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Citizen lobbying in the UK

In the UK we have roughly one nationally elected representative for every 85,000 people. That compares to a ration of one representative for every half million people in the U.S. The result of this is that members of the national parliament (MPs) are much more accessible to individuals.

With this in mind, a group of ten British bloggers has developed a campaign called Canvass Your MP. It encourages people to turn the tables on their local representatives by appearing on their doorsteps (their offices, not their homes), demanding they support a change in upcoming legislation on climate change. You can read more at John Grant’s greenormal blog, or from the MP who had the idea of getting the bloggers together (and has his own blog), Steve Webb.

And what’s the required change? They want an amendment on upcoming climate change legislation to change the emissions reduction target from 60% to 80%. So I’m left wondering whether there’s any chance that something similar could happen in the US — there are elections coming later this year after all. Of course, the target we’re looking for here might need to be a little less ambitious — a simple acknowledgement that things need to change might help.


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