We’re exercising our freedom and taking off the 3rd to celebrate the 4th. See you Monday!Hide

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?

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:

Respond to all Whitehouse.gov petitions that get over 100k signatures within one month.

Whitehouse.gov 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 Whitehouse.gov 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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 1:50pm

    Good petition, lousy timing

    Though I imagine the main idea of this was to make a joke/sarcastic jab, the problem still remains, and having petitions that have met the threshold be completely ignored just highlights how much of a joke that site is, a PR stunt, nothing more, where any serious issues are ignored, and the easy stuff gets a quick answer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Bpat, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 2:09pm

    "created on April 1st" - lol

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 2:23pm

    And why would this one not be ignored until 2016?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 2:27pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 2:31pm

    So what will stop them from ignoring this one?
    >democracy
    haha, good joke, almost got me but it was aprils1

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 2:35pm

    Re:

    Why not indeed... it almost certainly will be.

    The next president in 2016 should make a point of personally answering EVERY single outstanding petition on the site, regardless of their merits... the day they are sworn in. That's what I would do...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Namel3ss (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 2:36pm

    Well, April Fool's or not, I signed it anyway because I agree that those unanswered petitions with 100k+ signatures deserve an answer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Even better, do it as a presidential candidate... Why wait until after you become president to explain your policies and plans?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 3:00pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 3:10pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 3:12pm

    Re:

    Derp... this was meant to be a reply to AC @ 3:10

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 3:15pm

    We the People....

    keep doing stupid shit that means nothing!

    It's a petition site that has ZERO official weight. It can be attended or IGNORED as desired.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 3:45pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 4:18pm

    And if that doesn't work... we... we... we'll...

    Write another petition!

    Like this one:
    "We petition the obama administration to: respond in a timely manner to the petition to respond to petitions in a timely manner."

    That'll teach 'em. Right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Matthew Cline (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 4:26pm

    I wonder if it would be possible to create a paradoxical petition? "Ignore this petition" wouldn't work, since they already ignore petitions that cross the threshold.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    +1

    This is exactly what will happen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    SKT, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 5:10pm

    Yowza

    Nice to see the US government let the American people choose THEIR own destiny.

    Oh, wait. Only Ukrainians and Iraqis get to do that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 5:36pm

    If you thought We the People was anything other than another avenue to push the administration's viewpoint, surely the ignoring of those uncomfortable to address should have told you just what was going on here.

    At the rate it is going, if you want change, you're gonna have to get out in the street to do it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    McCrea (profile), Apr 2nd, 2014 @ 6:58pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Apr 3rd, 2014 @ 3:20am

    Re:

    Epic win indeed!Calling the Govt for the hypocrisy and mocking it with the date. The guy is genius! Also, it's about to reach 100k in its 3rd day of existence, another slap in the face of the Govt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Violynne (profile), Apr 3rd, 2014 @ 3:26am

    "It's a nice idea."

    I don't believe my cynicism need be added. This one sentence says it all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Apr 3rd, 2014 @ 4:57am

    Re: Re:

    It looks a long way from 100k to me. Right now there are 200.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2014 @ 6:34am

    If you want it to get signatures, one way is to upvote the post on Reddit

    http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/223mlg/new_we_the_people_petition_asks_white_house_t o/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Alt0, Apr 3rd, 2014 @ 7:12am

    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)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Alt0, Apr 3rd, 2014 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Bah, too too long typing, lol.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, Apr 3rd, 2014 @ 8:07am

    From the White House:
    That's an interesting idea. Enjoy your yearlong wait for our response.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    limbodog (profile), Apr 3rd, 2014 @ 10:14am

    Here's a petition for you:
    Dear Whitehouse.gov, please stop this farce. Take down this petition website and admit that you are unwilling and unable to justify your actions since the start of this administration.
    signed-
    Embarrassed For You

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Apr 5th, 2014 @ 1:07pm

    Re: We the People....

    It can be attended or IGNORED as desired.

    That's kind of the point of this petition, right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.