Take Action - Talking to your MP about M-103: 5 great rules for successful public advocacy
One of the ways you can Take Action is calling/visiting your MP for a conversation about Motion M-103 to let him/her know their constituents feelings about this important matter, which they have been elected to represent in government.
Here are 5 rules for successful public advocacy, and details on each to successfully get your message across:
Use emotion and personalize your message:
- Cite your colleagues of diverse backgrounds to support your argument
- Speak of enhanced community support(ers) for your position
Set your Agenda before you arrange to meet your MPs and/or their assistants:
- Increase your credibility before you meet with them, e.g. by citing other authors, press materials, lecturers, academics, and research
Speak their language:
- Analyze your audience, and use idioms & phrases that are common and familiar to them
- Understand and respond to their expectations (including time schedules) and their needs (for elaboration)
- Deliberate / discuss: don’t debate (or you risk “getting their backs up”), and always be friendly, forthcoming, and open-minded
- Audiences are both rational and emotional in nature. You will receive both verbal and non-verbal cues and responses. They don’t want to feel manipulated. Be aware, sensitive, and form your positions into open-ended questions (e.g. Isn’t it possible that M-103 may lead to Sharia Law in Canada, if only based on The Netherlands, German, British and French experiences and developments)
“Don’t be wise in words: be wise in deeds.” (Ancient Proverb):
- Find commonalities with your listeners in terms of your (and their) desired outcomes (e.g. if we all want Canada to be . . . such and such. . . to maintain equity as an over-arching value, then wouldn’t it be in all our interests not to single out any particular group for special consideration under discussion, or under law?)
- "It is much easier to be critical than to be correct." (Benjamin Disraeli) It is acceptable to show that you are offended if you are “dismissed out of hand”; a “politically correct opponent” may take such a position as you position your arguments. Don’t allow yourself to be bullied, notably as you are being pleasant (but forceful).
- KEEP NOTES (dates, names and contact information of each person with whom you meet and engage) in your every meeting, phone conversation, and through your every contact with Parliamentarians. These will serve to support our collective outreach efforts.