THE Election Resource Centre (ERC) has launched a campaign to facilitate communication between MPs and their electorate in order to influence pro-people policies.
BY STAFF REPORTER
The “Talk to your MP” campaign will increase interaction between legislators and citizens.
“Such interaction is expected to harness the influence of citizens on policy and legislative decisions through talking to their parliamentary representatives,” the ERC said in a statement this week.
The ERC is a local think-tank, advocacy and citizen mobilisation institution on elections and democracy.
The new campaign is set to open lines of communication between the electorate and legislators, most of whom have a tendency of only showing up in their constituencies only when they were seeking re-election.
With the new communication platform, the MPs no longer necessarily need to be in the constituency to appreciate the concerns of the citizens.
Some MPs have spent the whole parliamentary term without saying a thing in the august House because they would be remotely aware of the needs of the people they represent.
The new campaign would address the accessibility challenges encountered by most citizens in their efforts to speak to their representatives by providing the contact details of the MP.
The citizens would in turn contact him using short text messages or WhatsApp.
The electorate will click on an ERC website and click on a customised map on either the website or Facebook page to be directed to a zoomed map from which they can identify their constituency.
The name and contact number of the MP would be shown and voters would then be able to contact their MP with their concerns.
“At present, the ERC is promoting this platform to harness citizen voices and related concerns on the Electoral Amendment Bill which is before Parliament,” the ERC said.
“But in future the same platform can be used to influence service delivery and policy issues in governance processes.”
The ERC added: “The ERC extends the use of this platform to all civic actors who work on the promotion of public accountability, human rights, governance and democracy to publicise it widely through their respective structures.”