So you’ve written to your MP. Now what happens?
Well, as a constituent you can expect a reply within a month.
When they do reply, check out these resources:
- Read this example of how to reply if they haven't addressed your concerns and questions
- Watch out for common tactics MPs use in responding to letters (Coming soon!)
If after a month they don’t reply - don’t give up!
Follow up by email or telephone. We've written a template you can use here.
For a real example, one of our staff, Oli, followed up three times in writing and called - pressure is on, Kevin!
(Click to enlarge)
Stay engaged! While you’re waiting for a reply, you can...
Keep track of your MP’s activities
(We'd like to acknowledge ACF as inspiration for these tips!)
- To find your MP, their official website, and their office contact info click here and type in your postcode.
- Get a sense of who your MP is. Read their website, Facebook page, biography, first speech in parliament and recent media statements. Friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Visit their office and grab the campaign pamphlets they have in reception to see what's important to them and the electorate. Research what they and their party have said on the issues you care about. They Vote For You has excellent information about how your representatives in Parliament vote on issues you care about and enables you to keep track of what your representatives say in Parliament (direct to your inbox)!
- Sign up on your MP’s website to receive regular email updates, invites to local events, and information on their positions on local issues to understand what they’re saying. Every MP has an e-newsletter.
- Find out where your MP stands on climate change, coal, clean energy and our environment. Remember your MP will have to vote the party line, and the policy positions on their website will have to align with federal party policy. However you can also learn a lot about what your MP really thinks from their comments in the media, which new releases they put on their website and historical commentary on issues from before they became subject to party politics.
- Set up a Google News Alert at w ww.google.com/alerts — for example “Bob Smith MP” — to receive an email whenever your MP is in the news.
- Do some research on Google News news.google.com/news to find out what local reporters have written about your MP. Find and follow those reporters on Twitter and build relationships. Before you attend or plan an event, reach out and explain what your group is doing and provide them with background materials and a quote. Journalists on deadline — even those who might not agree with you — appreciate it when you provide easy material for a story.
Write more letters!
If you feel like you’re on a roll, you can write to another politician!
When you’ve decided on the issue, you can decide on your ask (what you want the politician you’re writing to to do). Read through this list of actions and decide which one will have the most impact.