Tuesday, 29 January 2013

On line petitions.

Yesterday I was asked to sign 7 petitions. Each of them were worthy causes. They were all things I might have signed had they not all appeared in a bunch.

Once you've signed one on line it seems you have joined a cause....I have now joined quite a few and they are all good ones, things I care about. My friends send them on but usually I've already got them by email or on Facebook.... Which means I might get the same one several times.

Having a voice and making it heard is an admirable thing to aspire to but I am now worried that the sheer number of these petitions is working against them. If there are too many then it's the law of diminishing returns surely.

So I'm not signing all of them....I only did two yesterday. Soon I may do none because I doubt their value to alter the way big business works or governments act. If anyone knows if those in power actually take notice of thousands of people signing an online petition then please let me know because I read somewhere that they are always disregarded...

It is not really a signature just putting a tick in a box, plus does anyone check how many people submit twice? Ticking a box on the Internet is too easy and too unaccountable. I am far from sure that one a week would work but several a day seems doomed to failure.

The main problem is that it seems to be giving us a smug feeling of having done something, that might make a difference. It would be great if it was true. But I have my doubts.!



  1. I regularly sign petitions and sometimes I hear whether they've been successful. A friend of mine thinks they act like a release valve. We feel better because we've let off steam. However, she contests they have little effect in changing anything. I think at the end of the day we need to do more than sign petitions but it's a start.

    1. It is a start Babs but writing a letter or joining a demo might let off a bit more steam.....

  2. I do sign a few online petitions. But I more regularly write to my Member of Parliament - she is probably getting tired of me, but is always meticulous in following up her letters and reporting replies to questions she has raised.

    If we did more to influence our MP's, we might get more done than a thousand petitions.

    1. I've written to mine a few times too....she always chases things up and tries to reassure me....doesn't always manage it though.