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E-petitions website relaunched

August 09, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, internet, Online Marketing, Uncategorized, Website Design

The coalition has relaunched an e-petitions website in a flawed attempt to improve democracy.E-petitions website relaunched Any e-petitions signed by more than 100,000 UK citizens will go to the cross party Commons backbench business committee, which will then decide whether it is worthy of debate.

This does not mean any parliamentary bills will be tabled as a result, simply that the matter will be discussed.

Leader of the House of Commons, Sir George Young, said that the threshold for debating an e-petition could be raised if too many reached the signatures target.

He said: “We do want to monitor it to see if we’ve got the threshold either too high or too low.

“This is a new initiative and we’ve set 100,000 because we think that’s roughly the right target, but if lots and lots of petitions sail through that barrier then we may need to see if it should be higher.

“If none of them are able to reach that target then we may need to lower it.”

The petitions suffer from the same flaw as when Tony Bliar launched the original scheme- there is no ability for people to counter vote for any proposal.

On the plus side at least some MPs will consider any popular petitions, whereas the labour scheme just ignored voters’ requests.

The first e-petitions have focused on the return of the death penalty- with dozens of separate campaigns calling for it.

Other suggestions include keeping all Formula One races on terrestrial TV, leaving the EU and a lower voting age.

One demands that prisoners’ diets be restricted to bread and water, as in the “good old days”, another that bodybuilding should be encouraged to improve the nation’s health.

Since launching on Thursday, the e-petitions site has experienced problems, with about 1,000 people a minute logging on.

A government spokesman said: “We apologise for any inconvenience experienced as people try to access e-petitions – this is a result of greater-than-expected demand.”

The system replaces the previous e-petitions pages on the Downing Street website, set up when Tony Bliar was PM.

The most popular of these, with more than 1.8 million people in support, opposed road pricing.

More than 70,000 backed the one-word suggestion that Gordon Brown should “resign” and almost 50,000 signed up to the idea that TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson should become prime minister.

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