A small note to Clive Doucet: No one likes opt-out mailing lists.

Ottawa city councillor turned mayoral candidate Clive Doucet has one very small problem. He doesn’t quite get how mailing lists–particularly those advertising his position leading up to a municipal election–are actually supposed to work. Instead of allowing folks to choose to sign up for his advertisements, he chose instead to assume anyone who’s emailed him for any reason must be interested in his platform and has therefore given instead the option of simply being removed. Why is this a problem? Much to Clive’s dismay, not all of us are really all that interested.

I sent one, maybe two emails to councillor Doucet in early 2009, as a direct response to the fact OC Transpo had been dragging the bus strike out and making it nearly as political as some of the crap that came out of the house of commons. The response I got to that email was, pretty much, a politically correct version of “Go screw yourself”, and a reminder that the wicked evil cruel union wouldn’t be pushing the city around if he could help it. I pretty much wrote him off as an ass–even if he was one of the two people who actually did get back to me (the other was a form letter that pretty much said they’d look into it).

That was pretty much the end of my exchange with Ottawa city councillors in general and Doucet in particular. Flash forward to the start of the municipal campaign runs. I get up, go through my morning routine, and the very first email that shows up in my inbox? a newsletter from “Clive Doucet for mayor”. Flash forward again to tonight. I wrote that off as a simple mistake–he doesn’t strike me as very tech savvy, honestly–none of them do, really, but him in particular. Tonight when I got in, I was treated to another newsletter from “Clive Doucet for mayor”. This one, at least, came with an unsubscribe link–the last one didn’t exactly have one.

Hey, Clive? I emailed you a year and a half ago. At most twice. How does that translate to I want to receive advertisements or what have you from you? Most particularly after I no longer live in the city you fully intend to handle I’m sure with the same positively charming touch you demonstrated during our brief conversation. Tell you what. Nobody likes opt-out mailing lists. Particularly from charismatic individuals such as yourself. On the up side, at least you’ve given me a solid reason to avoid emailing you from anything other than a throw-away address from this point. Thanks for that, at least. Now, please, set your spam on fire. I’d appreciate that very much.

  1. My councillor never responded to my 2 emails. He’s not even bothering to campaign as far as I can tell because he’s been a hands-down shoe-in for the last 300 years and seems to fully expect to get re-elected without lifting a finger. And he probably will because people around here are stupid.

    1. I think you’ve struck on something. And it’s pretty much a province-wide problem. Two consecutive episodes of Dalton, anyone?

  2. Come on – Doucet was the only one who replied personally to your emails and because he didn’t say what you wanted to hear, we get this rant? In an election, candidates contact anyone who just might be interested. They knock on people’s doors and send out pamplets, they have ads (if they can afford them) and they send out newsletters to their contact lists. Click on the unsubscribe button and get on with life.

    1. Clearly, you didn’t actually read the entry. For shame. I didn’t recall stating my interest in receiving those email newsletters–and, really, if you’d read the entry, you’d see I’ve already done that.

      And, just for the record, I don’t much care for the candidates who send postal mail after picking up your mailing info from the post office–there’s just not as many regulations re: junk snail mail. Also, I don’t particularly care whether he agrees with me or not. I don’t even live in Ottawa anymore, so whether he agrees with me or not his opinions really don’t make a hell of a lot of difference to me at the moment anyway. I still didn’t need to be on his mailing list–which I’d also said in the entry. See? Should have just read the thing anyway. See how much redundant explaining you’d of saved me?

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