Back to Top

Our Political Representatives are People Too

I'm no expert but over the years we have met a few of our Members of Parliament (MPs).  Maybe because we have lived in the ridings of backbenchers and they are happy to interact with their constituents. Maybe part of it was that we lived in towns where they had easily accessible constituency offices.

No one is born an MP so they all have to start somewhere. They are the most easy to communicate with when they are seeking election. 

Everyone's story is different, but maybe there are some general principles that can apply in many situations.

Invite them to a church meeting     

When we were in the Halton Hills/Milton riding our church invited the local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) to come to a council meeting. I wasn't there, but I know the visit was appreciated by the member and by the council. I'm sure the issues of pro-life and equality in education came up, but the council also expressed thanks to the member for taking on a difficult job of trying to represent a diverse constituency and general appreciation for good governance in Ontario. Having a council discussion on issues of justice that are in the realm of authority for provincial politicians (eg. health care, elder abuse, pipelines, clean water, or anything of concern to church members) would be fodder for the mill when letting the representative know how that congregation felt. For a representative to know that a church cares about every square inch of creation, not just about getting to heaven or hot button moral issues, can sometimes be a revelation. He also went away with pictures to prove he interacted with his constituents.

Later this MP sent us Christmas cards, and invited my husband (the pastor) and myself to dinner with the Queen of Holland. I'm thinking that invitation came because we had interacted, and he needed some representative 'Dutch folks' who hopefully wouldn't embarrass him.

Letters to the Editor

During this same time our Pro-Life group got involved in the federal election. We attended all-candidates meetings and asked what their positions were. Once we had a clear idea of where they stood we wrote letters to the editor in every local paper in the riding to inform the constituents of the party positions and the candidates’ positions (not 100% the same at that time). After the letters the candidate who we felt made the clearest policy statement knew who we were. He was appreciative, and he won. He did his own polls and found his riding was actually more pro-life than the media would have us believe. The same method of interviewing candidates and publishing their statements on issues can happen on any topic.


We visited this MP in his office and took a room full of people. He was surprised and impressed. We invited him to a board meeting and he came. Any groups who believe in social justice can do the same.

When we lived in Woodstock, Ontario we knew both our MP and MPP. These gentlemen attended many local functions and we made a point of touching base with them when they were there. They often get avoided, but as extroverts they appreciated someone to talk to. They appreciated the contact and came to events to which we invited them—church and school anniversaries, dinners for projects that received government support, even a public birthday party for the pastor! They appreciated the opportunity to remind their constituency how they work for their people. Working together with the MP and MPP to do good in our community made them see us as co-workers. 

There are quite likely members of political parties in your circle of connections. You can ask them to introduce you to the policy makers, just to open doors for future conversations.

I'm sure there are many other ways to meet your representatives, but these happened to work for us.

Editor’s note: Americans, look for some tips for interacting with your representatives here on Monday!

[Image: Flickr user Broad Bean Media]

The Reformed family is a diverse family with a diverse range of opinions. Not all perspectives expressed on the blog represent the official positions of the Christian Reformed Church. Learn more about this blog, Reformed doctrines, and our diversity policy on our About page.

In order to steward ministry shares well, commenting isn’t available on Do Justice itself because we engage with comments and dialogue in other spaces. To comment on this post, please visit the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue’s Facebook page (for Canada-specific articles) or the Office of Social Justice’s Facebook page. Alternatively, please email us. We want to hear from you!

Read more about our comment policy.