“Everyone is a lobbyist and everyone comes with their own story,” says Právu Benda. It is said that even professionals who come with comments on legislation often head to his office. Benda considers it the most important task of a politician “to listen, if possible, to all sides of every story and to try to find an amicable solution between them that does not harm any of those sides.”
The head of the ODS club prefers to receive visitors in his office in the Chamber of Deputies rather than in the parliamentary office in Truhlářské Street in the ODS headquarters. He also often meets citizens who come with complaints and local problems. “If it’s something communal, I’ll either take it to a small or large town hall, or I’ll send it to the appropriate person,” Benda noted.
Some MPs are more difficult to reach than others. Patrik Nacher (ANO) was not in his office on the Green Lane on Monday, he offers a meeting to voters by phone. And even outside the office, for example at the Prague municipality, where he is often the head of ANO representatives.
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They commute across the country
He wants to be in contact with voters even outside the metropolis, so he goes around the regions. “A fortnight ago, I spent Monday in Zlín. I try to travel around the country and perceive not only through the lens of Prague, but also through the lens of other regions,” Nacher told Právu.
Deputy Speaker of the House Olga Richterová (Pirates) also meets with citizens in the form of discussions. In March, for example, she visited the Salesian center in Česká Třebová, where they care for young people leaving foster care.
He is available even on Mondays in his office in Prague during consultation hours. “It fulfills its purpose very well,” says Richterová about the parliamentary day. “People come with life experiences, sometimes with something they know it’s not my place to deal with, but they want me to know,” she added. “If someone feels that they have been wronged, they come to describe things, which I sometimes get professional help with,” Richterová described.
In such cases, he refers the interested party to professional social counseling. It cooperates with several non-profit organizations. “I can direct and take feedback to shape legislation so I have a real-world view of how things work,” she added.
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