MP Q and A
At the conference we held a question and answer session with the MPs who cover Rushden and East Northamptonshire. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.
Q. How do you become an MP?
A. MPs are elected. Everybody over 18 has the chance to vote and has one vote each.
Q. How often are MPs elected?
A. Every five years. The next election is on 7 May 2015. A bi-election is held if an MP needs to be replaced between elections.
Q. How many people vote?
A. It varies. The highest turnout is for a general election and more older people tend to use their vote.
Q. What do you do in your day to day life?
A. Time is split between constituency (Rushden or East Northants) and London. In our constituencies we attend local events like this conference, meet local people and businesses, visit schools, hold surgeries to answer questions and offer advice and respond to emails. In London (Westminster) we debate important issues, such as those around tax and the army, for example, and set laws on behalf of the country.
Q. What qualifications do you need to be an MP?
A. No formal qualifications are needed. Life skills are more important. You need to believe in something and be motivated and you have to care about people and be able to listen. It's good that there's not a particular route to becoming an MP as it means there are different types of people from different backgrounds in Parliament.
Q. Is everything decided in Parliament?
A. There are different levels. Parliament decides on laws that affect the whole country. Town and district councils make local decisions. They are all elected.
Q. Do you think people should be able to vote if they don't know anything about the candidates or parties?
A. People have busy lives and don't always have time to take an interest but they should think carefully about an election before they vote.
Q. Do you enjoy your job?
A. It's the best job in the world! There is a lot of variety and it is rewarding knowing you can help to make a difference.
Q. What is the hardest part of your job?
A. Not having enough time is the biggest challenge. Making change takes a long time and doesn't happen overnight.
Q. Would you recommend your job?
A. It's a good job if you love to meet and help lots of people. But keep an open mind and talk to family and friends about their jobs and ask what they like about what they do. This will help you make an informed choice.
- YEN Conference 2014
- MP Q and A (you are here)