How to vote, every day

So we had an election, and now we have a new government. And after the election? Keep voting, every day! Here’s how:

Voting is important; but it only happens once every five years; isn’t the beginning and end of democracy. It’s not over – what really matters is what you and I do between elections. You can keep voting every day, by standing up for what you believe in and living to create the world you want to see, every day, in all your actions and choices.

Firstly, your new MP’s job is to represent their constituents throughout the five years they are in power. They can’t do that unless they hear from you! So first of all, you can keep voting by writing to your MP:  Handwritten letters are most effective, but if you struggle to find time (or have terrible handwriting!), you can email them via this site. Even better, arrange to meet them in person; all MPs run local ‘surgeries’, where constituents can book short appointments with them to discuss issues they feel are important. Find out who your MP is, look up their website and find out when their surgeries are held. Maybe take others along with you?

Although not perhaps so effective as a personal letter or a face-to-face meeting, petitions, Pray&Posts, and petition cards still have an impact due to the sheer number of people taking part in them. Sometimes petitions really do change the world, and often they are very quick to do and easy to share with others to raise awareness and support for a campaign. Imagine yourself as a decision maker, being presented with a huge pile of campaign cards in the post – pretty hard to ignore! If you’re not on SPEAK’s mailing list to get our regular Pray&Post petition card actions, get in touch and we’ll sign you up!

Vote by joining protests, solidarity marches, creative actions and strikes.

Vote through what you buy, and where you buy it, using your money to support businesses that are making the world better, not worse.

Vote by giving to others, to charities treating symptoms of injustice and groups like SPEAK challenging the causes of injustice.

Vote by using art of all sorts to spread ideas and make people think, or to subvert power through humour.

Vote by praying! Prayer changes us to change the world, opens up new challenges and opportunities to make a difference, and breaks underlying evil power structures.

Finally we have a great opportunity to vote for what matters coming up: The Climate Coalition, which SPEAK is a member of, is holding a mass lobby of MPs on 17th June in London. It isn’t as scary as it may sound; thousands of people are coming from right across the UK, so there’ll almost certainly be others there from your constituency (especially if you bring them with you!), and there’s helpful info about how the day works and the kind of things to say here. The main thing is not to worry about saying the right thing, so much as speaking from the heart; telling your MP why you personally care about climate justice, what it means to you, and what you want to see happen. They may well agree with you! It’ll be a really fun day with music and speakers, and before the lobby itself we’ll be kicking things off with a short worship service, a good opportunity to meet up with other SPEAKies from around the country. If you or your group/ church members/ friends can't make it along in person, people are making campaign bunting to take to MPs, with messages on in support of climate action - maybe you could all make a string of bunting for your MP for one of you to take to London? Speak Up SPEAK, sign up to come along to meet your MP in person and tell them why climate change matters to you!

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. - Micah 6:8