1. WriteToThem all at once

    I’m happy to say that with a lot of help from Francis and Matthew I’ve just rolled out a long-requested addition to WriteToThem. You can now use the site to write one message and send it to all your representatives in a multi-member constituency – so, for example, you can send a message to all your MEPs at once. A nice side project along the way has been getting the test suite for WriteToThem running happily on a mySociety server, and adding a few more tests. Run, tests, run! Good tests.

  2. Democracy vs The Environment

    Here’s a question inspired by this mail from a WriteToThem user:

    Subject: yes but….
    Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006

    My MEP did respond by sending 13 sheets of best quality paper – I wanted her to respond by EMAIL not waste a forest like this! I was horrified and emailed her to tell her so. In fact her answer to my question was simply ‘NO’ so the 13 sheets were a smokescreen ! Perhaps this advice could be passed to all MEPS thinking of sending out large wads of paper

    Now, we could encourage representatives to email or phone rather than write back to their constituents on paper. However, if we did so there are two issues:

    1) Is it actually more environmentally friendly to use a PC/phone than write a letter?
    2) Is it worth annoying the representatives who are used to writing back in their own preferred manner, perhaps even leading to fewer constituents getting help?