With the proposed legislation on same-sex marriage and renewed discussions around the subject of abortion, it would be interesting to know just how many of us actually engage with our politicians on important issues.
I write this off the back of a fairly productive and interesting email discussion with my own MSP where the topic of same-sex marriage was discussed quite openly and forthrightly.
While the outcome of the discussion was disappointing in that my MSP was unable to respond to all of my concerns, particularly those around perceived public opinion on the matter and an alarming disregard for the democratic process by the government, it was, however, encouraging in the sense that I had the opportunity to contact my MSP with considerable ease and I had a direct link through which to make my views clear.
Crucially, I urged my MSP to consider my views when voting on this issue. As the electorate we have the right to encourage our elected members to vote in a specific way. My MSP confirmed that he wouldn’t be voting as per my wishes but I had made my point. Interestingly he told me how many people had contacted him regarding the issue of same-sex marriage and he also told me how many people were for/against the proposed new legislation. It was incredibly close and one or two people could easily swing the majority.
It is crucial we use these direct links to our politicians, be they MSP’s, MP’s, MEP’s or even local councillors, and tell them how we feel about specific issues. If we don’t then how can they possibly be expected to take account of our concerns? If you are going to feel let down by the government at least put up a fight and make your feelings known. It’s your basic entitlement. And if you aren’t satisfied with the response, remember your dissatisfaction the next time you are at the polling station.
To contact your member of the Scottish Parliament click here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msps.aspx
To contact your member of the UK Parliament click here: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/