A House of Commons committee meets tomorrow to gather evidence on the wisdom of giving electronic petitions the same status as paper petitions. The House of Commons Procedure Committee will gather to hear evidence tomorrow afternoon from Tom Steinberg, founder of mySociety and the man behind the Prime Minister's e-petitions site …
Good old politics...
E-Petitions "do not have the same weight as paper petitions"... "Public take-up has been slow?"
I wonder what could have given people that idea, maybe it was the 3 million or so who signed up to the Road Charging E-Petition only to receive a lovely email response from Tony Blair telling everyone "I am right you are wrong and road charging is one of the tools we will have to use to fight congestion". I guess that kind of made the system totally pointless in many people's eyes when a few million signatures on a petition larger than any paper one gets fobbed off by the PM of the day.
And to think some people wonder why we are so apathetic about democracy and politics in this country...
I'll get my coat.
I really like the gov' e-petitions, but refuse to sign one until I can submit my name, address, etc. via an https connection.
(saying that, this form (with email+password) doesn't use any kind of https - tut tut !!)
ID cards &c
I wonder at what point our great and glorious leaders connect the dots and use the e-petition concept as another way to plug the dismal ID cards scheme ... After all, the ID card serial number will be unique, so multiple voting could be prevented.
Mind you, the entrepreneurial amongst us will simply set up lobbying consultancies, where we will "buy" peoples votes on an e-petition, and submit blocks of votes en-masse.
Myself I'd sell my e-petition vote in a flash, a tenner a signature. It's not as if it's going to change anything is it .... (speaking of things not changing, that's the Paris Hilton angle)
For our US friends, that's irony. I consider our present incompetents ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Humbents to be neither great nor glorious.
an e-petition ....
...isn't worth the paper it's printed on.
I'll get my coat.
@James "not https" - "not that it matters"
"I really like the gov' e-petitions, but refuse to sign one until I can submit my name, address, etc. via an https connection."
Right, except it matters not. They'll print it, and drop it in the post. No, really, they will. The post isn't HTTPS'd so your details are still anyones. I'd rather take the risk of middleman HTTP intervention than ask for HTTPS to offer false hope of security.
E-petitions are ultimately pointless
In the same way that paper petitions are. The government will only reverse it's decisions when poor people throw enough rocks or rich people withold enough donations.
Even then they'll most likely just rename the unpopular policy and try and sneak it in a few years later.
Petitions have no legal force/weight?
During my time in education (yes it felt like a prison sentence ;) one of the things that consistently came up was that petitions were a bit of a waste of time, as they had absolutely zero legal weight or force. Was this advice correct?
"I wonder what could have given people that idea, maybe it was the 3 million or so who signed up to the Road Charging E-Petition only to receive a lovely email response from Tony Blair telling everyone "I am right you are wrong and road charging is one of the tools we will have to use to fight congestion"
Hmmm, sounds incredibly similar to "I don't care how many of you take to the streets in protest, we will start an illegal war based on no evidence what so ever and that's that, because I'm the boss and I say so".
/me suggests that the entire IT industry votes for the Monster Raving Loonies at the next general election - Dave Cameron thinks we wnat change - let's show him how much change he can have! :oP
(Paris - because, well, just because alright?)
It's one of those lovely issues on which pretty much everyone with an opinion is wrong, on both sides. The Government is cynically trying to give the impression that it cares, which it doesn't. The public on the other hand seem to genuinely believe that they have the right to an actual voice in government, rather than merely a vote. If we did give power to the people, we would have a national identity database, National Service, mandatory hanging for sex offenders (including public urinators) with burden of proof lowered to 'on the balance of probabilities' all within a week. Overlaying it all are hundreds of joke petitions that are very amusing if you're 14 years old and bored during break.
It's not the government's most expensive, most humiliating or most disgusting failure, but it may be the most representative.
You can almost see their point, or at least a point why it'd not be as good as paper based- not only does it take longer to fake a paper one (and less easy than just doing it properly) but a paper based one that people have signed and walked up to Downing Street not only seems you've made more effort, but theres more press and so its less easy to fob it off.
Plus, most of the web based ones aren't signed by people who'd go out of their way to sign it, people will sign any of them that sounds good to them.
The government should have realised the e-petitions system would crumble and fall and left it well alone, using technology as a fad thing always does this
E-voting could be an earner for those rather capable folks over in Russia.
Drop a little package on a Bot-farm for which ever party you want to win or tip the balance in another direction.
The package only has to use existing data from the machines - stuff like birthdates and N.I. numbers. Could even check for incoming voting mail or make a request.
Judging by the amount of crap mail that gets filtered out from my account there's plenty of available 'voters'.
Excellent idea, direct route to the people.
Unfortunately, like all Government IT projects, it was doomed to failure. Voters ? who wants to listen to them, they only matter every few years when it is time to be re elected.
Sadly, the ONLY language this government and its predecessors ever understood was riots. Riots are a much more effective means of changing government policy, despite the assertions to the contrary uttered at the time.
For anonymous cowards, I did vote Monster Raving Looney in the Bootle by election where my vote helped remove Lord David Owen from politics. I shall be voting Monster Raving Looney again, if only you would really join me .....
maybe that explains the lack of postings?
"At the time of writing there are a paltry nine posts on three subjects."
Have you tired logging in ... after several attempts I can't get a validated account... maybe that explains the lack of postings?
Being Taken Seriously
Politicians insist on being taken seriously by the public - it seems only reasonable to take the public voice seriously in return.
For those who don't take politicians too seriously anyway, there's Politicianwar (http://www.politicianwar.org) - just like kittenwar, only with British MPs. Less cute, perhaps, but just as silly.
We're going to consult, then ignore you anyway
Speaking as someone who started a petition which was signed by over one thousand, eight hundred people, then got a weaselly response from the Prime Minister's Office which basically completely ignored what the petition was saying, I have no doubt that this "consultation" is also going to be an utter waste of time and energy.
This Government has *NO* interest in listening to the people who elected them (let alone the large proportion of the electorate who *didn't* vote for them!) but systems like this work wonderfully for diverting people from writing to their MPs which may actually get some response!
"Plus, most of the web based ones aren't signed by people who'd go out of their way to sign it, people will sign any of them that sounds good to them."
Surely that's democracy in action?
Politicians are civil servants...that's...SERVANTS.
They should all be fitted with subcutaneous tasers that we can activate if we don't like what they do. If we do like what they do, they get to keep their jobs.
When i tried to put a petition on the PM's website regarding the proposed new Computer Misuse Legislation, i was informed that it would take 5 working days to approve or deny, it actually took over a fortnight, when i contacted there admin team, i got a vague un-professional response about been busy.
But its up now;
To determine "weight" use the hot air masked as "responses" to these e-petitions. Good idea in principle for public to have their say but a complete waste of time in the end. This morning I finally opted out of getting any more responses to the many e-petitions that I signed and I have not signed a single one since the response to the road charging petition. Complete waste of public money.
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