Talking to the Government
Questions answered in this section
How do I get in touch with the government?
What do I need to know before I talk to a politician?
Reaching out to a politician can seem really daunting, so it's important you keep it in the FRONT of your mind that they are there to listen to you. It is there job to talk to you.
Ways to get in touch with a politician:
Online Track down your MP on social media and start a conversation. You can write on their Facebook wall, tweet them or respond to items they post.
Face to Face You can ask for a meeting with your MP by phoning their office or sending an email. Let them know your name, your address, and what you want to discuss. This will help them prepare to meet you in person. In your email, include some dates and times you want to meet, to show them you're serious!
Old school If you send your MP a letter they HAVE TO READ IT! Make sure you address your MP properly (you can learn about how to address a politician here)
Things you can ask a politician to do:
If your MP has proposed legislation or a policy about your issue in parliament you can ask them:
To vote for or against it
To make changes that are more favourable to your position
Advocate within their party for your position.
Keep it simple, you don’t need to go into detail. Just say something like “please only support legislation that recognises climate change as a problem and creates new economic opportunities through renewable energy industry”.
Raise your issue in a speech MPs can raise issues through a speech to parliament. This puts your issue on the parliamentary record and can expose your concerns to a larger audience. You can also ask your candidate to raise your issues in other public forums. You can choose to give them permission to use your name and story too.
Ask a Question Your MP can ask a question in parliament to gain further information about your particular issue (e.g. What is the current government doing about support for students in high schools?). This can gather more information and draw attention to your concerns.
Committee enquiries MPs can initiate committees to inquire into issues they believe have broad interest and support in the community. The committee process will draw attention to your issue. Ask your MP to commit to establishing a committee on your issue. Committees take time to produce outcomes, so keep in touch with your MP and thank them when they take action. You can be helpful by giving permission for them to use your story and gathering stories from your friends.
Raise your issue with the portfolio holder You can ask your local candidate to raise your issue with the relevant Minister, Shadow Minister or portfolio holder within their party (e.g the Minister for Education). This is the person within the party who takes the lead on an area of policy.