IT was getting dark in Goresbridge when Mary White went out canvassing but the reception she got on the door steps was anything but cold. Heading up a small team of two volunteers it was a lightening fast leaflet drop around the village.
Since she was elected in 2007 Ms White has never stopped canvassing, she knew each constituent on a first name basis and was able to ask about relatives and family members. Mrs White says that its much harder to build up a rapport with the voters when you are not a dynasty politician. She said you have to work much harder to get your name established. Working as a Junior Minister appears to have helped achieve the recognition factor. Jacintha Murphy answered the door, turned to her daughter and said “look it’s the lady you see on the TV.” When she was confronted with female voters Ms White would focus on the need to have more females in the Dail. “There’s only 22 women in the Dail do your bit for the ladies,” she said.
On the door step in the Rivercourt housing estate off the main street Deputy White reminded voters that she had kept up her end of the bargain. “Hi Mary White, back again looking for your vote, We got the bollards and we’ll have the no parking signs on the grass soon. Keep a worker in the Dail” One man who came to the door said “I didn’t agree with your party’s policies but you’ve always done what you’ve said you would do, so I’ll vote for you.” There was no questioning of the national issues and no talk of what the Green Party had or hadn’t done while in Government. Ms White was able to point to a track record of local issues that she had resolved. “We got the dump and the sewage sorted, remember how bad it was before?”
In the local shop and petrol station deputy White proudly declared that she’d never shop in Tesco. “I get my diesel here, I’m a big believer in supporting small shops, small shops are the heart of small villages.”
Although Mary White managed to avoid any vitriol that was aimed at her, her husband Robert White wasn’t so lucky. He returned at one stage during the evening and said that he’d just met a constituent who’d been very abusive. The consensus amongst team White was that there just is no point in engaging with this.