Thursday, 3 November 2016

Ward heeler

With heavy activity in Richmond Park, and the peregrinations of the ambitious Labour councillor for Bryncoch South, on my mind, I was struck by this transatlantic coinage, courtesy of Anu Garg:

ward heeler (ward HEE-luhr) noun

   A low-level political operative who solicits votes and performs chores
   for his political bosses or political machine. Also called heeler.

[From ward, a subdivision of a city for voting or administrative purposes.
Heeler, from the idea of a hanger-on following at the heels of his boss,
and also as a reference to his door-to-door canvassing for votes. The term
has negative connotations and a ward heeler is generally considered to be
an unscrupulous character.]

  "He (Pierre Trudeau) ... dispensed patronage like the best ward heeler."
   Jeffrey Simpson, et al; Pierre Elliott Trudeau; The Globe and Mail
   (Toronto, Canada); Sep 29, 2000.

  "This time around, ward heelers worked their toxic magic in a dozen
   different ways, from unduly influencing voters to manipulating the
   final count with bogus votes."
   Richard S. Dunham, et al; Sleight of Hand at the Polls; BusinessWeek
   (New York); Nov 27, 2000.

1 comment:

Stan said...

"Ward heeler" is a new one on me but what an appropriate epithet for the man who would be king. I notice the bird is predictably silent round these parts right now!