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N/A | National How to lobby politicians

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by robsalvv, May 25, 2011.

  1. Seems as though motorcyclists have all the passion and NFI about how to direct it effectively in a democracy.

    Here are a bunch of other resources on lobbying & lobbying how to's.

    How to lobby in the U.S. http://www.ehow.com/how_4593922_effectively-lobby-elected-official-legislator.html

    The instructions given to Aussie people wanting to to lobby the government on the ISP filtering debacle: http://libertus.net/liberty/future.html

    Australian humanitarian society's guide on how to meet pollies: http://crisishub.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/how_to_meet_politicians.pdf

    A full resource kit from the cultural lobby sector on how community groups can lobby for their cause: http://www.fecca.org.au/PDF/CLASP.pdf

    Business article on how to lobby pollies: http://www.bestbusinessdeals.com.au...liticians-and-local-government-officials.html
  2. Crikey Article:

    Bernard Keane’s guide to writing to Ministers
    by Bernard Keane

    If your first instinct upon hearing about the Rudd-Conroy plan to censor the internet is to email Stephen Conroy, your local member and Labor senators from your state to protest, wait up.

    Or, in fact, do it anyway, then read this.

    Let me explain some facts about writing to ministers, drawn from my sordid, blood-soaked and adventure-filled time as a public servant.
    For a start, understand that few ministers if any read their correspondence. It’s not that they don’t care, it’s that it’s not humanly possible to read even a fraction of the amount of emails, faxes and letters they get. So the chances of you directly influencing a Minister with your particularly brilliant insight into the issue are zip. Deal with it. Things don’t work like that.

    Their staff will read correspondence, but only when considering a reply prepared by their Department.

    And that is only a small proportion of the actual volume of correspondence received. Some is answered directly by bureaucrats. But much of it is simply binned. Don’t waste your time sending off a letter pre-prepared by some enthusiastic online advocacy group, where you sign at the bottom, endorsing the nicely-phrased sentiments at the top. They’re called “campaign” ministerials and are binned without being read or replied to (but please don’t tell the Friends of the ABC, who rely heavily on that technique, and haven’t had a letter to Canberra read for two decades).

    Most non-campaign letters and emails - some departments still won’t reply to emails but demand your snail mail address, perhaps out of residual loyalty to Australia Post - are answered using what’s called “standard words” - a reply that ostensibly covers the issue raised but which normally says as little as possible. They say as little as possible because the mindset of bureaucrats and ministerial advisers is to keep as many options open as possible, except when there is a particular message that the Government wants to hammer.

    Standard words are worked up by bureaucrats and edited and signed off by the Minister’s staff when they’re happy the words are risk-free or convey the desired message. In most departments, they are then loaded into electronic ministerial correspondence systems. This means a bureaucrat doesn’t even need to cut-and-paste into a Word document, merely tell the system to use a particular set of standard words under the name, address, salutation and opening paragraph, which have all been electronically entered already.

    So if you send off an angry email or letter about net filtering, all you’ll likely get is an automatically-generated reply giving you the standard words on the issue. There’ll be minimal human involvement in the writing of it until it is stuffed into an envelope and dispatched. You may not think it’s very democratic or consultative, but it’s a damn sight more efficient than processing correspondence by hand.

    But if you can’t have any impact on policy, you can have an impact on the level of resources used to answer your letter. And that resource is the time of bureaucrats - the same bureaucrats who advise Conroy on policy, and implement his decisions. In most Departments, ministerial replies have to be approved by SES Band 1 officers before being sent to the Minister’s office, which means many replies consume the precious time both of senior bureaucrats and ministerial advisers. Many Departments also have formal agreements with Ministers that a certain proportion of correspondence will be answered within a certain period of time. If they’re not, more people have to be put into answering correspondence.

    So if you want to consume as much of the Department of Broadband’s time as possible, here’s what to do. There’s not much you can do to avoid receiving a standard reply. But you don’t have to confine your missive to net filtering. Throw in some other topics. That means someone will have to put together a reply using standard words from different areas, which is a lot more complicated and can’t be done automatically. Ask about the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN). That means someone in the NBN area has to provide some words. Ask about Telstra. That’s another area entirely that has to provide input. If there’s three or four topics in your letter, bureaucrats will start arguing to avoid having to be responsible for it. The NBN area will tell the net filtering area it’s their responsibility to collate the response. The net filtering area will try to off-load it to the Telstra area. A Band 1 in one area will make changes and the whole lot will have to be re-approved by a Band 1 in another area.
    Throw in something on Australia Post. Ask about something obscure. They may not have standard words at all and someone will have to actually prepare a proper reply.

    You see, once your letter stops being a standard rant about filtering and requires actual work, the amount of time taken to prepare a response can snowball dramatically.

    You can also use the Government’s system for allocating correspondence. As a start, always write to your MP first, even if it’s a Coalition MP. They will send the letter to Conroy and ask for a response to provide to you. MPs - even Opposition MPs - must get a response no matter what, as part of the civilities of politics, and it normally has to come from the Minister himself. But write to other Ministers as well. Ask Kim Carr what the impact of filtering will be on Australia’s IT industry. Ask Jenny Macklin what impact she thinks it will have on families. Ask Robert McClelland what the penalties will be for breaches of the mandatory filtering requirements. And ask Kevin Rudd how a Government that understands the need to bring Australia’s online infrastructure into the 21st century wants to drag it back to the 19th when it comes to content regulation.

    All of those letters will have to go from the recipient’s department to Conroy’s Department for a response, then back to the originating Department, where they might add some additional material of their own. If you come up with a particularly complicated issue, the bureaucrats might start disagreeing with each other. Innovation bureaucrats might think Broadband’s net filter standard words doesn’t quite answer your question and want something else.

    And don’t ask the same questions in different letters, otherwise they’ll bin them and tell you they understand you’ve separately written to your MP/another Minister/Kevin Rudd and here’s your job lot reply. Ask different questions and raise different issues.

    And be pleasant. Apart from anything else, if there’s too much abuse in a letter, it gets thrown out (quite rightly). But these are decent, hard-working bureaucrats and regardless of what you think of Stephen Conroy, they deserve civility and respect.

    Most of all, get your friends, acquaintances, family members, work colleagues, passing strangers, all writing. The bureaucratic capacity to handle ministerial correspondence is a lot like the net filters trialled earlier this year. At low levels of traffic they work OK, but once the traffic picks up, things start to choke up. That’s when Stephen Conroy and his office might start to notice that things are slowing down.
  3. The How to Lobby pollies, Aussie guide article:

    How To Lobby Politicians

    by Aldis Ozols This is a brief and basic guide for people who want politicians to take account of their views and needs. While it incorporates some information specific to Australia, I hope it will also be of use in other democratic systems.

    In this document, I use the term lobby in its public sense, as the process whereby individual voters try to persuade their elected representatives to take a particular stance on an issue. The more complex field of organised professional lobbying is not treated here. Disclaimer: This is a guide to legal and democratic lobbying activities based on my own experience. While I have tried to make it as useful as possible, no responsibility is accepted or guarantee made for any results due to the use of this guide.

    Why To Lobby

    To Change Or Not To Change

    The main reasons why a voter may wish to approach a politician are usually to try to change an existing policy or situation, or to oppose a foreshadowed change. In such cases, the voter usually has a fairly clear idea of the desired result. Another major reason for contact is for assistance in redressing a perceived grievance. The desired result in these cases is usually a very specific outcome, which however may turn out to be unattainable through political action.
    There is also the motivation of keeping government aware of the voter's views and interests in general, without necessarily invoking any issue in particular. The desired result here may be no more than a feeling of having made contact.
    Whatever your motive, once you have decided that an issue needs to be pursued through politics, you will have embarked on a venture into the political arena. It is therefore important to know how to do so effectively.

    Bouquets and Brickbats
    Much public communication with parliamentary representatives takes the form of praise or blame for the representative's performance. While politicians can be sensitive to people's strongly held views, these alone are not usually sufficient to influence the political process. More influential than individual voters' opinions are party policy, the politician's personal beliefs, and the need to satisfy a sufficient proportion of the public to gain re-election. These factors should be borne in mind when contemplating a political course of action.
    Sometimes the most appropriate action is trying to change public opinion, rather than communicating directly with politicians.

    Keeping Politicians In Touch With Reality

    The cultural environment at the top of the political heap can be very isolated from the rest of society as we know it. Politics plays a relatively minor part in most people's lives, and the professional politician is quite unusual in that he or she devotes a majority of time and effort to working in this area. To this can be added the distancing effect of the roles and rituals of the Parliament, which encourage Members to the belief that they are a special and important part of society with a responsibility for telling all the other people what to do. The atmosphere of a legislature is like a very wealthy exclusive club, and it can be seductive to even the most hardened idealist.
    Communicating directly with politicians can sometimes help them to overcome the isolation of the political world, which often manifests itself in government policies quite irrelevant to reality. However, it is unwise to assume that simply because you are a member of the public, you will automatically know more about anything than a politician. Some of them are quite intelligent, and nearly all of them will know more about politics than most people.

    Who To Lobby

    The most important step is to communicate your viewpoint to the right people. Depending on the scale of the issue, this could be anyone from a local councillor to a national leader. It's vital to address your message to someone at the appropriate level to deal with your concerns. First of all, find out which areas of government deal with the issue with which you are concerned. In some cases it is best to deal with the public servants administering the department, though when broad questions of policy are involved, the legislature should be approached. The specific areas of responsibility will vary depending on your local political system.
    Usually there will be one or more senior government members in charge of the area of interest, who may be contacted. These leaders will have their equivalents in other parties who may also be useful. Then there are your local representatives, and finally the local representatives of other areas.
    For an issue such as censorship of the Internet in Australia, the Federal Parliament is the best place to start. The Australian Parliament web site has its own lists of MPs and other useful information. The New South Wales State Parliament is also involved in attempts to censor the Internet. You can access my list of NSW politicians for information about how to contact them.

    How To Lobby: Direct Lobbying

    Here are the most commonly used methods of directly communicating your interests to politicians, in approximate descending order of efficacy.

    Personal Meetings
    - Face to face contact is usually the most effective way to communicate your viewpoint, and it can also sometimes be the hardest to arrange. Politicians may represent many thousands of people, and your request could be only one of hundreds. Be patient, and don't get angry if you are refused; the people you contact may be quite influential, and rudeness can only make them less sympathetic to your concerns. If you can arrange a meeting, make sure that you know the issue thoroughly, and be ready to answer any questions or objections in a calm, rational manner. Present your case simply, without exaggeration or excessive elaboration of detail. If politicians require more information, they will tell you. Be polite, and make it your goal to give the politician enough understanding of the issue as you see it to make an intelligent decision. Leave them a written summary to which they can refer. Don't expect an instant result, as most politicians have learned from experience to avoid making impulsive decisions.

    Telephone Conversations
    - Phone calls have a quality of immediacy and personal directness approaching that of personal meetings, but take much less effort to arrange and usually take less time. For these reasons, they are more common than meetings. The techniques of polite, uncomplicated explanation of the subject can be effective here. Politicians' phones are usually answered by one or more levels of staff, and you may or may not get to speak to the actual representative. Don't worry if this is happens, as the staff you encounter may well be in charge of your issue, and in any case they may have some influence on policy. Never be rude or insulting, as political workers develop thick skins and will only get annoyed at you.

    Individually Written Mail
    (including fax, email, etc) - This is the most common method of putting your views to politicians, and is in the medium range of effectiveness. While it does not have the immediacy of real-time contact, written communication has the advantage that busy politicians are more likely to read your letter than to see you in person. Mail also provides an opportunity for considered reflection which may be absent in real-time interaction. Letters should be one or two pages in length, beginning with a brief statement of the issue and of the writer's position. A concise summary of the issue should be next, followed by the reasons why the representative should adopt the policies you recommend. Lengthy and detailed documentation should be avoided if possible, although references to evidence and sources of further information should always be provided. Many political workers will reach for the 'too hard' basket if they encounter a thick sheaf of documents in the first letter, but if they are interested they will actively pursue information.

    Individually Addressed Mass Mail
    - If you have gone to the trouble of writing a good letter, you may use technology to address it to a number of representatives. Apart from individual addressing, these letters should be hand signed (if applicable). One page is a good length for these, with further information available on request. These letters may be slightly less effective than individually written letters if your addressees realise that everyone has received the same letter. Photocopied identical letters should be avoided.

    Mass Mail-Ins
    - These are usually campaigns initiated by political lobby groups, where many people are asked to write to one or more politicians about an issue. The letters may range from those actually composed by the writer, through to form letters and signed postcards. Letters of this type are much less effective than spontaneous individual letters, as experienced politicians can usually tell when an orchestrated campaign is in progress.

    Electronic Deluges
    - Sometimes a lobby group will initiate a flood of phone calls or faxes to a politician's office, in an attempt to demonstrate the depth of feeling on an issue, or something. This is often a misguided reaction to frustration, and is likely to rebound. Representatives who find their lines of communication deliberately choked by the proponents of an issue will only become more hostile toward those responsible.

    - These are often the first resort of the inexperienced campaigner. Petitions are rarely noticed by politicians, and their reading is a mere formality. If you want to build up a mailing list, circulate a petition and copy the addresses - otherwise, don't bother.

    How To Lobby: Indirect Lobbying

    Here are the most commonly used methods of communicating indirectly with politicians, in approximate descending order of efficacy.

    Media Campaigns
    - Where the aid of the mass media is enlisted through persuasion of journalists and editors, planting of stories, advertising and other means. The mass media can have a powerful influence on politicians if it is skilfully manipulated. Such methods are usually the province of political parties and professional interest groups, although on some rare occasions they can be used by individuals.

    Targeted Political Campaigns
    - Concerted efforts to influence elections in key areas are a powerful tool for political persuasion. Usually a few strategic electorates are targeted where a relatively small number of votes has potential to change the outcome. These become the centre of a strong campaign to support candidates sympathetic to an issue and oppose unsympathetic candidates. If used effectively such tactics can be very influential and may even change governments - but usually they are outside the capabilities of individuals and tend to be mounted by large organisations.

    Media Hits
    - These are media releases, special media events and other methods used to generate reports on specific issues of interest, usually with the intent to present your view of an issue in a favourable light. Politicians normally monitor the media in areas of relevance to their interests, and the effect of media hits may be enhanced by targeting of media in the representative's electorate or other areas frequented by the representative. A favourite technique of organised lobby groups, media opportunities are nevertheless within the reach of the resourceful individual. There are many publications about dealing with the media, so this will not be covered here in detail (although I might present my own rather idiosyncratic methods at a later date - watch this space).

    Seeking Professional Help
    - There are political workers who lobby for money or for the sake of their personal beliefs. One of these may be able to help you. Professional campaigners vary greatly in quality and price, and you should only consider this type of help if you can find a reliable and affordable one. Professional politics is a field in itself, and its detailed exposition is beyond the scope of this guide. (and I've got to make a living somehow ;-)

    Through Community Organisations
    - You may be able to find, or establish, a voluntary organisation which supports your cause. Look for groups with similar interests which are likely to be sympathetic. Interest groups have their own priorities, and usually have limited resources, so don't expect them to drop everything and come running to your aid. Such groups can, however, be powerful allies and may have access to some of the more effective lobbying methods.

    Through Party Organisations
    - Joining a political party in order to influence its policy is not recommended, although it can sometimes work and is included here for completeness. Usually any such action entails a long struggle within an entrenched political system which may give you a greater understanding of politics, but will alienate the members of other parties from your cause and may not achieve your intended result.

    Mass Demonstrations
    - Usually organised by unimaginative lobby groups. Mass demonstrations can get some media coverage, although the amount is disproportionately small compared to the effort of attending them. They are so common that politicians often don't bother to look. Almost all of the techniques covered here will produce better results for an equivalent effort.

    Forming Your Own Political Party
    - Sometimes this is contemplated by those who are frustrated with the political process. It is almost always a bad idea. Getting elected is usually very difficult, although it may appear easy to the amateur observer. There are many political parties, and one more will usually make no difference to the big picture. The other tactics in this document are probably a better investment of your time.

    When To Lobby

    The effectiveness of a lobbying effort depends on its timing, as well as other factors. Usually sooner is better, although late efforts can sometimes be successful. If you fail on the first try, it may be time to consider a longer-term campaign targeted months or years ahead.

    Before an Election - The knowledge of an impending election concentrates the political mind wonderfully. The months immediately preceding an election are usually the best time to approach your representatives, as they will then be most receptive to anything which might get them some votes. Don't neglect the rival candidates - they want to be elected too, and just might succeed. If you want to lobby all the candidates, it is best not to favour one over the others. If your issue is perceived as a vote-loser, it might be better to wait until after the election.

    Before the Issue Goes Public
    - If you know that an issue is about to emerge into the limelight, it is best to brief politicians before it happens. They appreciate being told in advance so they're not taken by surprise when it breaks. This also gives you an opportunity to present your side of the matter first.

    At Publicity Peaks
    - For any public issue which continues over time, there will be peaks in public awareness and concern, usually when new developments give rise to media coverage. At these times, the interest of politicians in the issue is greater. A quick reaction before or during these periods may get their attention. If you are good at publicity, you may be able to create such conditions yourself.

    Before the Issue Gets to Parliament
    - If an issue is likely to involve changes to the law, it is desirable to lobby the Government and other parties before they make a policy decision. It is much easier to influence a policy which has not yet been formed, than one which is already set in place.

    During Passage of Legislation
    - When it is too late to get in first, there is still an opportunity for input before the legislature has finished dealing with the matter. Your chances for success at this point may be small, but at least you can get some idea of the political landscape with which you must deal in future negotiations.

    - Lobbying may also be done when no particular issue is in the air, just to keep representatives aware of your views and of your interest in their performance.

    Some Lobbying Tactics

    Once you have your representative's attention, you will want to say something. Here are some of the approaches you could take in presenting your case.

    Sweet Reason
    - The straight out appeal to reason and commonsense is probably the best place to start. Many politicians actually believe that they are trying to build a better world, and it doesn't hurt to give them a chance to do it. This tactic is also the best basis for a long-term campaign, as truth nearly always wins out in the end. Bear in mind, however, that factors other than logic and ethics have a major role in the political process, and a politician may not be able to put even firmly held beliefs into practice. It should also be realised that what seems perfectly straightforward and reasonable to you may seem wrong and crazy to another honest person with different beliefs.

    Appeal To Ideology
    - When a representative is known to adhere to a particular political philosophy, it might be useful to frame your issue in terms of the tenets of that philosophy. This will usually only work if your point of view is compatible with the politician's principles. Don't try to bend their rules too far to fit your case, as this may offend. Remember that they know their own beliefs better than you do.

    Truth Or Consequences
    - Never lie about an issue. Your credibility is your most valuable asset in trying to influence opinion. You don't have to tell a politician everything, but you should answer any direct question about the issue truthfully. If you are caught out in a lie, you won't be trusted again.

    Appeal To Self-Interest
    - For the more cynical approach, you could point out the electoral advantages (if any) of supporting your issue. It is useful to have some idea of public opinion on the issue, and of any popularity problems faced by the politician's party which could be ameliorated by supporting your cause. This will only work if you can convince the representative that there is public support for your case which will show up at the ballot box. Caution is advised when using this approach, as some politicians may be offended by any implication that they care for their careers more than they care for the justice of an issue. This approach should therefore only be used as a supplement to one of the others.

    Help The Good Guys
    - If you have a sympathetic representative, you might consider volunteering to help in the next election campaign. Politicians appreciate support, and you would be contributing to the success of someone who supports your issue. You can also learn more about politics in this way. Before embarking on such a course of action, you should be sure that you are prepared to invest some time and effort, and that the representative's general policies are sufficiently compatible with your own beliefs. Also, take into account the effect of your actions on the way you may be perceived by other political players.

    Threats - Don't Bother
    - If all else fails, the frustrated lobbyist may be tempted to promise retribution in the form of lost votes or a campaign against the recalcitrant politician. Those who are not extremely fortunate or powerful will be unable to follow through with such threats, and are not likely to be taken seriously. If a politician opposes you, and you can campaign effectively against that opponent, then do so. If not, save your efforts for achievable goals.

    - - - - - - - -
    This material is copyright 1995 by Aldis Ozols; all rights reserved. Reproduction for non-profit purposes is permitted and web links are specifically encouraged. Aldis Ozols email addres is aldis@zeta.org.au
  4. Well done Rob.

    There are a lot of issues raised on Netrider which gets people raging against the system.

    Well if you want to be effective in taking on the government you first need to know how goverment works and how the bureacrats and politicians think and what motivates them.

    Things like protest rides and similar activities may have there place in a campaign,but at the end of the day in most cases a thousand well written letters will probably be much more effective than a thousand bikes on a protest ride. Yet while lots of us would be willing to join a ride, few of us can be motivated enough to get or our @rses to write an individual letter.

    Does this sound biege? Probably but if it works does that really matter. People here keep saying motorcyclists are an endangered species that the govenment is trying to wipe out. Well if that is the case, then what is important is not just doing something, but doing something which is most effective, even if writing a letter and licking a stamp doesn't seem as sexy or tough as taking to the streets.

    If we are going to make some ground on some of the political issues on the horizon we need to become more effective lobbyists.
  5. We will need to find or create some broad proforma letters, which show all the proper formalities and formats, as this alone is one of the main reasons people never send in a letter.

    A community group can lobby about an issue in their community and get effective responses and results because the demographic is local, more easily marshalled and the issue is more easily communicated. Plus there's one local member and an easily packaged issue to represent so it's all fairly cut and dried.

    Riders and riding is a different matter. Individual letters to local members is valuable, very valuable. But ultimately we need to be seen as a voting block... and one way to do that is to marshall riders in marginal seats. A marginal seat is anything with a two party preferred margin of less than 6%.

    Based on the margin results listed at: http://www.vec.vic.gov.au/results/results-electoratemargins.html these are the marginal seats for Victoria (the % is the swing needed for the listed party to take the seat):

    Liberal held seats:
    Burwood ... 5.87% to ALP ... || Sitting member: Graham Watt ... http://vic.liberal.org.au/People/StateLiberalMPs/GrahamWatt/tabid/219/Default.aspx
    Prahran ...4.29% to ALP ... || Sitting member: Clem Newton-Brown ... http://vic.liberal.org.au/People/StateLiberalMPs/ClemNewtonBrown/tabid/223/Default.aspx
    South Barwon ...3.95% to ALP ... || Sitting member: Andrew Katos ... http://vic.liberal.org.au/People/StateLiberalMPs/AndrewKatos/tabid/225/Default.aspx
    Forest Hill ...3.18% to ALP ... || Sitting member: Neil Angus ... http://vic.liberal.org.au/People/StateLiberalMPs/NeilAngus/tabid/220/Default.aspx
    Mitcham ...2.78% to ALP ... || Sitting member: Dee Ryall ... http://vic.liberal.org.au/People/StateLiberalMPs/DeeRyall/tabid/221/Default.aspx
    Frankston ...2.08% to ALP ... || Sitting member: Geoff Shaw ... http://vic.liberal.org.au/People/StateLiberalMPs/GeoffShaw/tabid/241/Default.aspx
    Mordialloc ...2.08% to ALP ...|| Sitting member: Lorraine Wreford http://vic.liberal.org.au/People/StateLiberalMPs/LorraineWreford/tabid/238/Default.aspx
    Carrum ...2.05% to ALP ...|| Sitting member: Donna Bauer ... http://vic.liberal.org.au/People/StateLiberalMPs/DonnaBauer/tabid/240/Default.aspx
    Seymour ...1.24% to ALP ...|| Sitting member: Cindy McLeish ... http://vic.liberal.org.au/People/StateLiberalMPs/CindyMcLeish/tabid/305/Default.aspx
    Bentleigh ...0.76% to ALP ...|| Sitting member: Elizabeth Miller ... http://vic.liberal.org.au/People/StateLiberalMPs/ElizabethMiller/tabid/218/Default.aspx

    Labor held seats
    Oakleigh ... 4.72% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Yan Yean ...4.11% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Bendigo East ...3.83% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Brunswick (4) ...3.27% to Greens ... || Sitting member: ...
    Narre Warren North ...2.98% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Bendigo West ...2.94% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Ripon ...2.72% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Essendon ...2.43% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Geelong ...2.15% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Albert Park ...2.05% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Monbulk ...1.89% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Cranbourne ...1.86% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Ivanhoe ...1.68% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Ballarat East ...1.52% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Bellarine ...1.38% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Macedon ...1.27% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Ballarat West ...1.06% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...
    Eltham ...0.83% to Liberal ...|| Sitting member: ...

    Honourable mentions (Held by Labor):
    Richmond (2) ... 6.25% to Greens ... || Sitting member: ...
    Melbourne (3) ... 6.18% to Greens ...|| Sitting member: ...

    When I have time, I will come back and flesh out the sitting member info.
  6. As someone who is personally involved in political lobby work (not for motorcycling yet) I can assure you the single best thing you can do is to first become a member of you local representative group (mine is MRAQ) and secondly get involved. What your pollies care about is votes, so numbers are crucial. If you local representative organisation can go to state government and say we represent 50000 voters then they tend to listen.

    Whilst I spend a huge amount of time pestering my local MP's I can assure the best results come from opposition shadow ministers, opposition members and senators.
  7. Tra, do you have any tips for writing letters to pollies, or any recommended resources?

  8. For federal politics, best bet is to get the help of an opposition senator (we use Ron Boswell because he is opposed to greens and antifishing legislation). If you just scratch up your intentions the senators will get the staff to write it up in an acceptable format.

    In Queensland we are unicameral, so no senators in state politics. Its just grunt work writing to your local member. Sometime ministers are good targets, but you are more likely to get a reply from office staff. Get in the ear of your local opposition members, as well as elected ministers and shadow mnisters.

    At the end of the day, just write what you think. Dont get personal or angry toward the recipient, be courteous and polite. OF course you do want them read emotion in your letters, so make sure they understand your not happy with them, or the party or whoever is responsible.

    Also, dont be afraid to get on the phone. Sometime its much easier to express your feelings by talking to them, and the other benefit is you know they have heard you personally, rather than a staff member using and utomated reply.

    Also, I cant stress how important it is to get involved with your local motorcycling organisation. http://www.mraa.org.au/ If you are not happy with your state body, then get involved and let them know what you think. They cant know what your opinion is if you dont give it. Also help out if you can, even if its recruiting more members. A single vote is not as powerfull as 50000 votes.

    We do lots of stuff for fishing, hold on water rallies, road rallies where we get a convoy of cars towing boats then drive past parliament (make sure you get the press involved). Also drive boats with placards past poll booths on election days and hand out flyers. When there is no elections we get stands at local fishing shows and boat shows and hand out information and educate the public on the real issues.

    Remeber, a politician needs your vote to win, so they will listen. Dont be afraid to talk to them.
  9. Nicely done Robbieslave. I've started work on a thread titled 'how to lob politicians'. Yes there will be trebuchets.
  10. Handy resource, indeed. Years ago when all we had was Melb-moto, the Yahoo mailing list (Netrider was to follow some time later), a fellow called Simon Disney, who at the time was a staffer for Meg Lees (Democrat leader), often pointed to Azol's work (reproduced above).

    And as I've written in here on numerous occasions, physical letter writing is really the only effective lobbying mechanism that we have. Online petitions are worth zip, particularly those which don't require petitioners to provide their contact details.

    Any sort of lobbying that takes up electoral staffers' time soon makes them sit up and notice if all of a sudden hundreds of envelopes a day are appearing in their mailbags.

    But, of course, we'll never really see this. People find it so much easier to simply fire off a firey email to their local member, or they waste their time sending it directly to the responsible minister. Or to sign one of those useless online petitions.
  11. Online petitions are just a part of the picture. Email is part of it too.

    Direct action via physically writing a letter, making a phone call or arranging a visit clearly have a bigger impact.

    Cheffie was telling me about what the tobacco companies have put in place to get smokers to lobby their local members against the plain packaging legislation - it's ingenious. If you sign up to support the smoking cause they will call you to thank you for your support and have a chat. They will automatically connect you to the electorate office of your local member so that you can exercise your democratic right to give your opinion. Presumably there'll be resources for writing letters... I can't look up the nannystate website to check it out.

    Anyway, that's a resourced group! That's facilitated high powered grass roots lobbying.
  12. The problem as i see it is, if people don't know what to do or how to do it they will do nothing. There are plenty of people who seem to know what 'not to do', but there are very few who 'have what it takes'.

    There are plenty of informed pissed off riders who are sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Not because of lethargy so much as confusion or ignorance about what they can do.

    Let's say for shits 'n' giggles someone came along with a form letter and some instructions on how to send it and who to send it to......that would be step one complete.

    The 'nanny' state or the 'interfering state' if you prefer needs to be reined in. So motorcyclists crash? stiff shit. Every other road user group does too.

    So the outcome is different? stiff shit again. As adults we choose the consequences willingly and knowingly when we use our chosen form of transport.

    Should a government second guess us and stand over us because of our decision as free thinking intelligent adult?

    No, they can fuck off. And they need to be told to back off.

    Smoking and riding have a stand out similarity. Those who choose not to don't have the right to choose for those who do. There are already enough laws in place to take care of the rest.

    We're talking about governments who do not and cannot meet their responsibilities to the populace, yet they seem to believe they are qualified to take on the responsibility of the populace. I say when they have their shit in order maybe they'll have a case to be made. Till then....
  13. Yes, resourced, indeed.

    It (the industry) has been behind the biggest names in motorsport for god knows how long, so pouring dough into a campaign in such a small market here would be peanuts to them.

    I wonder if any of them ride bikes....
  14. Why pillion age restrictions were introduced:

  15. Let me Google that for you.

    Electronic petitions

    The Senate standing orders make no special reference to electronic or online petitions, but they are taken
    to apply to all petitions whether written on paper or in cyberspace.

    Although it is in order to lodge a petition for which the signatures have been collected by e-mail, the common
    practice of copying and forwarding e-mails to multiple addressees, and the tendency of recipients to add
    comments (thereby changing the text of the petition) makes this problematic. The most successful approach
    has been to post the text of the petition on an Internet page and invite people to sign the petition by submitting
    their names and e-mail addresses.

    Petitions that are posted and signed electronically are accepted if the Senator certifies that they have been
    duly posted with the text available to the signatories. In presenting an electronic petition, the Senator lodges
    a paper document containing the text of the petition and a list of the signatures submitted.

    What happens to petitions?

    Petitions presented to the Senate are brought to the notice of the appropriate Senate committee. A committee
    may seek a reference from the Senate into the issues contained in a petition (see Brief Guide No. 7—Referring
    Matters to Committees
    ), or may use the petition as evidence in a related inquiry.

    Senators sometimes refer to petitions in debate in the Senate. The full text of each petition received is printed
    in Hansard.

    Examples of petitions presented in Parliament.

    Contact details are immaterial.

  16. Yeah, if you say so.

    In the case of presenting a petition to the Victorian government, it won't get past the responsible minister's staff if the petition signatories' details can't be verified.

    And in the case of a recent online one that was promoted here, when I scanned it, a lot of people left no details. If that was presented to the Police or Roads Ministers, it wouldn't have mattered.

    Politically, a petition requires ONE response. A mass paper based letter campaign requires MANY responses, and a lot of manual handling which takes up political staff's time and resources. And therefore is much more effective at achieving an impact on the responsible government people and therefore, a greater chance at a positive (or indeed, any) response.

  17. No - the political staff don't do anything, it just gets pushed over to the people in the department to respond to.

    However 100 letters are 100 times more effective than one petition with 1,000 signatures. Especially if the letters are all different and not obviously a form letter, in that case it's 5,000 times more effective!