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back to article E-petitions site: Death wish FAIL

The Coalition government's E-petitions website remains open for business today but has been flooded with wishy-washy anti-hanging advocates. Yesterday's launch was marred by downtime and a flurry of pro-death sentence petitions following a campaign by Guido Fawkes and the Daily Mail. But the antis are getting organised and " …

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Facepalm

"staff at Direct Gov working to remove duplicates."

"staff at Direct Gov working to remove duplicates."

Wouldn't it be better to merge duplicates rather than remove them?

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Anonymous Coward

No

And run the risk of a select few bitching that their name is aginast a petition they never signed? There is a difference between "equal" and "similar", and if I was in the shoes of the gov, I'd do exactly what they do: take the decision that comes with the least potential backlash.

I think that the people to blame here are people starting peptitions without checking that there is one existing already, which is inexcusable because firstly the death penaly petitions top the list so can't be missed, and secondly because this leads to a dilution of the votes (i.e. they are shooting themselves in the foot).

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Silver badge

Nah, that would require too much intelligence.

More seriously, the text of many 'duplicates' will be different - it's not like bug reports where the all the various ways of phrasing an issue will refer to the same fault.

Someone might be 'for' one wording, but not agree with a slightly different wording - so anyone who had signed the 'rejected' duplicate should be told which one was retained and asked if they would like to sign that instead.

Precision should be extremely important in lawmaking, it's a great shame the last lot preferred to write vague and all-encompassing laws.

(On the downside, it does give them a very sneaky way to effectively delete anything they don't like - have a patsy make a load of duplicates, then remove all the ones with lots of signatures and leave an 'empty' one.)

- There's an idea. How about using Mantis or Bugzilla for Government?

"Bug report: Professional politicians are dangerous to life, liberty and the economy, suggest hanging them all" "Rejected: Berne Convention"

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Ru

How about using Mantis or Bugzilla for Government?

I rather like that.

I forsee a whole lot of WONTFIX in your future though.

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Bronze badge

Splitting the vote

is a "feature" of our political system.

Apparently the alternative - some system of preference voting - is too complicated for our little heads to understand.

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Flame

some system of preference voting

not only too complicated, not popular with the electorate either.

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Devil

Only because...

...Murdoch's papers ran an effective FUD campaign against it.

Satan icon for obvious reasons.

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Re: some system of preference voting

Too complicated?

The parallel of 'Shag, marry or kill' is too complicated?

Speak for yourself?!

Like the other poster, I blame Murdoch for pasting FUD across people's minds.

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vague and all-encompassing laws

I think you'll find the reason law is to give judges latitude in interpretation.

When a case has completed it becomes precedent for future interpretation of the law in relation to specifics, and may be overturned or nuanced as future cases are completed.

All to do with having an unwritten constitution apparently.

It theoretically makes it harder for autocratic elements to ride roughshod over our rights, because the intricate web of precedents is too complex!

Not that I'm a fan of the last lot, nor sure I've addressed anything but the 'vague' accusation, but I read a bit about it recently and thought it interesting enough to share.

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Stop

If

the public did favour a system of preference voting, that might suggest they really weren't fit to vote. The difference between somebody's fourth and fifth preference is likely to be similar to choosing between drinking bleach or drinking disinfectant. The only sensible PR system is AMS. So we WON'T get that!

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Thumb Up

Speaking of 'the last lot'

You also need to consider where they learnt all their bad habits. Trying to be "more like the Tories than the Tories" has left them with very little ammunition to use now they are in opposition.

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RE: some system of preference voting

Almost as popular with the electorate as the Tories were at the last general election. If there were a few alternatives to AV instead of just the one then AV might have been chosen. Which shows why we need AV.

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Pint

well I don't think it's too complicated, it was an attempt at sarcasm

just not a very good one.

anyway, it's beer o'clock have a good weekend wether you have it alternative or not!

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Re: not popular

You'd be surprised how many people think we have proportional representaion already.

A lot think that the seats a party holds in parliament are proportional to the number of votes they get.

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Pint

beer o'clock = 18.16 on Friday

Young bull: Look! a field full of cows! Let's run down there and shag a couple!

Old bull: No. We'll WALK down there and shag them all.

I must be an old bull because beer o'clock this week was sometime on Monday for me.

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WTF?

@MonkeyBot

Help me out here, are you being sarcastic?

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Bronze badge

What a waste of time

On the one day per month, your issue can be debated by the three MPs who can be arsed to turn up for it.

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Stop

Alternatively they could get rid of this farce altogether

or at the very least withhold the signer numbers until the petition closes to prevent bandwagoning.

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Paris Hilton

bandwagoning

if that isn't already, it certainly should be slang for a sexual position.

Not sure which one though....

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Silver badge

Would have to be...

...where everyone gets on.

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Paris Hilton

Snigger

.......and gets off.

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Anonymous Coward

as Sir James Goldsmith said

if you spot a bandwagon, it's too late, you've already missed it

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FAIL

Designed to fail

the amount of duplicated petitions seems to indicate that this whole thing has been set up to fail. One wonders if that is why the govt allowed so many bring back hanging petitions as it knew it could split the vote and thus make reaching the 100K mark that much harder. Mind you that is also true for the leave EU, get rid of human rights act and of course the keep the ban on the death penalty.

Piss up and breweries comes to mind.................again

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If so

If so, that is possibly the most sensible thing the government has ever done. Balls to democracy. If the idiot turkeys decide to vote for Christmas, they need saving from themselves.

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Anonymous Coward

Er, what?

Is it the Governments fault, the web site designers fault or the people who insist on making duplicate petitions without bothering to do a basic search first? I mean it’s not hard, just looking at the top 10 most signed petitions would show that you don’t need to create another one.

Then again it could just be a sign of the intelligence of those who want to bring back capital punishment...

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Maybe not

It is possible that the duplicates were submitted before the first pro death penalty petition was approved.

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FAIL

@johnathanb

If there is a moderation process, then, how did the duplicates get approved?

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Does not compute

The 8821 and the 4941 for these two petitions alone add up to 13,762, which is already more than the 13,676 total signatures that you say have been received for all petitions. So does the site allow the same person to sign the same petition twice or does something just not add up?

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Duplicates not allowed

Every time you vote, you receive an email to register your vote.

If you vote for the same petition twice, when you click on the confirmation link of the second email, it tells you that you have already voted for that.

Given that most people I know have more than one address though, I can sort of think of a way around it...

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This post has been deleted by its author

Paris Hilton

Fame Whore

Unfortunately I expect traffic has been up 10-fold at Mr Fawke's piss-poor blog since this story broke.

...ah, surely all along it wasn't about self-publicity?

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Its a bugger

when you put something to test and discover that the majority in favour you've been bullshitting about all your life turns out to be a minority.

Never mind capitalism will have to do for now - ooh f**k

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Incresse the speed on motorways

Who gets to chose that the remove speed limit, increase to 90 and increase to 100 petitions are all "the same"?

And why oh why oh why can't we downvote some of the more stupid ones?

If we had up/down votes then the list could be sorted by popularity, not just number of votes, so the system would help gauge the mood better.

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Anonymous Coward

E-Petitions...

...are a waste of time. They do provide a thin veneer of "We're listening, honest" for the state. There is only on action the state understands - and that is direct. Which is why the state is so keen to promote e-petition and curtail your rights of protest.

As for the death penalty; whilst it is "nice" to think that one could execute a paedo-rapist ("Think of the children!") we can look to countries that have capital punishment and see just how well it works.

It doesn't. All it does is permit the middle class and elite to "solve" the problems of the poor/underprivileged/sick in an economically expedient manner; and that's before we consider the potential of executing an innocent person.

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FAIL

RE: E-Petitions...

".....Which is why the state is so keen to promote e-petition and curtail your rights of protest....." OK, I'll bite - how exactly ha the Government restricted your right to protest? The UK has very permissive protesting laws, as long as you abide by the laws. What I'm guessing is that (a) you're from one of those whacky groups that like to clainm they have majority approval, but actually have only the tiniest of loser followings, and (b) your e-petition is one of the ones gettign zero interest.

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Anonymous Coward

Have you tried...

...protesting near parliament recently? Or wearing a t-shirt with a message near there? How about going on a protest and being filmed and marked out as "trouble" for merely doing what should be your right? Even holding certain political views is enough to get you in trouble - thought is now a crime it seems.

"a) you're from one of those whacky groups that like to clainm they have majority approval"

Nup, I am neither Tory, LibDem, Labour nor pugilist.

"b) your e-petition is one of the ones gettign zero interest"

Nup, don't have one. Don't see why I should validate their charade.

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How well it works

I believe it depends on how it is implemented.

In the USA it is not a deterrent. But there aren't many executions happening there.

In Dubai they are a bit more trigger happy so to speak.

A friend of mine moved there for a while. In London he was going through quite a bit of charlie. In Dubai he couldn't find any at all.

Not sure if they are as strict with alcohol smugglers, but you couldn't find much of it either. There is a licence to buy it from supermarkets, or something like that, for which you can apply after 1 year of residence.

When i visited him, all the wine that was left in the glasses ended up back in the bottle for next time, and he said it was quite common practice because of its scarcity - free zones were a completely different environment, but you couldn't take any at home.

That convinced me even more that, if enforced, it works. Against or in favour, and which crimes should it be enforced for, it's a different thing.

It is still used in many countries of completely different cultures - USA, Singapore, Dubai, China, for example -. A more objective argument would be an evaluation of the results achieved by all those different countries. "But it doesn't work int he US" doesn't seem, to me at least, to provide a full picture.

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Perhaps

You then need to consider the possibility of getting it wrong. While your system is fallible, you can't allow capital punishment to continue.

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Anonymous Coward

in the u.s.

it works fine. It's for eliminating the problem of people with the wrong skin colour.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

No - that's prisons and inner city projects.

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Only if...

Only if you place a particularly high value on human life - I suspect that if the wrong "witch" got burnt at the stage in the 1600s the response would have been, "well she must have been guilty of something!"

You CAN have capital punishment as long as your moral/ethical compass is a little bit wobbly - there's almost 7 billion hairless monkeys out there, accidentally terminating one here or there ain't gonna make any difference now is it?

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Anonymous Coward

title

What about the need to register your protest with the police who then decide if it can go ahead?

If you don't register it, just take the example of the kettling you saw at the student protests in 2010 or the blatent provokation by the police for violence (that van planted to be damaged for example) as the resultant attitude towards your right to express distaste at the government of the time.

What about our right to use parliamentary footage for use in satire as a form of protest?

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nah you got that all wrong

being on death row increases the life expectancy of black people.

ergo it's positive discrimination gone mad

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FAIL

Auto Fail

Question: "How exactly ha[s] the Government restricted your right to protest?

Answer: "The UK has [...] protesting laws".

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Anonymous Coward

Announcing your marginal political views directly to a government agency..

...saves them alot of time when they make up lists.

McCarthy must be kicking himself for not thinking of that.

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Stop

What

Speaking as someone who is first hearing about this nonsense right here, it sounds an awful lot like you're pro-capital punishment. I feel I must have a faulty sarcasm detector, because I was sure El Reg didn't employ "that sort".

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Linux

Polarised views

Like on most contentious issues, there will be many commentards on both sides of the fence. A bit like the "Which is the best OS?" question, but obviously not as important...

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Commenter yes

Well I come to expect that from our community, but I was actually referring to the article author.

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> didn't employ "that sort"

are you suggesting that employment at el reg ought to be conditional on holding the "correct" political viewpoint? What other organisations to you think that sort of policy should apply to?

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