Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Lobbying your TD.

Posted by Jason O on Jan 10, 2013 in Irish Politics |

Possibly worth a repost:

A few people have contacted me asking about how they should approach their TD over the current X Case legislation issue. I don’t claim to be any sort of expert but I thought I’d share a few thoughts.

1. Don’t bother lobbying non-government TDs. In this country, the government decides what legislation gets through the Oireachtas, so only government TDs have influence. I keep being amazed at some people who can’t seem to grasp that Fianna Fáil are no longer in government and so are now pointless at being angry at, at least, over this issue. It’s true, if the government decides to have a free vote on abortion legislation then every vote counts but the priority now is getting that legislation into the house with the support of a majority of govt TDs.

2. Identify your TD. Ideally go for the government TD who scraped into the last seat. You can see which one did from RTE’s election site here.

3. Write, don’t email. TDs are almost superstitious about voters who bother to write letters to them. The theory is that if you went to the trouble of writing a letter, buying stamps and posting it, you will probably go to the trouble of voting. They are afraid of people who definitely vote. Ever wonder why they don’t give a toss about student marches but get sweaty when a group of pensioners start mouthing off?

4. Assuming you do actually vote, tell them, and tell them to check the marked register (a list of people who actually vote that TDs have access to. People seem surprised, sometimes even outraged that such a thing exists. I don’t know why, as it makes TDs take actual voters seriously.) to see that you actually vote. Then remind them that this issue will not only affect how you vote, but that you will specifically transfer against govt TDs who do not deliver on this issue. Our voting system is almost unique in that it allows you, by denying a preference to a specific candidate, and transferring to every other candidate, to actually vote against someone. They get REALLY nervous when voters realise that.

2 Comments

Annmarie
Nov 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Hi Jason,

I recently contacted my 4 local TD’s (Dublin 15 area). All have websites which encourage us to contact them via the wonders of the world wide web…so I went against what you said above and emailed them all. I am very passionate about a particular issue and wanted, in fact, needed to know where they stood on same issue. I have after all voted for some of these people and obviously if they don’t share my views on said issue, they will not get a vote again!

Two replied to me within 24 hours. Personal enough emails, answering my questions. Well done lads.

I’m still waiting to hear from the other two…..so its pen to paper time. But I’m confused now… how long do I wait to expect a reply? And what if I never get a reply? Your article kindof assumes they will reply to the paper and ink contact – but what if they don’t? At what point do I prepare myself for camping outside their home, or is that legal?

Thanks,

Annmarie


 
Jason O
Dec 2, 2012 at 11:33 am

Hi Annmarie: I would assume that the ones who did not even bother to reply would not be worth voting for.


 

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