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How do I get my MP to help influence change?

4 replies

Figarello · 13/03/2012 13:30

I'm not sure if this is the right place to pose my question or not, as it is more of a general, 'how do I do...' than a specific political debating point. But I am hoping that there will be people with experience who will be able to guide me.

Following an email I cc'd my local MP on complaining about a specific area, he responded and suggested we meet to discuss it further. I now have a meeting with him this Friday afternoon and really I just would like some advice on how best to prepare. I don't want to be too specific about my cause, but it is something very close to my heart, something I feel passionate about and something I think needs changing fundamentally in this country - at central and local government and also across corporate Britain (so just a small thing then!).

I am pretty presentable and articulate, but what's my best strategy to get my MP on side and get him to support me in this? I am wondering what level of detail I really need to go to - just high level outline at this stage, or present him with some actual researched facts? How does lobbying really work? Realistically, what should my expectations be? What about Quangos? I have no idea how these really work and whether I should be asking him to make introductions for me?

Why do I always do this? Force my hand to make something happen and then panic?! Grin

Any help/advice you could give would be very much appreciated.

OP posts:
CogitoErgoSometimes · 13/03/2012 13:45

It's a sales pitch. I would try to find out what your MP already thinks on the matter. Maybe he's made speeches in the past, for example, or maybe he knows nothing at all. Then present some appropriate level information and background on what it is you'd like them to support. If they don't support your point of view, seek an MP that does and progress it from a different starting point. If the MP supports you, pin them down to 'next steps' so that it isn't just lipservice.

Figarello · 13/03/2012 15:30

Cogito, that's great thank you so much.

Yes, next steps. Need to have a serious think about what I actually want to come out of this - a clear idea of what I would like to happen in an ideal world and the initial steps needed to start the ball rolling...

OP posts:
Figarello · 13/03/2012 15:34

Ooh, am really excited. Reading the MP's website it appears he has been campaigning on a very closely linked cause to the one I am trying to drive. I actually think he might be very useful and perhaps this is why he responded so quickly to my email.

OP posts:
CogitoErgoSometimes · 13/03/2012 18:46

If he's already interested that's a good start. Make your next steps something achievable, realistic and with dates. I find this focuses the mind. :) As MPs are pretty busy people, he'll listen to anything that makes his job easier e.g. if you offer to find out supporting information. Ideally, schedule a follow-up meeting. Afterwards send a thank you e-mail that lists the main action points, deadlines and who has agreed to do what. That way you've got a record and also something to refer to next time you get together.

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