What is your level of political involvement?

Be honest! For the purposes of this poll, let’s tack on “Within the past 5 years” to each question. I’m probably missing some options, that’s life. :(

Something to note: writing letters is big, in terms of effectiveness. Not emails; from what I gather those go almost totally unread. Politicians spend a lot of resources on snail-mail though. You are guaranteed that someone will read it and file it, often using some pretty sophisticated metadata type systems to categorize your letter. Phone calls get the same treatment, though they’re not weighted as heavily.

Perhaps emails have become too much to handle, but when Dubya wanted war with Iraq, I wrote to both of my Senators via email (notorious liberals Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein) to urge that they not support him in this. Both responded - now, I assume both were form letters on their positions, but at least someone in their offices read the mails and took the trouble to make on-topic responses. Boxer’s office tends to respond to emails, Feinstein’s is hit and miss in my experience.

I vote in every election. I whine on the internet and I have sent e-mails to politicians regarding specific items.

While I think an individual can probably make a difference locally I think on the national scene it takes a money source to be heard.

I did have Feinstein’s office reply to an e-mail. Took awhile though.

Why can’t I vote by not selecting any of the options? I don’t do any of them. As for complaining on the internet about politics, I mostly manage to avoid doing that.

If you don’t do any of those things you are a non-entity and as such should not be posting in this area of the forum…:)

The “paper letters count” thing has struck me as a surreal anachronism for years. You have to rely not only on that weird axiom mattering for the politician in question, but also the politician being tractable on the issue you care about.

Amnesty International sort of context maybe, where it’s part of a campaign, but just writing a letter to a politician for the heck of it? Just making yourself feel better. I write letters to newspaper editors, which makes me feel like a crank, but they get published occasionally, so it’s arguably less fatuous than killing a tree just to fill up some backbencher’s recycle bin.

Jeff, how do you know that snail mail is the most weighty of the options? I’ve never written or called or anything because I honestly didn’t thin it would make a bit of difference. Why should one person’s view sway a person who is representing thousands or millions of people?

It has long been a saw of political activism that paper mail counts far more because of the hassle involved, the paying for postage, and the fact that it makes one appear to be an older, crankier constituent - ie, the kind that votes and makes trouble.

People have been saying it for years, though, and paper mail has been dying and dying. I’d say instead that you should make the effort to make one’s communication count somehow, find or create an actual pressure campaign rather than just sending off a message in a bottle.

Unless they are making you money hats, feedback from constituents matters like five thousand times more than feedback from non-constituents.

I’m debating giving up on paying attention to national politics and just getting really involved locally. It appears to be the only place you can have the slightest bit of influence.

Something’s broken with the poll. It claims that more people vote than complain on the internet.

It takes a village to bring about a dictatorship of the proletariat.

I voted, I contributed the max I was allowed, I stuffed envelopes, I made phone calls, I worked in a campaign office, I used some of my PTO time to work for the campaign, all because I had such a strong conviction about the candidate.

I have only worked that hard and given that much to a candidate on a national level one other time, and that was while I was a college student back in 1976.

I have voted in every election, local, national and referendum since I turned 18.

I have written letters and e-mails to politicians.

I have complained on the internet.

I have been active in student politics at a local and national level.

I need an “I am a member of a political party”-option.
We can do that here…

Where’s the poll option for “I go hang out with the local political party staffers and buy them beers?”

How’s that working out for ya?

I can’t understand the joke!

Well, at least I didn’t work for the candidate who would have allowed Gitmo to stay open, take out hit contracts on U.S. citizens, expand a war in Afghanistan with no clear strategy or definition of success, continue to expand the violation of the rights of citizens by pushing for the Patriot Act to be extended beyond what Congress was asking for, and… um, wait. Never mind.

At least his administration didn’t let Mexican drug cartels buy guns with the ATF’s blessing in some crazy policing scheme and then try to cover it up when it blew up in their faces…nevermind.

Look at this way: it would have been so much worse with Palin as VP.