16 petitions

Update posted 8 months ago

Petition to House of Commons

Stop an unconstitutional and undemocratic second referendum

23 June 2016 saw the largest ever democratic exercise in our country , in the referendum on our E.U. membership. It was a hard and divisive process, made on a complex subject with the incomplete information on all sides which, rightly or wrongly, is a part of the imperfect democracy we live in. This is the same for every election in recent times.  Despite this, the result was a clear and unequivocal instruction to leave, not do a deal; not negotiate and not delay or wait for further information, we said ‘leave the EU’. Those who voted leave were as intelligent; informed ; passionate and principled as those who voted remain and have no less right to see the decision implemented. Our democratic system then allowed for a legal challenge which established sovereignty of our parliament in the matter in triggering article 50 in response to the instruction given by the electorate. Parliament then voted overwhelmingly to proceed. This clearly demonstrates that it is ultimately parliaments decision, albeit one instructed by the electorate. The result is as valid a decision as any general election and although we should always have the right to decide, it would be as much of a nonsense to make the same vote, on the same facts again (facts which remain unchanged), as it would to demand a re-run of any election result because one party made some unproven claim; disputed assessment or wrong prediction.  Our system, rightly, allows for the democratic outcome to be delivered before we review any electoral mandate.  Democracies work by decisions being made by the electorate, and those decisions then being delivered by its representatives.  For this reason there MUST NOT be a second referendum. To do so would: 1. Overturn the now re-established sovereignty of our parliament, establishing referenda as a replacement for representative, parliamentary democracy. 2. Potentially create a range of absurd situations, each of which would lead to further chaos. 3. Disenfranchise those who voted leave and won, with the consequential loss of faith in our democracy. 4. Allow our parliament to entirely abdicate their absolute responsibilities in delivering on the referendum result . 5. Whatever the outcome, our negotiating position with E.U. would be irrevocably damaged. We the undersigned demand that our parliament deliver on the referendum result, as in their manifesto commitments and the profound obligation they have to us, and in no circumstances allow a second referendum on EU membership .   

Patrick Duffy
1,319 supporters
Update posted 9 months ago

Petition to David Lidington MP, Jeremy Wright MP

Stop lies in political advertising ahead of a 2nd referendum or snap general election

Problem On the 23rd March many people marched to demand a second referendum. However, as many people now know somehow political advertising is currently free to make wild and unsubstantiated claims. We urgently need you to support our campaign to change this – especially as is does seem possible that there may be a second referendum or snap general election over the next few months. The reason for this is that unlike ads for consumer products, shockingly, campaign material in the UK is not regulated. There’s nowhere to complain to if you come across a dishonest political ad. And with no regulator or body responsible, nobody has the power to remove or give penalties out for political advertising that is misleading. Since we launched in May last year we’ve made significant progress in our campaign. The Chair of the Disinformation & “Fake News’ Inquiry asked late last year for a political ad code including all the 4 points in our plan. The report from the Inquiry also had 2 of our points directly included in their recommendations. It also has a recommendation calling for a “comprehensive review of the current rules and regulations” surrounding political advertising. The Government can ignore the report’s recommendations which has happened frequently with previous reports. Sign this petition to show you demand a positive response to the report’s recommendations. Solution We’ve 4 mutually reinforcing points in our plan. We’ve chosen them as we think they are all both very hard to argue with (so easier to get consensus around) and that they will also have a significant impact.  1.   Require all objective factual claims used in political adverts to be substantiated2.   Give an existing body the power to regulate political advertising content or create a new one to do so3.   Legislate so that all paid-for political adverts can be viewed by the public on a single searchable website (so groups can’t hide dishonest ads from anybody)4.   Require political advertisers to carry an imprint or watermark to show the sponsor of the advert You can read more about what we are proposing here. Thanks for signing this petition now. Personal story Benedict Pringle has run the website for over 10 years and Alex Tait has worked in marketing departments for some of the UK’s biggest companies. They both noticed that in recent elections and referenda more groups were creating more political adverts more often. In the pre-digital era there were relatively few political adverts and it was possible for the media to hold politicians to account for their claims. Whilst a lack of regulation in political advertising would occasionally cause problems, the scale of the issue was small. However the huge growth in social and digital media has meant that many more people are trying to impact the result of elections and it is impossible for the media to be able to hold even a small proportion of actors to account for their claims. Both Alex and Benedict feel that lies in political advertising are contributing to a degradation in political debate, a perpetuation of “fake news” and a decline in the legitimacy of democratic decision-making. Together they founded the Coalition for Reform in Political Advertising. It started in the ad industry but now includes citizens, businesses and not for profits that believe that the open and honest debate of issues facing our country is fundamental to our democracy and who want to reform political advertising legislation to help maintain it.

Benedict & Alex
9,775 supporters