New We The People Petition Asks White House To Respond To Eligible Petitions Within 30 Days

from the yo-dawg-i-herd-you-like-petition-responses... dept

This is what happens when you ignore the public. Are you happy, We the People?


Respond to all petitions that get over 100k signatures within one month. petitions were intended to give the public a voice. The idea is that if more than 100,000 people all feel strongly enough about something to hand over their home address and personal email to the government and complete a nearly impossible CAPTCHA, then the President of the United States should have to respond to them. Because… democracy.

Here’s the problem: there are dozens of petitions that have received more than 100k signatures, but have gone months and even years without a response (1). That’s not improving transparency, it’s the same gov’t spin we’ve always had. So what will it, Obama, hypocrisy or democracy? Sign!

It’s a nice idea. There are petitions that appear to be permanently stuck to the administration’s backburner while others that haven’t even met the 100k signature threshold have been answered simply because the White House has a canned response on hand.

Others require more thoughtful answers or (would) force the administration to take a stance on controversial issues, something it clearly would rather not do. The average wait for a response has slipped to nearly 300 days. Among the petitions still being actively ignored by the White House are ones dealing with pardoning Edward Snowden and firing the attorney who handled Aaron Swartz’s prosecution.

This new petition, created on April 1st, is clearly tongue-in-cheek. While there are some petitioners who mistake petitions for binding contracts, this probably isn’t one of them. However, it does go meta on the issue, potentially putting the administration in the position of agreeing to address petitions in a timely fashion. This could prove uncomfortable for the White House since it appears it would rather ignore certain petitions until the White House changes hands in 2016.

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Comments on “New We The People Petition Asks White House To Respond To Eligible Petitions Within 30 Days”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I seriously doubt they’re “ignored”…

Lack of response doesn’t mean they weren’t read and brought to the attention of senior staff members.

At the very least, a petition indicating that people are pissed about the petition response process should add one more mark to their already crappy record.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Why wait until after you become president to explain your policies and plans?

And then, when you become President, flip on every campaign promise you made as a presidential candidate. Set up another website for transparency and then ignore it for 300 or more days.

Sounds like the current plan.

Alt0 says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually, CANDIDATES should give THEIR response to the outstanding petitions during their campaigns!

I will be a BETTER president than Obama because…
I stand for the transparency that you were promised and never received.
Here is where I stand on (fill in appropriate petition here)

Of course the lying scum that pass as leaders these days would answer with the most popular response, and do whatever they want once elected (like they always do)

Anonymous Coward says:

I’ll never understand why people waste their time with crap like this. As long as the politician of both parties keep getting there jobs handed back to them term after term, most of these petitions are essentially meaningless. If people spent even half the time working to actively replace memeber of both parties (and for all their rhetoric along party platforms, I’ve seen very little difference in the actual actions of people like Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein, or Obama and Bush) we might have a functional government.

McCrea (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s the government wasting our time, both directly and indirectly. You can continue to let them waste time, or express that you are not content with the status quo. Perhpas once they realize more people are angered by the website than are passified, they will stop the charade and take the website down, and go back to doing nothing in private rather than doing nothing in public, which, I guess, is the apparent purpose of the site.

Franklin G Ryzzo (profile) says:

I can understand your frustration, but every step of activism, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction. Today it may be signing a petition, tomorrow it may be donating to support an activist organization, and who knows… one day it may even be voting. It’s these first steps that help encourage people to be more active in their own government, and because of that it’s not a waste of time. Sitting around complaining about how terrible things are without taking any action is the true waste of time.

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