Visit your MP

 
 
 
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Visiting your MP is one of the most valuable ways you can help the campaign - and it’s not as daunting as it sounds.

What you say won’t be filtered through their staff and it means they’ll spend longer thinking about the issue than just reading an email. It also shows how committed their constituents are to change.

The goal of visiting your MP is getting them to sign our campaign declaration - to say they believe we need fundamental political change. They may not sign it straight away, but it’s worth showing it to them and leaving with them.

If you think your MP is really supportive, show them the new constitution declaration, which let’s them commit more specifically.

We want to help make sure your visit is a success. Complete this form or call us on 02072 784 443, and we’ll be delighted to talk you through the whole process. Even if you’ve done all this before, let us know you’re going so we can keep track of all the amazing work you’re doing!

Here's our handy guide to setting up your visit:


 

1 - Find your MP

If you don’t know already, find out who your local MP is and get their contact details at the Parliament website. Find your MP

If you’d like to you can also find out a bit about their interests on theyworkforyou.com This will tell you how they have voted on different issues and what they have asked questions about.

 

 

2 - Check their surgery dates

Visit the MP's website or contact their office to find out when they will next be holding a surgery for local constituents.

Some MPs hold regular surgeries (usually Fridays or Saturdays) you can turn up to, and others will ask you to book a specific time. Check your MP’s website or call their office to find out.

 

 

3 - Get others involved

Once you’ve got a day and a time, ask friends or people you know from other activities if they want to come along. Asking people one to one is best, but you can also try a mass text or posting on Facebook to gauge interest. Even just two of you going along will be a lot more powerful.

 

 

4 - Read our briefing for discussion points

Want some pointers for speaking to your MP?

Read the briefing

If possible, practice making case your with a friend first.

 

 

5 - Chat to your MP

Meet your MP at their surgery and see if they'll back the need for fundamental change to our political system. Show them the [declaration] asking if they’d consider signing it. Listen to what they have to say. Even if they disagree with us understanding their arguments will help improve our campaigning.

 

 

6 - Show us how it went!

Take a selfie or quick video from your phone - your MP should be happy to appear with you! Send it on to us at campaigns@unlockdemocracy.org.uk and we’ll discuss how we can use your experience to inspire others to get stuck in.

 
 

Briefing

 
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Take a piece of paper with you with the following questions to keep you on track:

 

 

i. What are you going to say?

Personal is best! We can all think of a moment we realised the system wasn’t serving us properly. Take a moment to think about when you realised, andtell them your experience to explain why you’re meeting with them today.

Here are some extra talking points:

“I believe that our political system isn’t working anymore, far too many people feel like their voice doesn’t count, and we need to look at fundamentally rebalancing political power. This means rolling back the centralisation of power by government, and giving citizens more opportunities to influence decisions affecting them at a local level.”

“It also means looking again at the UK’s outdated, unwritten constitution. It gives ministers enormous power at everyone elses expense. I want to see MPs support a people’s constitutional convention, where citizens draft a new constitution that protects our rights, and gives everyone more say in decisions affecting them.”

 

 

Technical bits:

If your MP wants to discuss how a new constitution would be written - the crucial principle is that it isn’t written by politicians. It should be drafted by a panel of citizens, with the support of experts and the experience of politicians feeding in to the process. This deliberative style of democracy has been used in other countries including recently in Ireland. Take a copy of Unlock Democracy’s constitutional convention FAQ for them to read after the meeting.

REMEMBER: It's not your job to know the details of constitutional policy! Your concerns about where power currently lies should be enough for your MP to listen, and it's their job to tell you what they would do instead to deal with the problems you’re talking about.

ii. What are you going to ask them to do?

This will depend on your MPs position, but you want them to consider signing the campaign declaration

The goal of visiting your MP is getting them to sign our campaign declaration - to say they believe we need fundamental political change. They may not sign it straight away, but it’s worth showing and leaving with them.

If you think your MP is really supportive, show them the new constitution declaration, which let’s them commit more specifically.

Iv. Ask them what you can do to help them with the issue

e.g. do they have follow up questions that Unlock Democracy can help with?