Write to your local MP
Updated: Feb 9, 2021
Why it's good for you
Writing to your local member of parliament (MP) is a good way to have your voice heard. The written form allows for your thoughts to be organised, and proof-read by others, while also indicating a high level of commitment to your cause.
Why it's good for the world
Whatever your cause, you can write to your MP about it. When other actions seem too complex, some people find confidence in something as simple as letter writing. A letter can start as the first step in a conversation towards your goal.
Why it's good for others
You taking the first step to write to your MP can encourage others to do the same, and add movement to causes they are passionate in. You can even band together to have a letter writing session!
So what now?
Writing to a local member of parliament can seem intimidating. Luckily, Oxfam Australia has put together some tips and tricks to have your letter or email stand out. Here are is a quick summary of their advice:
When writing letters, put the name and address of the MP or Senator in the top left-hand corner. A MP's name should be stated as: ‘Mr/ Mrs/Ms/Dr First Name Last Name MP’. A Senator’s name should be stated as follows: ‘Senator First Name Last Name’.
MPs or Senators who are, or have been, government Ministers, are given the title ‘The Honourable’. For ministers in the House, this becomes ‘The Hon. First Name Last Name MP’ and ‘Senator the Hon. First Name Last Name’ in the case of Ministers who are Senators.
Start your letter as follows: ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or ‘Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms/Dr Last Name’ in the case of MPs, and ‘Dear Senator’ or ‘Dear Senator Last Name’ in the case of Senators."
Start your letter out by saying who you are and why you are writing to them. If you are a member of their electorate, make this clear. It can also be helpful to briefly set out any relevant connections in the community – for example, you may want to indicate that you attend a local school or church, are involved in a youth group or Rotary organisation, or work for a local business.
Your letter should be as short and simple as possible. Try to keep it to one or two pages. Ideally it should be typed, or written very neatly and signed by hand. Stick to one issue per letter and use simple points to make your case. Write logically in well set out paragraphs.
If the issue is technical or requires further explanation, keep your letter short but include an additional document which sets out the extra information. Alternatively, you can refer the MP to a website, article or book where they can get more information. Sending reams of paper is not an effective way of getting attention. In fact, there is a high possibility that most of the information won’t be read.
Full credit to Oxfam Australia