One of the most wasteful features of the modern life of an MP are the endless standard postcards and standard emails sent by well meaning constituents to get you to sign an EDM. On some EDMs you may receive dozens of exactly the same form of words, each one needing a reply. Constituents often do not realise how many of the same card you may be getting, and how futile the EDM game can be.
This has become an industry all of its own. Well paid lobbyists or charities design an EDM on their pet subject. They find a tame MP to table it for them. They then persuade as many people as possible to send exactly the same form of words to their own MPs, demanding they sign the lobbyist’s EDM. They imply to the constituents that if enough MPs sign all will be well, as if signing the EDM will resolve the problem or is in it itself an answer.
They never explain that there are thousands of EDMs in any Parliament. They are a kind of Parliamentary graffitti. They never explain that EDMs languish undebated, and are never voted on. Unless an MP sends the form of words to a Minister, no Minister need even read it , let alone respond.
A sensible MP takes the concerns of constituents seriously. That concern is is best expressed in the constituent’s own words, and best pursued in the MP’s own way. The EDM merry go round is all part of the spin world, where big money is raised to pay lobbyists salaries, who then play the EDM game to show they are busy.
If you want something changed you need to persaude the government to change it, as they control the business of the House and have the votes to decide the answers. MPs can help influence governments to do the right thing, but it takes more than an EDM to do it.
MPs and even Opposition parties do use EDMs from time to time – sometimes out of frustration that there isn’t a better way of raising the issue and getting some action, sometimes to congratulate the local football team.