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back to article Parliament has no time for 100,000+ signature e-petitions

The UK's e-petitions initiative, intended to get the public's issues debated in the Commons, has fallen at the first hurdle, with two petitions on ice due to lack of time. The e-petitions website lets the public start a campaign and invite people to sign to support it. Once signatures go over 100,000 – as has been the case for a …

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Anonymous Coward

So it was a PR stunt all along ?!

Who would have thought it ..... my gast is flabbered.

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Joke

I'm founded dumb !

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Anonymous Coward

Democracy?

There is no such thing, politicians do what they want and ignore the electorate. We should have an epetition to get rid of them altogether. We can now all represent ourselves in real time via the internet, we don't need self serving parasitic mp's any more.

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is anyone really surprised

I am not

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Alert

Appeasement

The E-Petitions site was always a way for people to vent their spleen and blow off some steam. The government never gave it any credence and will never give it any as it hopes once people have had a moan they will feel better. The truth is the government is now so out of touch with the electorate that whatever they are so very busy doing, you can bet that it has nothing to do with domestic issues are more to do with how they can conquer the middle east.

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The wrong way round?

The government has decided to spend all its time rabbiting on about thing IT wants to talk about - not things THE PEOPLE (who, incidentally put the MPs there) want discussed.

To put it in perspective, if all the 100,000 people who signed any one of the qualifying e-petitions could be bothered to get off their arses and actually vote, they'd represent the majorities of the 4 safest parlaimentary seats (or the 60 least safe: which had majorities less than 1,500 votes). You'd think that sort of political influence would gain some respect. But I guess that since there's no possibility of another election for several years - where these e-petitioners could register their displeasure at being ignored, the people in charge can afford to ignore them all. Isn't democracy a wonderful thing?

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Stop

It sounds like you are suggesting that anyone who can be bothered to sign a petition can't "be bothered to get off their arses and actually vote"?

I would have thought someone showing enough interest to petition would have more than enough motivation to vote.

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Classic.

Do they have time to deal with traditional petitions?

Also, people keep talking about this new thing called an e-petition. I seem to rememebr them being around years back. Did they stop and restart or something?

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I seem to remember being directed towards one from a Reg discussion about Gary McKinnon years ago.

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Big Brother

Democracy in action!

all show and no go

they can talk the talk , but can they walk the walk? no

all the gear and no idea

--------------------------------------------------------

What a beutiful , simple , cheap idea this was to connect the populace to the government , to give a real feel of openess , communication , and democracy.

And now its "we've not got time" FFS these issues should go to the top of the queue, they are the ones that we , the people , their employers , ie thier boss, want discussing .Not whatever other naval gazing bullshit they had scheduled.

I guess they realised that some of the questions might be a bit unpleasant for them.

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FAIL

Piss up in a brewery?

Better get someone else to organise it.

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Facepalm

So the difficult debates wont happen

But I am sure anything that is easy and makes the ConDem group look good will be fitted into the hectic schedule

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Unhappy

Eh labour introduced this

and set out the way it will operate. so the whole idea was a spin to make labour look like they hadn't lost the plot and where trying to be in touch with its electorate.

They probably hoped it would quietly die after the election.

Shame as in essence it was a good idea and mean't we didnt need to try and convice our MP's that our causes where true and just and held a majority support .

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Anonymous Coward

Go back to paper petitions. A big picture of a pallet of signatures arriving at #10 in the papers gets the buggers moving more than an easily ignored website.

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Re: Go back to paper petitions

Have you tried organising a country-wide petition? Even if you can organise one, it requires people to be in the right place to get others to sign. In the past I've seen a petition handed in to Number 10 and thought "I'd like to have signed that, but I didn't even *know* about it..."

(Oh and before now AIUI governments have tried and sometimes managed, to get a huge petition written off as a *single* comment!)

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Anonymous Coward

because, frankly, which government gives a flying monkey about what people say? Over 1 mln protested in London over the UK joining the invasion/liberation of Iraq. Not good enough.

And the best (or worst) to come out of any debate would be a view of the Commons, courtesy of BBC Parliment, with the minimum number of MPs required to run a debate, what is it, two of?

So... how long have those e-pets been active? And how many debates have we had? Say again?

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But

The subject was debated.

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Anonymous Coward

a new petition....

I think I will start a petition asking to force the government to set time aside to debate the subject of a petition if that petition reaches 100,000 signatures or more.........

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Party conferences?

So they're really busy with lots of important things, then they have almost a month off?

How important/useful are party conferences, relatively?

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Z 1

Very. A lot of lobbyists are paying the EmmPeas an awful lot of money so they can feel important.

Oh and also trying to manipulate debates in favour of rather questionable agendas.

E-petitions are worth as much as the current raft of elected clowns. Maybe if you pony up some cash so they can junket/spend on a second house/buy luxuries, then they'd spend time debating it for you

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Unhappy

Another broken promise

Like so much of what the government had promised, yet another commitment is broken. Cameron committed himself to a lot of things, but not much at all has been done and the rot and injustice has continued. Many promises have been shelved. I don't know if it's because of internal differences within the coalition or if he's simply all talk and no action. :-(

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Facepalm

Shock horror!

Why the hell should anyone be surprised at this? The whole thing was only ever a sop to fool the public into thinking their opinion mattered

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Big Brother

E-Petitions? Government spin and flannel more like.

"Here, lets give the plebs a distraction. E-petitions! Tell them that if any petitions get over 100,000 signatures <chuckle> we'll debate them."

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surely anyone thinking making people skint and homeless will improve their behaviour is insane ? I'm wondering if the threshold on democracy is set too low...

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I'm inclined to agree with you (that it's insane), but clearly others are not. Hence there should be a debate.

Of course, those that started the various counter-petitions are also missing the point. The government was never undertaking to implement any petition with 100,000 votes, just to debate it. If you strongly disagree with an e-petition, you should sign it!

(Or at least, that would be true if it was actually going to get debated)

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WTF?

Possibly

It might address two attitudes highlighted by the riots:

working for a living is purely optional

that there are no consequences for criminal behaviour

In any event given that the behaviour of the people involved is unacceptable it is worth a punt?

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Why do you think that all the rioters were on the dole? Many rioters were fully employed.

Singling out the unemployed is wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Possibly

I dont see how the riots highlighted an attitude that working for a living is optional. Where did that come from?

What is this about there being no consequences for criminal behaviour either? Also not something the riots have shown.

Now, if we were talking about white collar crime, then its a different matter.

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I CHOOSE to enoble a simple forum post!

yes indeed... wasn't the very first person in the dock a teacher?

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Anonymous Coward

close but no cigar

a teaching assistant

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Megaphone

Benefits being docked

Benefits being docked is one of the most pointless, biased and illegal ideas that you'd think an MP came up with it. Or the Daily Mail. Which on second thoughts, they probably did come up with that one.

To think that you can punish some people and not others (not all rioters were on the dole etc), outside the judicial system (we're presumably still going to prosecute them under general law, right?) is as misguided as the notion that we should or even could shut down Twitter if "call me Dave" so decides.

I'm quite happy living in a society that at least attempts to deliver even-handed justice. A lot happier than I'd be if we were up for laying down random punishments on certain people purely on account of 0.1% of the population being arsed to click a mouse button.

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Strongly disagree

Dole claimants are in receipt of _my_ money, so why should I subsidise criminals?

Those not on the dole are in receipt of money they earn for themselves, and their punishment cannot therefore be to have that taken away and must take some other form.

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AC - Saturday 10th September 2011 00:05

Didn't you know that teaching assistants do the teaching nowadays. It's one of those 'efficiency savings'

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Mushroom

Psh.

Quitters.

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FAIL

Direct Democracy FTW

the Swiss are doing it the sanest way I know of

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No time?

No time or do they mean it's not the distraction it's supposed to be?

Not producing enough hits for 'hang the rioters' ?

Too many 'Oi, Cameron, leave it out!'?

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Yet another Government failure to commit to policy.

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FAIL

Fail fail fail

They always were, and they always will be. No gubermint is going to pay them any attention unless they happen to agree with whatever the gubermint wants. We live in a democracy, but only with constraints.

Perhaps we should have an e-petition to call for the abolition of e-petitions.

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Flame

"We live in a democracy"

Wrong.

We live in a REPRESENTATIONAL democracy. The difference is: We vote in a representative for us, who then gets to vote on our behalf... or not, as the case so often is.

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Stop

*rolls eyes*

For most people democracy = representative democracy. We don't need Athenian-style direct democracy (for free, land-owning men only) for the voice of the people to be heard.

It would help if the Government provided some of its Parliamentary time for the e-petitions that came through the system that they instituted to be debated, rather than taking a chunk out of the little time the Backbench Business Committee has to play with. I'm sure some enterprising MPs will adopt the measures that have been proposed but it is the Government that deserves the blame for not thinking this one through.

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Unhappy

Re: We live in a REPRESENTATIONAL democracy.

"We vote in a representative for us, who then gets to vote on our behalf... or not, as the case so often is."

Unfortunately, frequently they get *told* how to vote by the Party Whips, ie they're representing to us what their Party decides we want...

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Strongly agree

I find it amazing that it is legal for anyone to put pressure on an MP in a parliamentary vote. Least of all an organisation with stated political bias.

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Anonymous Coward

I always thought that the whole e-petitions thing was for the purpose of paying lip service, as in "tell us what you really want us to do but that we'll do our own thing anyway".

Setting the bar to about 0.16% of the entire population of the UK seemed a bit high (considering it was internet only and that only adults are eligible to vote), and correct me if I'm wrong but I think these are the first two petitions to actually hit the barrier meaning that they've effectively set a precedent for not dealing with any others "because we're too busy".

If you really cared about your electorate, you'd *make* time.

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FAIL

"Unfortunately, the group that is supposed to get a chance to discuss the issue, the Backbench Business Committee of MPs, is complaining that the one day a fortnight it has scheduled for debate is chock-a-block with its own issues and the government hasn't given it any extra time to deal with e-petitions."

... so what they're saying is the day that was put aside to deal with e petitions actualy ISN'T put aside for dealing with e petitions.

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That's not what they're saying

They're saying that the one day a fortnight that the Backbench Business Committee has to deal with *any* issues it wants to raise is not sufficient to also take on a bunch of other issues. If the Government wants to get credit for instituting an e-petitions system, it should either provide the Backbench Business Committee more time or allow the e-petitions to be discussed in Government time.

I seem to recall that one of the most popular No. 10 Downing Street e-petitions was Jeremy Clarkson for PM, so let's not pretend that this is going to be a great way of making public policy, at least in the short term.

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FAIL

Really?

Unfortunately this isn't at all surprising. Common sense dictates that e-petitions be assigned to a specific MP that would be responsible for initiating the debate, as no MP would want to voluntarily associate themselves with the inevitable radical proposals that will follow. And further, it has to be common sense that such debates be scheduled so as to not conflict with existing proposals or committees.

It's just a shame that their PR department has got ahead of itself and that they can't deliver on what seems like a genuinely good concept.

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Facepalm

If time is that short, why do they have a summer recess? They're not schoolkids are they?

Oh, wait..

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Unhappy

Re: schoolkids

"They're not schoolkids are they?"

Based on the "frustrated" joke that was *so* funny that Cameron simply *gave up* trying to answer the question and went for a quiet sit down instead, I'd say the results are well and truly "in" on that one.

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Facepalm

In Government ... nobody can hear you scream.

And they wouldn't care even if they could.

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