Monday, 20 November 2006

I've succumbed to a piece of Blairite gimmickry

Forgive me a moment of cynicism, but I find myself thinking that the new No. 10 Downing Street petitions page is a vacuous attempt to make the Government look like it’s listening while in fact it is characterised by increasing deafness to public opinion.

That being said, I have brushed aside my cynicism and joined 2468 other people in signing the petition to scrap the proposed introduction of ID cards.

I have also written to the team running the project calling on them to add a facility to sign in opposition to a measure. My letter stated that:

I would like to propose one vital amendment to the e-petitions website. This is a facility to vote against the petition.

At present, petitions can build up support, but there is no means of measuring opposition. This makes it impossible to measure the true level of support for a proposal: does a million signatures imply large-scale support, apathy among 98 per cent of the population, or does it fly in the face of a large swathe of public opinion that is being overlooked.

If it were possible to have a facility to sign the petition in opposition to the proposal, a far fairer and more balanced measure of the will of the public could be taken.

Presumably, once Gordon takes over, this nonsense about consulting the people will be quietly parked, of course, but in the meantime, one does what one can.


Norfolk Blogger said...

I agree with opposing ID cards, but won't be signing the number 10 online petitions. They are just designed to stop people turning up in downing street and embarrassing Tony and his cronies.

It's a difficult decision though, because although it's a gimmick (as you state) and it is clearly intended to stop people doing proper petitions, there will be many online petitions that I would want to support.

Ryan Morrison said...

Here I was thinking it was just me being cynical about it but NO other people think it's one giant gimick as well :)

I'd stick to other petition websites or the more traditional pen and paper petitions - however it doesn't hurt to add your name.

As for the idea of having the option to oppose a petition - the BBC Action Network has this facility so maybe we should be looking in that direction instead.

The Blair petition bollocks is just a copy cat attempt at understanding what people want - I applaud the attempt but it's just not really good enough.