A change to the Government petitioning system

A change to the Government petitioning system

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David Toombes started this petition to UK Government

A recently published article covering the 5 years of parliament, commented on, and I paraphrase;

‘The inability of elected parties to deliver on manifesto promises within their term of parliament, and, their frequent failure to make decisions for the general good of the majority of the population’.

In its most basic format then, the government, once voted into office by us, have the ability to ignore our voices and pretty much do as they wish without our consent for the next five years.

What then can We, ‘the people’, do about this? Is perhaps the answer to campaign for a shorter term in office, Direct democracy, a change to the blatantly unfair first past the post system, or, should we campaign for an opportunity to have a louder voice about the decisions made? 

Currently on the government website (https://petition.parliament.uk/

·         If a petition receives over 10,000 signatures the ‘Government will respond’.

·         If it reaches 100,000 signatures it will be ‘considered’ for debate in parliament, assuming it meets petition standards’ https://petition.parliament.uk/help#standards

This is not factually the case.

The debate is in fact held by a ‘petitions committee’ (for an example of the petitions committee see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuszxeH6rX8 as an example), which is a far cry from ‘a debate in parliament’

How many petitions are actually debated?

 At the time of writing; 19,814 petitions have been put to parliament, of which 16,043 were rejected (82%). Of the 3,375 still open, 25 have been debated and 37 are awaiting debate, (some waiting for nearly a year). Therefore a total of 0.31% of petitions are debated by a committee, remember NOT by parliament. (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions?state=open

Apart from us holding a demonstration (peacefully) or writing a letter, a petition, that has a 0.31% of being discussed by a committee, is our only other chance of getting our voices heard outside of a general election. As a representation of the democracy mirroring our voice, that concerns me. I propose to raise a petition that challenges this system.

Petitions are submitted online and remain open for just 6 months. Whilst this may seem a fair period of time, let’s remember of the few that get through most await debate in excess of 6 months.

It isn’t helped that apart from relying on word of mouth, petitions are not broadly advertised to the general public either.

I propose to start a petition stating that:

A: if a petition reaches 250,000 signatures it MUST:

1; be extended for another 6 months from the date of reaching 250,000.

2; be advertised regularly in\on mainstream media and/or the front page of all government websites and parliament tv, so that it is brought to the public’s attention and people must then be able to send in signatures/sign by other means if they do not have access to the internet. I.e. a signature desk could be set up in local libraries for instance and kept open for the lifetime of the petition.

B: At 1,000,000 signatures it MUST be debated in a FULL parliament session, not by a committee and extended for a further 6 months from the date of reaching 1,000,000.

C: At 5,000,000 signatures the people MUST be given a referendum on the subject of the petition.

Parliament doesn't reflect our vote or voice and I believe if the Government actively informed the general public of the current petitioning status then we the public can have true influence through the power of petitioning, a majority voice can be heard more than once every 5 years! 

Currently of 2,518 open petitions only 6 have more than 250,000 signatures




0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!