Volunteer Education: Politics Masterclass
Categories: Past Event Articles
Monday March 22 2021
From Friday 26th February to Sunday 28th February, we presented our Political Masterclass to MEND volunteers across the UK.
Our first session was on ‘The British Political and Electoral System’ and it aimed to explain the different branches of government and their roles and powers. The session also looked at legislation and how laws are made, highlighting the roles of the different branches of government in relation to legislation. We also looked at how laws can be challenged and previous examples of when this has occurred. We then spoke about the different electoral systems, which ones are used for different elections across the UK, and we discussed the pros and cons of each of these systems. We then wrapped up by asking if ‘your vote really matters’ (spoiler alert: it does!).
Our second session was titled ‘The History of Political Parties & Elected Representatives’ and aimed to look at the history of the main political parties today and how their policies and stances may have shifted over the years, especially with the backdrop of different historical events. We then looked through key legislations that affect the Muslim community, how they have evolved, and the impact that they can have.
The last of our three sessions were focused on ‘Lobbying and Strategic Participation’. This session aimed to teach attendees about lobbying and its place in the political landscape. Our presenter then took the volunteers through several case studies that took a deep dive into existing lobbying groups and their approaches. We also touched upon some of the controversies that lobby groups have faced and been associated with and opened the floor to thoughts on the lobbying industry and its role and influence. We then closed the session by illustrating the extent to how lobbying is regulated in Britain – and whether this level of regulation is adequate.
These sessions were especially important for our volunteers due to the regional and local elections that are coming up across the nation in May. By having a full understanding of the political system in the UK, our volunteers can recognize the importance of getting involved and being actively engaged in the process to ensure that their elected representatives are representing them effectively and are also being held to account when necessary.
Many thanks to the attendees and to our presenters! If you’d like to volunteer with MEND so you can participate in our education and training, then get in touch at mend.org.uk/volunteer