Sophie Aulton, one of CAFOD’s MP Correspondents, explains how becoming an MPC has made her realise just how much influence we have over MP’s and how much power we have to make them act on the issues we care about.
It is so important to vote. Not only to get our voices heard, but because we are in such a privileged position to do so. We can complain all we want about what our government is or isn’t doing, but in reality, there are so many who are not able to have their say on what happens in their own country.
What has becoming an MPC taught me?
CAFOD has shown me that the simple action of voting and actively participating in politics, through being a Member of Parliament Correspondent, can make a big difference to policies that affect the people in the poorest areas of the world. It doesn’t take much, just a few letters a year to your MP to raise their awareness of your concern on topical issues like UK aid commitment, Climate Change policies and refugees.
Being an MPC has helped me to engage more politically with the things that I care about; trying to end social injustice, bring an end to climate breakdown and caring for our common home. I love how CAFOD encourages action on these issues at all levels. Encouraging individuals to not only change their own lifestyles by living simply and thinking and praying for others more, but also by using their democratic right to speak to representatives about these all important issues.
Meeting my MP
Before becoming an MPC, it never would have occurred to me to go and speak with my MP, however, I have now realised the importance of voicing issues to local government. I had a great experience talking to my own MP, Ivan Lewis, about ways we can tackle Climate Change, and what policies the government need to implement in order to achieve net zero emissions as soon as possible. I was so surprised at how much he wanted to hear about my own experiences with CAFOD and how I had witnessed the effects of climate change on the poorest communities in El Salvador just last year.
This positive experience as an MPC has empowered me to take further action, and as a result I attended CAFOD’s annual MPC reception on the 8 May. I got to interact with other volunteers about their experiences engaging with their own MP’s, and hear Emily Thornberry speak with such passion about how much she appreciates hearing what her constituents have to say on these global issues. This has given me the confidence to carry on opening a dialogue with my MP. I have the power to get MP’s thinking, and acting, on what needs to be done in order to implement change for the better. And so do you.