Tag Archive for Petitions

e-Petitions: bad for democracy?

So, the Coali­tion have announced the return of the e-Petitions sys­tem pre­vi­ously in effect under Blair and Brown, with one clear change: peti­tions will be more read­ily be debated by Par­lia­ment. This is touted as a wel­come change, where very few, if any, peti­tions under Labour actu­ally changed gov­ern­ment pol­icy. The most notable one that did was a 2-million strong peti­tion against the pro­posed sys­tem of road pric­ing in 2007, where Blair changed from “we sup­port this” to “we still sup­port it but we admit we’re not going to enforce it”. But with any sort of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion like this, it often falls by the way­side because of peo­ple being just unin­formed on issues, such as a 250,000-strong peti­tion to oppose a sup­posed “mega-mosque” in the Lon­don Bor­ough of Newham that hadn’t even been pro­posed. And then there are the silly ones, like a 50,000-strong peti­tion to make Top Gear host Jeremy Clark­son the Prime Min­is­ter. Under the pro­posed rules, Par­lia­ment would prob­a­bly have been forced to debate the lat­ter two with a hard and fast rule of 100,000-supporters-means-debate-in-Parliament, wast­ing time that should’ve been spent pass­ing actual laws. » Read more..

%d bloggers like this: