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

    "It's a nice idea."

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

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