MPs and senators are our elected representatives, which means they have a responsibility to act on behalf of the public. Politicians need to hear our opinions and concerns over climate change in order to act upon them. This means we not only have the right to inform them of our views, but need to encourage them to support the issues we care about.
People who have been involved in politics tell us that if an MP receives enough correspondence on an issue from people in their electorate they are compelled to act in some way. Writing or visiting an MP lets them know you are concerned about an issue.
Tips for writing to your MP
When writing to an MP you do not need to be an expert nor do you need to write a very long letter. State your concerns clearly and ask your MP to respond to your letter. Think of a few key messages you want to communicate. When putting a letter together use your personal experience. Most importantly, try to use your own words as much as possible.
Do your research
It is important to know as much as possible about the MP you are writing to. You can look for them here. Many MPs also have their own websites – you can find them using a search engine like Google. Things to look out for include:
- How has your MP voted on certain issues? What debates have they taken part in?
- Does your MP sit on a committee?
- What did they do before becoming an MP?
- Does your MP have a personal interest in climate change?
- Is your constituency a marginal seat? Your MP will be particularly keen to respond to your concerns if the majority is slim.
- Is your MP new to the post or have they represented the constituency for many years?
- If your MP has already taken action on issues such as climate change, make sure you mention it when you write to them.