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Well, I did it! I called my Congressman's office

Of course, I got the answering machine, but I did leave a detailed message

     
11:30 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Without getting into the particulars, let's just say that I've realized that part of my frustration is a sense that I've been a spectator, not a participant, to issues/events. That by being a passive party I allow other forces to hold sway.

If this thread survives it will only because it's not about political issues it's about being a participant, not for one party or another, or one issue or another. Simply, just by being engaged, you are doing something good.

So, when's the last time you placed a call or wrote a letter? How long have you been thinking about it?

Keep it off issues, off identifying any person, party or issue.

11:55 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I called my congressman

and he said
"quote"
I'd like to help yuh son ..but yuh too young tuh vote
"quote"

an there aint no cure ..........

sorry ..stronger than me ..

basically if you didn't vote ..dont "female dog" ..

I had real good friend ( she's been dead now since around 30 years ...nice lady Rosy Bryden ..) ..said everything you do is political ..so mean it and do it understanding what your reasons are and having thought of the ramifications ...) ...

made me smile to remember Rosy ..

sorry all ..just discovered accidentally how to ruin the boards ..:o

12:22 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I just recently built a website for a woman running against the local councilman here. I am running a PPC campaign for her too, all gratis. She was delighted to discover that I could make her website come up on Google when her opponet's name was typed in. :)

Don't know if it will help much (seeing it only affects about 5 streets of people) but I felt I needed to participate, as you put it, and that is the only way I really know how.

Participation requires so much work. With kids and work and, well, life, it is hard to make an effort to make your voice heard. But I do at least make it to the polls every election day.

12:59 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Here me, oh here me: "Just pick up the phone."

Just do it!

It will likely shock the heck out of them - those who are supposed to be representing you - when people finally say "I intend to be heard!" and start calling.

Today I did it, so now I intend to rouse the rabble. :)

You can do it! You can! It just takes 5 minutes to search for the phone number, punch it in and leave a message. Do it! You'll feel better! I promise!

Please do it and report back. :)

P.S. Nice work hanna. You "did it". Time to do it again?

3:00 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>>>when's the last time you placed a call or wrote a letter?

Somewhere between 6 and 12 months. Dont remember exactly, dont really care to try and remember. But I like to participate, and vent, when it is needed to make myself feel less helpless and less hopeless. Kind of a like a personal spa day for a political junkie.

But, I encourage all to voice your opinion to the powers that be, if you live in a place where you can freely express opinions, of course.

You can make a difference.... believe it.

8:30 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I wrote a letter last month. One senator, one congresswoman. Only the congresswoman's form letter was actually about the topic on which I wrote.
11:02 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I frequently send emails to my local MP or cabinet members (UK) via the online service here. I've always made sure that the question is to the point and clearly written. I've always had responses have been evasive.
11:42 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've always had responses have been evasive - on the one occassion I wrote to an MP asking a question I received a reply several pages long.

It didnt make sense at all in that, theyd ask a question and give a completly diffrent answer on another subject.

Apart from that I my only other contact with an MP was by accident, he nearly ran me down speeding through a village.

12:33 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I call my Senators and Representatives fairly regularly. Of course I only get to speak with the secretaries, but so far I've never gotten an evasive reply - they tell me straight out if their employer is for or against the legislation I'm calling about. If I like what I hear, I express thanks and gratitude, and if I disagree with their position, I'm ready with reasons.
1:03 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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In the UK, the elected representatives of the people - Members of Parliament (MP's) - hold regular 'surgeries' [google.co.uk] in their constituencies. Here the MP has to hear the concerns of members of the public, express much empathy and promise that "in the fullness of time" they will "do their utmost to get to the bottom of the matter...".

Unfortunately for the MP, in addition to facing those members of the public seeking to have real concerns addressed, there is always the local lunatic fringe... but, perhaps they - the lunatic fringe - actually help brighten up the day by adding some much needed humour...

Basically though, it means that the public has regular access to their elected parliamentary representative.

Syzygy

1:35 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've been on all ends of this issue.

I've written letter to my MPs and my MPPs (and have always been impressed with the result)

I've volunteered with my party of choice, handling calls and other things

And when I worked for my provincial government, I got a real look at how the government correspondence system works. In my situation, a letter is sent from a citizen to the Premier. That letter is filtered down to the appropriate office, a staff member writes it, the admin edits it and sends it (that's what I did), and it goes all the way back up to the Premier's office who signs it and sends it back to the original letter writer.

I find politics and the representation of people very fascinating. Makes me wonder where I would be if I had gone with a Political Science major instead of Computer Science...

6:09 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I was getting somewhat active in our condo association because of their lack of action on many items and after raising hell for a few months I almost ran for the board when election time rolled around.

Then my common sense slapped me upside the head as I realized taking on a 2 year job was lunacy when it was much easier to just walk in and give them a swift kick when something needed to be done!

6:12 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I realized taking on a 2 year job was lunacy when it was much easier to just walk in and give them a swift kick

In many cases, sitting on the other side of the table brings swift understanding of why all the why-nots are not.

9:18 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Makes me wonder where I would be if I had gone with a Political Science major instead of Computer Science...

Haha... You might be where you are right now. (I have a master's degree in Political Science. )

9:37 pm on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>> lunatic fringe <<

These may be the most important players on the political scene. They are the people who raise the issues and cause the conversation to move inward progressively towards the center.

As that movement takes place the conversation probably changes a bit but it also becomes more easily accepted by a greater number of people.

It's only when a conversation reaches a point somewhere near enough to the center that central theme has morphed into a commonly enough held position that anything can really happen.

10:33 pm on Nov 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Politics are so messed up now adays that unless you plan on making a donation at the end of the phone call, your message won't get heard.
6:29 am on Nov 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've written letters to my congressman (he's been there forever) and both senators (both been there forever also). All times I received an automated message except for the one person.

That time it seemed like a personal response, although he heartfully disagreed and blatenly lied about a subject. Made me feel good for a little to get my voice heard. However, after that letter he never answered me again. Not even automated. I actually met him in person a few years ago, never liked him and never will.

 

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