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How to most effectively communicate with elected representatives?

In the wake of recent events (left out as this isn't a partisan question, but yes, you all know what I'm referring to), I'd like to contact my elected representatives to urge them to enact and support specific changes to current US laws & policies. I've casually contacted representatives before, usually through canned twitter or emails through various petitions & other party-line websites, but I've never engaged more because I was never sure just how effective it would be - particularly when I am contacting an official who has the opposite viewpoint from mine. So my question is: what is the most effective way to use my time in contacting local and state officials to communicate my views on certain issues? [more inside]
posted by AthenaPolias on Jun 10, 2014 - 16 answers

How can I be a well-informed UK voter?

I'm a new UK citizen, and I'd like to stay informed so that I can vote wisely (not just this week but in all elections to come.) Unfortunately, a lot of political coverage seems to focus on "Will talking about this policy help the party win?" while I'm more interested in "Will implementing this policy be good for the country?" So, what podcasts, Twitter feeds, or other resources tend to offer thoughtful, in-depth analysis of different party's positions on various issues? (I'm a big fan of the BBC's "Analysis" podcast, to give an idea of what I'm looking for.") [more inside]
posted by yankeefog on May 20, 2014 - 9 answers

Tell me about these "local communities"

So, frequently I will read people (eg on this very website) talking about local communities, how great they are, and the various things which are apparently destroying them. I tend to be "what are these things? Why do people like them so much? I don't get it.". So, where can I read about these things? [more inside]
posted by curious_yellow on Apr 7, 2014 - 14 answers

Afraid of being fired: how do I keep the fear from crippling me?

I have crippling, perhaps justified fear of being fired. My fear is making my performance suffer, causing me misery and probably making firing more likely. How do I stop thinking like this? [more inside]
posted by Marered on Jan 20, 2014 - 21 answers

Understanding political party accomplishments without spin

I live in Canada. Every now and again I try to understand what's happening in federal or provincial politics. Every time I look I only seem to find information on the current scandals or vote-grabbing hot-button issues. Is there somewhere I can understand more without the rhetoric and spin? [more inside]
posted by Naib on Oct 25, 2013 - 10 answers

Activist filter: What is the cause with the most leverage/greatest need?

One day I googled "what is the most effective way to help the world" and found a link that told me to "identify a cause with lots of leverage".
posted by defmute on Oct 2, 2013 - 10 answers

How often do votes in the Senate or House fall along party lines?

That is to say, how often will Republicans overwhelmingly vote one way and Democrats vote the opposite way, and how often do majorities within both parties vote the same way? Do Democrats and Republicans agree on most things, but the news outlets only report on the disagreements? Or do they indeed disagree on everything? Where might I go to get such numbers?
posted by jwhite1979 on Oct 2, 2013 - 9 answers

Help me find a Junot Diaz quotation about writing and politics.

I'm looking for a Junot Diaz quotation about writing and politics, and google is failing me. I saw it in the last year or two in the form of a tumblr-type image, though it was not this one about Elvish. It went something like this:
Interview question: How do you make sure your writing has good politics?
Diaz: When you grow up in a society that is as repressive as ours, that bad politics is going to come out in your writing no matter what. I have to struggle constantly to examine my writing and make sure I agree with the politics and get misogynistic or otherwise reactionary political content scrubbed out of it.
The interview question may or may not have been present. I of course can't phrase Diaz's response as eloquently as he did.
posted by HeroZero on Sep 15, 2013 - 2 answers

Hospital Confidential?

I'm looking for a book like Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential that can explain to me the politics between workers in a hospital setting and how it affects decision making. [more inside]
posted by Hennimore on Sep 1, 2013 - 13 answers

"Congress created dust bowl"? What gives?

I recently drove from LA to San Francisco and back along I-5 and I noticed that there's a ton of signs along the highway that simply say "Congress Created Dust Bowl." There are a few other signs that mention Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic politicians, but it was difficult to get the full picture of what the signs were talking about. Can anyone provide some context/background to what these signs are about?
posted by averageamateur on Jul 30, 2013 - 19 answers

Kill the spam, keep the fuzzies.

Help me handle a growing intra-office "spam" problem without killing the camaraderie or antagonizing the team. [more inside]
posted by rada on May 29, 2013 - 18 answers

How can I influence the EnergyStar program?

I think the EnergyStar program could do more good, and may actually be doing harm in its current form. In what ways could I try to impact it? [more inside]
posted by spbmp on Apr 3, 2013 - 9 answers

well known examples of power corrupts

Help me with my ten year old sons school project ! I'd like to find people - as well known as possible - to whom the adage "power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely" . So an ideal example would be someone who started off with good intentions and then on gaining power started behaving poorly . Also ideally once they'd turned nasty their actions would not be so despicable that you wouldn't mind explaining them to a ten year old Thanks
posted by southof40 on Mar 9, 2013 - 38 answers

Help me identify southern state politician from a movie

Many years ago I recall watching a movie, where this southern state politician (supposedly based on a true character) was pulling dirty tricks during his campaign. IIRC, he for example accused his competitor of being a "humanist", along with several other carefully chosen praise words which, to his uneducated voters, sounded like insults. Does anyone know which movie I am referring to, or who this politician was?
posted by helion on Jan 16, 2013 - 4 answers

How to fight fair over controversial topics?

How do you deal with someone who doesn't seem to fight fair? My mother and I often have intellectual discussions about politics, religion and ethical questions, where we often have different or even contradictory views to one another. They wind up as arguments despite my best intentions - please help me to do better! [more inside]
posted by EatMyHat on Jan 3, 2013 - 30 answers

Should I pursue a casual FWB relationship with this narcissistic but very intellectually interesting and sexy jerk?

Should I pursue a casual FWB relationship with this narcissistic but very intellectually interesting and sexy jerk? [more inside]
posted by tamagogirl on Dec 27, 2012 - 109 answers

Screwing the environment and shutting down science - what's in it for Harper?

Canadian politics question. Screwing the environment and shutting down science - what's in it for Harper? [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb on Dec 25, 2012 - 10 answers

Examples of failed independent regulatory agencies?

What are some examples of industries that successfully regulated themselves, and examples of those that failed? [more inside]
posted by matt_arnold on Dec 12, 2012 - 18 answers

Facebook Etiquette with in-laws in mind

I am British. I have recently acquired American in-laws. They are a traditionally Republican family. I, like many Europeans, consider the current iteration of the Republican Party has passed so far beyond the pale as to no longer be a rational organisation. So I saw a post-election graphic on Facebook I would normally have shared, but...I'm wondering how this new branch of family will perceive that. [more inside]
posted by glasseyes on Nov 16, 2012 - 46 answers

Modern doublethink?

What are some actual (non-fictional) modern, Orwellian / dystopian phrases? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 12, 2012 - 58 answers

What Went Wrong

I'm in the mood for some good political postmortems. Big races, little races, recent news, ancient history, whatever. Probably U.S. though. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Nov 8, 2012 - 6 answers

A Conservative Classic Lost to Time

Does anyone know where to obtain a copy of Pat Buchanan's memo to Richard Nixon, "Dividing the Democrats"? [more inside]
posted by dhartung on Nov 7, 2012 - 3 answers

#Election2012LOL

What are some examples of new, interesting, funny, and/or powerful ways in which social media have been used during the current 2012 U.S. election season? What's caught your eye? Who's doing it right, who's doing it very wrong, where are the notable gaps? [more inside]
posted by Superplin on Nov 6, 2012 - 9 answers

Explain something easy to me.

Can someone explain the 512 paths infographic to me? [more inside]
posted by ossian on Nov 5, 2012 - 10 answers

What all does a "Shadow Secretary" do?

What all does a "Shadow Secretary" do? [more inside]
posted by ArthurBarnhouse on Nov 4, 2012 - 13 answers

Echoes of the past

BookFilter: Can you recommend books that connect what happened in the 60's to the current American political culture? [more inside]
posted by dry white toast on Nov 3, 2012 - 6 answers

Local DJ submits his vote to a vote!

What are the ramifications of putting one's voting franchise up for a vote? [more inside]
posted by Archelaus on Oct 24, 2012 - 15 answers

I want to make a web-page which will track if UK political parties' election manifesto promises once they are in power.

I want to make a web-page which will track if UK political parties' election manifesto promises once they are in power. I don't want to devote my life or income to this and i'm only doing it because i think i ought to=i am lazy. Comments? Suggestions? Need to know? Sarcasm? Thanks^_^ [more inside]
posted by maiamaia on Oct 6, 2012 - 2 answers

Possible new job, help me leave the old one

References and a toxic job--Help me navigate workplace politics so's I can get myself into a better workplace. [more inside]
posted by socky mcsockerson on Sep 26, 2012 - 6 answers

Help me make a list of the can't miss speeches of the 2012 DNC convention.

I need help so I don't miss out on watching the best "can't miss" speeches of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. [more inside]
posted by marsha56 on Sep 6, 2012 - 10 answers

Do candidates outside the US release tax returns?

Do presidential/prime minister candidates in countries other than the United States release tax returns? [more inside]
posted by dsfan on Aug 18, 2012 - 15 answers

Tell me about a fictional peoples.

Does there exist a demographic of humans currently living in the United States of America that are "on the fence" about who they will be voting for in the upcoming 2012 presidential elections? Additionally, I'd like some sort of description of these people. [more inside]
posted by coolxcool=rad on Aug 17, 2012 - 25 answers

WW1 Documentaries and Books

Care to recommend some in-depth documentaries (and books, or anything online) about World War One? [more inside]
posted by nfg on Aug 14, 2012 - 10 answers

Need advice on NGO work in Glasgow!

Would appreciate advice on part-time jobs in Glasgow, for a mature student with an eye on building her CV more than earning pocket money (though that would be good too!). [more inside]
posted by cendawanita on Jul 26, 2012 - 3 answers

Post-truth understanding is an oxymoron.

I have been seeing several references lately to "post-truth" campaigns/politics lately, but I am not sure exactly what the definition is. I can infer what is implied, but want material that explains what it is. Example [more inside]
posted by annsunny on Jul 14, 2012 - 7 answers

In Search of Occupy Blueprint

Occupy Wall Street held a National Gathering in Philadelphia which ended this week. There was supposed to be a collectively drafted "blueprint" document emerging from sessions. The last report I could find mentioned that it was still being compiled on July 5. It was supposed to be completed to hand off to a group marching to NYC over the course of this weekend. Does anyone have a link to this document? All I've seen are some painted signs that were used in the process.
posted by Miko on Jul 6, 2012 - 4 answers

Damn their warnings, damn their lies! They will see the people rise!

[QuoteFilter] Segolene Royal loses her parliamentary seat..."She then quoted Victor Hugo: "Traitors always pay for their treachery in the end." Where's the original from?
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College on Jun 18, 2012 - 3 answers

Yo soy 132.. why 132?

Ths a new political movement in Mexico lead by university students called #YoSoy132. What exactly does their name signify? [more inside]
posted by xicana63 on Jun 11, 2012 - 4 answers

Chasing the Green Fairy

Help me track down a blog (from maybe 10 years ago) where - if memory serves - the author posted feminist pieces and talked openly about her voluntary sterilisation in her 20s. I vaguely recall that the poster's handle was "Green"-something along the lines of GreenFairy (but not 100% sure on that either).
posted by kreestar on May 28, 2012 - 3 answers

I don't know anything about their race, history, or culture, but I'm sure they stand for everything we stand against.

Oddball American history question: Who was the worst Secretary of State? [more inside]
posted by Ndwright on Apr 10, 2012 - 11 answers

What questions should I ask at a panel discussion after a showing of "Inside Job"?

After showing the 2010 Academy Award-winning documentary Inside Job at a college, what questions would you ask a follow-on panel comprised of Occupy Wall Street activists, Ron Paul Republicans, economics/business professors, and business owners? [more inside]
posted by Roach on Mar 3, 2012 - 5 answers

What can I do about privatisation and cuts in the UK, other than protest?

I'm very angry about what's happening in the UK right now, including-but-not-limited-to: the unnecessarily savage and unequal budget cuts, the privatisation of our education, health and police systems, the scapegoating of vulnerable groups and the dishonesty and cynicism of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians involved. Other than protesting, what active, concrete action can I take to fight or correct these wrongs? [more inside]
posted by Kirn on Mar 2, 2012 - 14 answers

reasonable, calm poltical forums?

Are there any political forums where reasonable conservatives discuss politics with reasonable liberals?
posted by goethean on Feb 6, 2012 - 4 answers

how to support a candidate

What are some good ways I can support a candidate? [more inside]
posted by udon on Feb 3, 2012 - 10 answers

Is the a third option?

How can I reconcile a vote for Obama given his human rights mis-steps? [more inside]
posted by Tha Race Card on Jan 19, 2012 - 49 answers

Help me be an educated voter.

Where can I find a summary of candidates for the next election? [more inside]
posted by VTX on Nov 3, 2011 - 4 answers

Alternatives to term limits

Are there any countries that have mandatory waiting periods between elected office stints? [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 8, 2011 - 5 answers

Civil Service Summaries

Looking for short PDFs summarising topics relevant to UK politics, probably posted to Metafilter in the last couple of years. These were produced by civil servants or advisors to explain the broad concepts of a topic (e.g. Nuclear power) to a politician in just a few pages. Thanks.
posted by theyexpectresults on Aug 29, 2011 - 4 answers

Please help me find the animation

I’m looking for an animation that I saw somewhere on the net (probably YT) this year. If I remember correctly, it’s mostly illustrated, black and white, with pictures and words and arrows used to illustrate key concepts as the narration unfolded. The key feature is that it was really well produced, swooping and rotating as the drawing unfurled. The illustration is simple and fun, even though the subject matter is fairly serious — I think it was about politics, something like… I don’t know, Corporate Personhood. Or maybe not. Anyway, I think the animation was done well after the narration, and the two are unaffiliated. [more inside]
posted by scamper on Aug 20, 2011 - 20 answers

What was the '90s homeschooled-kid's treatise on American politics?

In the late 1990s a well-educated 18-year-old boy, homeschooled on a farm somewhere like West Virginia, published a book commenting on American society and politics from a classical perspective. His story was covered by major newsmagazines, and he went on to an Ivy League school. Who was he? [more inside]
posted by Harvey Kilobit on Aug 15, 2011 - 7 answers

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