Members of Parliament (MP) are there to represent you and your community. Many MPs set aside time to meet with their constituents, and this can be a good way to find out what your MP is like and where they stand on your issue. Ring and make an appointment. Take a friend or a group. Prepare your questions and what approaches might help you get answers.
HINTS ON HOW TO ENGAGE WITH MPS
- Don’t contact MPs until after the first 2 chaotic weeks of parliament.
- Ask to meet with an them when legislation is before the parliament or when your subject is very topical – part of an inquiry etc
- Meet in the MPs’ electoral office as they have more time and won’t get called away.
- Take two or 3 people with you from the MPs electorate as you will be much more likely to get a meeting
- If you can’t get a meeting with an MP arrange one with advisers/staff as they are really smart and often know more than the MP
- Be prepared – know and outline both sides of the issue, focus on a solution and ask them to do something specific
- You may not get time to say it all so leave an executive summary – no more than 2 pages. Don’t include things they already know.
- Ask for a photo and post on social media
- Follow up
- Give praise when they have done something good
- Build a relationship
HOW TO FIND FEDERAL MPS LIKELY TO SUPPORT YOUR CAUSE
Find your MP and Senators and read their maiden and other speeches and check their voting records.
Look for a topic in Parliamentary Friends Groups
Search for parliamentary committees and inquiries.