Thursday, April 28, 2005

They work for you, and me too!

TheyWorkForYou.com has no marketing budget, no posters,
and no ad agencies working for us. We need *you* to be
our marketing department. Before you read on, (and only
if it's before May 6th 2005), please forward this email
to some other British electors you might know. Or blog
about us, if you're that way inclined.
...done it?
Ta, thanks.
(There're more ways in which you can help below)
Your MP's Report Card from TheyWorkForYou
=========================================
Still pondering whether to vote for or against your
incumbent MP? Well, to help you, we've sluiced together
all the facts we could about their behaviour and voting
patterns over the past few years, and squeezed them onto
one web page. Whether they were pro or against Iraq,
rebellious or absentee, aloof or taking money from the
dodgiest people, frugal with the public purse, or
blowing it all on train tickets, it's all here.
We think you'll like it, and even if you thought you
knew your MP, you may be in for a few surprises.
Just type in your postcode:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/
== Not voting this year? Tell the world why at
http://www.notapathetic.com/ ==
Electoral Fraud Special
=======================
If you're as worried as we are about electoral fraud,
here's what you can do:
* Don't vote by post. Turn up: it's worth it.
* Ring your council, ask for the Electoral Register
Division, and check you're name is not on the
"marked register" - ie, someone has already voted in
your name. Find your council's number here:
http://www.upmystreet.com/lgc_roles/
* Finally, if you suspect fraud, email
electoral.fraud@guardian.co.uk,
who are collecting incidents to report on, and contact
the police.
Heeeelp us! (No, we don't need money)
======================================
Our biggest constraint is publicity.
We're rather allergic to spending time and money on
blowing our own trumpet
(Just writing this is making us feel a bit shifty).
But without publicity, people who might want to learn
more about their MP and the issues this election won't
know about us. And that means they won't
find out everything they need about this election.
The other constraint is this damned Internet thing.
Try as we might, we can't get away from it - even though
we know that many people don't have access to it. Or
when they do, they're so battered with pop-ups and
viruses, they'd never find us.
So we wondered if you might be able to help us a little
with publicity, and escaping our fancy techno-shackles.
Here's how:
Pledge, Print and Post
======================
All of us here have pledged to load up our own MP's
report card from http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp,
print it out ten times on our bubblejet printers, and
deliver a copy to ten other houses in our neighbourhood.
As we're mild cowards, we'll only do this if 100 other
people across Britain agree to pledge, print and post
with us.
If you think it's important for your fellow voters to
be impartially informed, rather than drowned in spin
and ad copy, we'd like you to join us.
It'll only take a few minutes, and, you know, it gets
you out of the house.
Click here:
http://www.pledgebank.com/theywork to sign up with us.
You'll only have to do it if 100 other people are as
brave as you.
Other Things To Do
==================
If that's a bit *too* scary, just forward this email
(or your MPs Report Card) around your friends;
or if you're one of those blogger people, write about
us.
Other Sites You Might Like
==========================
We're just one of a growing community of independent
British civic sites which aim to provide tools for all
kinds of civic and political action.
A list of some web sites that we know about is below.
Some of the sites we know the people involved, others
we have no connection with. But we all think they're
brilliant, and we really hope they'll help you make an
informed choice, and act on it, this election.
http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/election.php
- the one minute quiz to find out how you should vote
http://www.whoshouldyouvotefor.com/
- more detailed analysis of you and your politics
http://www.politicalsurvey2005.com/
- now find out how you compare to the rest of Britain
http://www.notapathetic.com/
- say why you're not voting (if that's what you've
decided to do), and make yourself heard.
http://www.writetothem.com/
- our sister site for contacting your representatives,
local, national and European.
Finally, Our Partly Political Broadcast
=======================================
You'll hear a lot from the politicians and pundits in
the next few weeks about how this is the
"Internet Election".
We think it may will be; but that won't be thanks to
them. We think it'll be due to people like you, and the
volunteers who build these sites, to make this an
election based on free information and no more spin.
For the last parliament, for good or bad, they worked
for us.
But sometimes - and especially at election time - you
have to do the work yourself.
Have a good election,
-- The TheyWorkForYou Volunteers.

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