Make petitions meaningful again
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The advent of the electronic, on-line petition has undermined the value of the petition as a tool of social or legislative change since it is all too easy to start such a petition and to have relatively disinterested people sign it. Traditionally written petitions such as those that helped to end slavery had weight and significance as those organising the petition had to put in physical effort to get the petition signed by a significant number of people and those signing it had to think about the issues in a way not necessary for electronic petitions.
All electronic, on-line petitions to include an option to oppose the petition and the results of that opposition to be recorded and reported along with the results in favour such that though a petition gain many votes in favour from special interest groups the overall tenor of the public reception of the petition can be gauged. This would help to eliminate the waste of time associated with frivolous or otherwise negative petitions and also minimise the socially damaging effects of the disproportionate response of authorities to such petitions.
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