CPJ's Advocacy Toolkit / Table of Contents
Your Member of Parliament is more accessible than you think. If you are passionate about an issue, respectful of the MP’s time, and willing to take the time for a meeting, your MP will likely be willing to meet with you.
Step 1 – Setting up a meeting
- Call, email, or visit the constituency office to set up a meeting with an MP. Provide your name, your postal code, and the reason that you would like to meet with the MP.
- If the MP is unavailable for a meeting, request a meeting with a member of their staff. MP staff have more time to meet with you and they can bring your particular concerns to the MP.
Step 2 – Preparation
- Stay informed on the issue (see “Doing Research”).
- Write a list of questions that you have for the MP (and specific proposals for solutions).
- Bring materials that the MP can refer to later (such as a one-page brief). Provide a concise background on the issue, your concerns, and your proposed solutions.
- Ask staff how much information the MP has on your issue. Offer to send informational materials before the meeting.
- Be prepared to listen: In a typical meeting with an MP, the MP talks two-thirds of the time, you one-third.
- Focus on how you can help the MP do their job. Where are the gaps in information? Do you have information that will be of value?
- Get others involved! The more voices, the stronger the message.
Step 3 – At the meeting
- Present your case clearly and concisely. Focus on one or two issues.
- Insist on a straight answer to your questions. If the representative agrees with you, get it in writing so you can hold them accountable.
- Have a calm and respectful dialogue (even if the MP disagrees with you). Show that you are willing to work with them.
- Always thank the MP for their time and for the opportunity to meet.
- A meeting with an MP usually lasts no more than an hour. Respect any agreed-upon time limit.
Step 4 – After the meeting
- Follow up! Write a letter (or e-mail) thanking the MP for meeting with you. In your letter, summarize any commitments that were made, and ask for an update on what has been done.