I'm American. And I recently wrote my representative and senators to express my opinion about bills on which they might vote soon. I got no response at all from two of these letters, and from the third I received a letter summarizing the politician's own views (on the same issues) with no reference to my views.
I guess that at some level my purpose in writing is to influence the politicians' perceptions of their constituencies. I would hope that some clerk (or aid or whatever) at least skimmed the letter and made a hashmark on a table, trying to keep track of whether there's a general consensus or wide variety of opinion, or passion or indifference, or something along these lines. Now I wonder if they simply have an automated system for identifying the subject matter of correspondence and sending their own positions in response.
Do we have any way of knowing whether letters to our representatives and senators are read by actual people and whether these letters ever have any influence on the positions that these politicians take?