As the House of Commons wraps up its spring sitting this week, MPs will be heading home to spend time in their ridings. They often host or attend barbecues and other local events.
These events create an ideal opportunity to meet your MP in a positive setting and on a positive note.
Why should you make the effort? There are several reasons, actually.
The Bible tells us not just to obey our governing authorities (Rom 13:1), but to pray for kings and all those in authority (1 Tim 2:2). Praying for someone we have met is much easier and more personal than praying for a stranger. And, conversely, we feel more connected to a person that we are praying for. Meeting someone that we plan to pray for or that we are praying for deepens the connection.
Representing a riding as an MP is a stressful, demanding job. It takes a toll on family life and health. It’s a good idea to say thank you and express appreciation for your MP’s service to the community, even if you don’t agree with all of your MP’s actions or views. Even if you didn’t vote for them.
Meeting your local MP in a positive context sets the tone for future interaction. There may be times you want to ask your MP to take a certain action or when you may disagree with your MP’s position on an issue. Your MP may be more open to your perspective if you’ve had a positive interaction in the past.
So, consider going to an event hosted by your local MP. Or make a point of introducing yourself and expressing your appreciation for your MP’s service if you see them at a community event. You could even stop by the MP’s office and convey your thanks to the staff.
For more tips on how and why to engage with elected officials, see the EFC’s Civic Engagement Kit at www.TheEFC.ca/CivicEngagementKit.