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
- 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.
- 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).