Guidelines for lobbying Parliament

One of the benefits of the New South Africa is a very open and transparent process of government, which is very easy to influence compared to the pre-1994 government.  We must make use of these opportunities.  The following are guidelines to help you do this.

Before the hearings

  • Dress smart (to fit in better in parliament)
  • Get others to pray for you and the parliamentarians
  • Pray properly yourself (you are going into spiritual conflict).
  • Try to get the mandate of an organisation that you can represent.
  • Contact others who will be there; co-operate and help them.  Listen to those who are more experienced.

During the hearings

  • Listen and take notes and try to get printed copies of the speakers notes (If these contain errors or deception, these can be used to expose or counter them);
  • Pray for the people in the room: for God to strengthen the pro-Christian value MPs and weaken the enemy.
    • Keep quiet

Face to face lobbying

  • You can lobby parliamentarians during the breaks or in the corridors
  • Act confident.
  • Smile at people when you speak to them – even when confronting your enemies.  This disarms hostility.
  • Show them literature and read through the main points before giving it to them (This will help avoid distraction on side-issues).  Photographs to illustrate your point help.
  • Get their name and contact details to follow up (and remember name to face).
  • If they ask a difficult question, say you will do some research and get back to them.
  • Try to find points of agreement to build on.   If they say anything positive about Christianity or babies or anything against immorality or irresponsibility or violence – reinforce and encourage this.

Avoid

  • Getting sidetracked by complex issues off the topic of the hearings like ‘whether it is okay to have an abortion in the event of rape’.
  • Spending too much time arguing with pro-abortionists.  Rather focus on less convinced parliamentarians and journalists.
  • Discussing party politics.  Stick to the issue under discussion.

Other lobbying methods

  • Send submissions to the parliamentary committee on behalf of your organisation (and include a request to present it orally).
  • Issue your own media reports and press releases on behalf of your organisation – if possible responding to what the pro-abortionists are doing or saying.
  • Hold demonstrations outside parliament after obtaining permission from the police.
  • Drop literature in the pigeonholes of members of parliament.
  • Christian members of parliament have the right to ask questions and state their viewpoint.  They will enormously appreciate your support in attending the hearings.  You could also slip a suggested question on a piece of paper to a Christian MP and they can ask it for you.  Send written objections if Christian parliamentarians are silenced by the committee chair.
  • Ask the parliamentarians to also raise these issues for you (give it to them also in writing beforehand if possible).
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