Influence government

Influencing-governmentContacting your local politician can be an effective way to raise awareness of your concerns and create change. Never underestimate the power of personal contact with your Member of Parliament (MP). The first thing to do when considering contacting your local MP or local council representative is to do some research. The things you need to know are:
  • What does the politician think about this issue?
  • Is your issue within this politician’s area of responsibility?
  • What have they written or said publicly about the issue, previously and recently?
  • How have they voted on this issue in the past?
  • What is their party’s position?
  • What do their constituents want?
  • What has their party already accomplished on this issue?
Links to help you with your research
  • A list of local councilors, state and federal MP’s
  • Use Google to find your local, state and national media resources
  • Social media
    • Twitter – search for your MP’s personal account and  ‘follow’ them.
    • Facebook – add your MP as a friend
  • Click here to find localised social and community data for each Queensland State Electoral District. This information can be used to compare statistics in each region with the Queensland average and can help in raising awareness of local issues affecting the community.
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to make contact. Below are 4 ways to raise your concerns with politicians, in order of effectiveness:
Face-to-face
Meeting a politician face-to-face is the most effective way to get your message across. Read our fact sheet for more information on preparing for a meeting with a politician.
Writing a letter
A handwritten, or typed and signed letter is the second most effective way to raise concerns with a politician. Handwritten letters are generally more highly regarded than typewritten letters. Have a look at these tips on how to write an effective letter to your MP.
By phone
A phone call to your MP is more effective than sending an email, but less effective than writing and mailing a letter.
Emailing
Email is the least effective way of getting your views across to your local MP. Email can be seen as ‘second class mail’ by some politicians. Some MP’s get so many emails they don’t have the time to read them all.  

Our sources

Information in this section was drawn from the following sources:

  • Electronic Frontiers Australia, 2004, How to get a politicians’ attention, Electronic Frontiers Australia. Available from: https://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/lobby.html
  • Results International Australia, 2014, Tips for Meeting with a Politician, Results International Australia. Available from: results.org.au
  • Murray E, n.d., Ten Top Tips for Engaging with Politicians, Australian National University.
  • Federation of Community Legal Centres (Vic), n.d., Lobby law: Lobbying kit for Federation of Community Legal Centres (Vic) Member Centre, Carton South, Victoria.