A recent article published in the United States stresses the importance of keeping in close touch with politicians at all levels of government. This communication, it says, “serves as a limitus paper” for all elected representatives in judging public reaction to important issues. Because the life of the unborn child is of paramount importance (and because the proponents of euthanasia are awaiting in the wings to come on stage) pro-lifers must keep the lines of communication, in order to impact. We have adapted these for all levels of government in Canada.
1. Personal visits enable a constituent’s views to be presented face to face.
2. Telephone calls which establish a more personal rapport than letters, and also ensure that the politician both gets your opinion and is known to have heard it.
3. Telegrams emphasize your concern about an issue and the urgency you feel.
4. Letters are the most usual form of communication. To make them more effective the following tips are given.
(a) Limit them to one topic (two topics-two letters).
(b) Keep them brief-one page if possible.
(c) Write legibly, or type.
(d) Bee firm, reasonable, factual and courteous.
(e) Write letters of commendation when a politician takes a stand, which has your approval, whether he/she is of your party, or not. It will establish that you are fair and when u disagree it is likely that you will get a better hearing.
(f) Avoid exaggeration, and, whenever possible document your argument (with articles, government statistics, etc.)
(g) Time your letters to arrive mid-week, Monday usually has a heavier mail, and on Fridays there is a rush to depart early.
(h) In cases of important legislation, try to refer to the appropriate section by number.
(i) Form letters are better than nothing but are the least effective. Many politicians will assume that you are not well informed, and are simply writing at the request of others.
(j) All letters and form letters should contain your name and full postal address. If you do not require an answer it is helpful to say so.