If you live in a country that has a parliament, such as the United Kingdom, Australia or Canada, writing a letter to a member of parliament can be an effective way to participate in the democracy. A personal letter, either handwritten or typed and signed, is much more likely than another copy of a form letter to get the attention of a member of parliament, sometimes known as an MP. Greater care will help get your letter read and perhaps even elicit a response.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Find out which member of parliament serves your electoral district by looking online or in the telephone book. Identify yourself and your address in the opening of the letter since most MPs will likely give precedence to someone who lives in the region they serve.
Write a completely original letter. MPs will most likely respond to a letter that contains original content and doesn't simply reiterate parts of a form letter. Add a subject line at the top so the MP knows the purpose of the letter right off the bat. Include the name of an act or a bill if that is what your letter is about.
State clearly the reason you are writing in the body of the letter. Ask the MP to support or oppose whatever issue it is that you're writing about. Request that your representative take action. For example, ask them to raise your issue with other members of their party and urge the party to support or oppose it. Ask the MP to go against their party on an issue if need be.
Include a personal story about how the issue affects you and other constituents like you. Include other personal information, like how many times you've voted for the MP's political party, any money you've donated, or if you've met the MP before.
Ask the MP for a response at the close of the letter, and thank him for his time.
Tips and warnings
- Keep your letter to one page or less.
- Try not to criticise the MP or his party in the letter. If the letter is hostile, he is less likely to respond.
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