Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Guaranteed correspondence

When you write to 150 politicians, you can be sure that your letter box will host a regular sprinkling of replies for months. I mailed another 20 today. I’m into the M’s. And today I came home to find my first response in the letter box.

Sharon Bird has the honour of being my first reply.

Just what you’d expect from a young, attractive female MP. Perhaps it means that her office is not very busy right now. I suspect that she hasn’t seen the letter herself, despite the ‘signed’ response. Parliament is sitting now and I am sending the letters to electorate offices, not to Parliament House.

I don’t think it matters whether I send them to electorate offices or to Parliament. I am sure that the pollies don’t see the letters themselves. Well, maybe some do. Or maybe they see some of them. I am fairly confident that they get to hear what people have been writing about. And we keep hearing that a letter weighs for quite a bit in pollie-land. So I believe that these letters make a difference.

The following chart shows why I am writing to politicians. It shows the decline in Australia's Official Development Assistance from .34% GDP to .24% in 2004, compared with other OECD countries (Netherlands, Denmark, Norway) that consistently exceed the .7% target and Ireland that is improving. We're pathetic! And it shouldn't continue.

Source: OECD Factbook 2006

I was interested when my daughter, the one who gave me the Tanzanian coffee, recently asked me to print out the list of politician’s addresses for her (no internet at work and no printer at home). It warms me to know that she cares enough about something to make the effort to write to politicians about it.

What else is new? One thing I am following up is a suitable hall for the 5 May fundraiser for the School of St Jude in Sydney that I am coordinating. Option 1 didn’t pan out, so I’m pursuing options 2 and 3.

Oh, yes! There’s an exciting new widget for the blog that I’m working on. More later!

Have you checked out the YouTube link in the sidebar to see and hear St Jude’s kids singing songs? Very cute!

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