Saturday, December 8, 2007

Robot politics

The telephone depository financial institution is portion of America's political lore. In the good old years a campaigner running a proper grass-roots campaign would mobilise a cell of military military volunteers to name up friends and loyal members of his or her political political party and promote them to do certain to vote on Election Day.

These days, however, it have got go increasingly hard to happen volunteers who have the clip or disposition to take part in political political campaigns at all, much less telephone banks. But campaigners have got establish a inexpensive alternative: recorded messages, automatically dialed and delivered. They're known in the trade as automaton (or sometimes robo) calls.

It's a enigma to us why campaigners believe that having a machine phone call someone's house and disrupt their dinner or prep or favourite television show to belching a pre-recorded message is an effectual manner to political campaign for public office.

Don't they recognize that most people detest teleselling calls? Indeed, many of the places they're calling are listed on state and federal no-call lists, which were passed in response to just such as sentiment. But wouldn't you just cognize it, the folks who passed those no-call laws wrote in freedoms for themselves.

Still, if you're trying to win the Black Maria and heads of voters, why on Earth would you make a teleselling phone call to those who have got expressly said they don't desire teleselling calls? And why would you compound the abuse by using a machine instead of a human being?

Here's something else we don't understand. Why is the message in so many of the automaton phone calls an onslaught on an opponent? Some are so venomous that it raises a intuition that they're really a soiled fast one of some sort.

We'd wish to believe that campaigners are starting to calculate out that automaton phone calls not only don't work, but might even be doing them more than injury than good.

However, the last election rhythm offerings no grounds to buttress that sentiment. A study by the Pew Internet and American Life Undertaking establish that two one-thirds of registered electors in the U.S. got such as phone calls last year. Greater Cincinnati families were flooded with them, and the 2008 competitions - which have got not just presidential races, but congressional and, in Buckeye State and Kentucky, state legislative races as well - could trip even more.

Candidates who are not inclined to suppress themselves ought to pay attending to what have happened lately in politically painstaking New Hampshire and eight other states: Legislatures have banned or restricted automaton phone calls from political sources.

Comes now a study that State Rep. Jimmy Higdon, a Republican from Lebanon, Ky., volition patronize a measure in the approaching session of the General Assembly to amend Kentucky's no-call law to forbid politicians from targeting people on the list.

Higdon's measure is a long shot, but we're pulling for him. Meanwhile, we're hoping against hope that campaigners will see the visible light and voluntarily honour the no-call lists.

No comments: