Service Desk and Politician e-mail

Over the last year I've penned 6+ e-mails to various Labor Party politicians - including one of my local representatives who've I dealt with for ~10 years.

And not one reply. Zero, Zip, Nada...

Rang the Good Person's electoral office today - and got various run-around responses. "Oh, I've been on holiday", "Oh, can they call you" and "they are booked solid for a month".

Yeah, right.

I first contacted my rep. last December saying "this can wait until after the School Holidays". January came and went, no reply... A follow-up email yielded nothing... A note to the support staff was replied to: "I've moved. XXX is responsible".

What I originally wanted to talk about was 3 emails I'd sent various members without even getting acknowledged. Which is strange, because in the media I've seen reports that Political Parties are now tracking every contact from a voter. Putting together, apparently, impressive profiles - and all completely legit under the Privacy Laws.

For a new Government this seems a pretty poor response, doubly so for one that prides itself on 'listening'.

The solution that I wanted to put forward to my Rep:

Use HelpDesk Software to manage constituent contacts.
Not just piecemeal, but an integrated system for all participating elected members.

Not all that hard.
It scales. It goes across the whole Party. It covers both 'aph.gov.au' contacts and via other email addresses. It copes with email, phone, fax, mail and personal contacts - and the worst of all "voice prompt systems".

The software is well known, there are many vendors and trained consultants and the marketplace is competitive. As consumers and office workers, most of us are used to the concepts and who these systems all work.

It creates a definite process - with self-imposed rules & priorities that are checked and enforced.

AND it ensures that little people like me don't just fall between the cracks.
Or if some 'critical person' falls down - work queues can get given to those who can best deal with them.

Imagine getting a tracking number back from your local Pollie, and being able to automatically check where it is up to - and just when you should expect an answer. Wow! Just like they worked for us and were trying to use the technology responsibly...

It would do a service for our erstwhile representatives - you know, the ones we pay to work for us:
  • They could become more efficient - by delegating work, not needing to deal with "whatever happened to" requests, and identifying common themes and selecting the most efficient way to respond.
  • They could make a very exact case for additional clerical support from the Parliament - or even have a pool of paid staff doing the grunt work.
So I'm not holding my breath while waiting for anything different to happen.

The Internet Changes Everything - but Politicans and their ways.

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