Almost 1,000 incredible people have signed up so far to visit their TDs in every single constituency in Ireland on Pledge Day, February 4th. This is an amazing thing that’s happening, and every single person who has pledged their vists is a civic superhero.
It’s okay to feel a bit awkward about this. Meeting someone to tell them you are not giving them your vote is not an easy thing to do, which is why every single person who turns out is doing something spectacular. To make it a little easier, you can download the two page guide to What to Expect When Meeting Your TD. It’s just been updated with six ideas on things you might say to your Fine Gael and Labour TDs to explain why they and their parties have lost your support.
Remember that you are not there to debate your TD. No matter what he or she says, they can’t make you return your support to their party. Just walking in and letting them know they have lost your vote, you have already won.
Here are six things you may want to say to your TD:
- I want you to know that voters who email you are real people. Our voice and our votes count, and I am a real voter you have lost over SOPA Ireland.
- I watched Sean Sherlock on Tuesday night and I have never been so angry by the end of that charade. I can’t support any government that endorses that lack of regard for voters.
- Both jobs and rights are being put at risk by this SI. That’s why I signed the petition. When I seem to care more than my TDs, you lose my vote.
- I know you probably didn’t have any personal involvement with this law. But when I watch voters being treated like this, my vote is the only thing I have left to make myself heard.
- If the party is not prepared to listen to the legitimate concerns of more than 50,000 Irish voters, I don’t know who you think you represent.
- This is a bad law, when there is a better one available that meets the Government’s needs and sorts out my concerns. When Sean Sherlock turned his back on it at the end of the debate on Tuesday, this government permanently lost my support.
You don’t need to say all of them – any single point that communicates that your TD and his or her party has lost your support will do. And of course, you can say anything you like; these are just suggestions if you’re not quite sure how to go about it.
Some of us like to be over-prepared! If you want to go in feeling like you’ve crammed for your meeting, there are two more resources on hand for you:
- The alternative SI put forth. You can leave a copy with your TD. That is the SI they should be lobbying for. (UPDATE: Several TDs constituents have met with have asked for a copy of this alternative. If you can print one to leave with your TD, it may be handy!)
- The briefing document provided to TDs makes 10 straight-forward points about the perils of this legislation.
There are no words sufficient to describe how astonishing and inspiring 80,000 petition signers and 1,000 amazing pledge signers have been, and no thanks great enough.