list, they usually can’t, as “they don’t have the authority to do so.” Hence the repeated calls to members of the public who had pleaded to be removed from caller lists.
While this Reddit post is definitely off-putting for anyone who was considering donating to the Conservatives for the first time, a number of people who posted on the thread also noted they’d had similar experiences with other political parties. One user wrote, “The NDP did this to me last election. Like, chill, guys.”
Another Canadian said, “I'm having the same issues with the Libs. Haven't donated to them since Chretien. But it's election time so EVERY party is blowing the dust off their donors list to go fishing for $$$ and/or support.” While someone concluded, “Man, let me tell ya. I'm not a Conservative supporter by any means.. but on this issue, I'm gonna go with the "they're all the same" line. The single biggest predictor of future donations is past donations.”
The user added, “You give once, they'll be on you like flies on shit. If there's any difference, it's that the Conservative fundraising machine is a lot better oiled than the other parties.”
For anybody who is being bombarded with calls from parties in the run-up to the federal election, the thread does offer some advice on how to get-off mailing and caller lists. That said, judging by the responses on the thread, once you’re in - it seems pretty hard to get back out!