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Submitting Official Comments to Government Officials

January 30th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I posted something like what is below at Climate Audit, in connection with submissions to a UK Parliamentary Committee. The same thing applies to comments on proposed regulations to US or any other administrative agencies.

Think about how your readers will react, those being (a) pro-warming MPs, (b) anti-warming MPs (maybe— I don’t know if there are any), (c) unsure MPs, and (d) staffers. Imagine yours is the 800th submission a young staffer is reading, and he is skipping going out with his girlfriend to read it. What he wants is NEW information. So don’t write unless you have something NEW to say.

One kind of new thing is “I, a very important person, believe X”. Probably most us are not important enough for that, but if you’re a senator or an emperor, go ahead and say, “I think the CRU people are evil”.

More likely is report of a fact they might not notice otherwise.

Also possible is report of a reform or action they might not think of. That is what my own submission is about.

A submission is much more useful if it only says one thing than if it says many things, and if it is short rather than long. If the committee wants to follow up, they can do it themselves. But they are skimming submission as fast as they can, and they will appreciate brevity.

All these things, by the way, are what effective lobbying is all about: helping out the government officials by providing useful information (including political effect info they may not know about). Professional lobbyists know that the official’s time and attention is like gold: hard to get, and too precious to waste.

3000 words is plenty– more than necessary for this kind of thing. I used about 800.

Don’t do this in the hopes of being published in a report. I am sure every submission will be properly filed away in a basement somewhere, and probably even have its first paragraph read (if that paragraph isn’t good, they can be excused for not wasting their time by going further), but this is not the way to immortalize yourself.

I have posted a poorly formatted version of my own submission to the committee at the bottom of my blog post at

https://rasmusen.dreamhosters.com/b/2010/01/an-interesting-ex-post-facto-law-case/

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