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We The People Petition Signature Requirement Bumped To 100,000

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the making-it-harder-to-accomplish-nothing dept.

Government 337

New submitter schneidafunk writes with news that the White House is raising the signature requirement for petitions from 25,000 to 100,000. From the source: "When we first raised the threshold — from 5,000 to 25,000 — we called it 'a good problem to have.' Turns out that 'good problem' is only getting better, so we're making another adjustment to ensure we’re able to continue to give the most popular ideas the time they deserve. ... In the first 10 months of 2012, it took an average of 18 days for a new petition to cross the 25,000-signature threshold. In the last two months of the year, that average time was cut in half to just 9 days, and most petitions that crossed the threshold collected 25,000 signatures within five days of their creation. More than 60 percent of the petitions to cross threshold in all of 2012 did so in the last two months of the year."

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337 comments

IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (5, Funny)

killfixx (148785) | about a year ago | (#42609039)

"We're so pleased at the response, we're going to make it that much more difficult to earn a response from this office. Good luck!"

Shenanigans.

Next stop, 1 Million!

Yay.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609119)

Perhaps if people stopped submitting nonsense petitions there wouldn't be a need to adjust the threshold for an official response.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609501)

Perhaps if they stopped submitting nonsense responses there wouldn't be a need to submit nonsense petitions.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (1)

anomaly256 (1243020) | about a year ago | (#42609643)

Right, because responding with 'No, sorry, but this one is nonsense' is SO time consuming. How on earth can the heads of office be expected to spend tens of seconds a day responding to the less important issues on their mere $200,000 a year salaries?! Obviously it was a clear case of either increase the threshold or increase their salaries to compensate. We all know how The People would cry foul if the poor deprived politicians tried to seek fair compensation for their seconds of hard work per day in the current economic climate.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (5, Insightful)

Your.Master (1088569) | about a year ago | (#42609861)

If the threshold were 1, it would clearly be too time consuming.

If the threshold were 300 million, where you need near-unanimous support, it would not.

Finding the right balance, especially when the response rate is increasing, is nontrivial. You must also consider the petitions that aren't utter nonsense but are stupid or impractical for non-obvious reasons, and the fact that even for valid petitions you can only consider so many unless you want to burn another $200k per year taxpayer money for more help.

I don't know how much time is actually spent on nonsense petitions (I saw a few), bad petitions, etc., and I don't know what a reasonable projection is, but there's no reason to be married to the number 25000. Maybe the right number is more. It might even be less, but I honestly though 25k was a bit low in the age of the Internet. A single tweet from a high-profile celebrity would be almost guaranteed to turn into a petition no matter what its merits.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42609831)

Perhaps if people stopped submitting nonsense petitions there wouldn't be a need to adjust the threshold for an official response.

Exactly.

Death Stars? Really?
Thanks a lot all you idiots that jumped on that bandwagon! Nice Job.

You've proven to the elected officials that constituents should be ignored. Happy now?

Equal bitchslaps are deserved by this administration for agreeing that any obviously ridiculous request gets consideration if it shows up in the in-box with enough idiots signing on.

The US has a republican form of government [wikipedia.org] , a Representative Democracy, because the founding fathers foresaw this level of idiocy.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609133)

Or in other words "You're giving us too much work. Here, we're making it so we only have to answer like... 3 things a year."

Y'know guys... if there's an overwhelming number of petitions to dramatically change things, maybe, just maybe, you should consider actually fixing shit that's constantly being petitioned about instead of saying "no, fuck you", and closing the petition.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609201)

Y'know guys... if there's an overwhelming number of petitions to dramatically change things, maybe, just maybe, you should consider actually fixing shit that's constantly being petitioned about instead of saying "no, fuck you", and closing the petition.

Okay. How about if there's an overwhelming number of petitions for ridiculous garbage like building Death Stars or annexing Canada? What should they consider doing then?

I'm thinking they should raise the number of signatures that trigger a response, but that's just me.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609287)

How about if there's an overwhelming number of petitions for ridiculous garbage like building Death Stars or annexing Canada? What should they consider doing then?

Clearly they should send all Canadians up on the Death Star so we can have their land and natural resources.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (4, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year ago | (#42609439)

Okay. How about if there's an overwhelming number of petitions for ridiculous garbage like building Death Stars or annexing Canada? What should they consider doing then?

Build the Death Star, then use it to annex Canada

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (1)

causality (777677) | about a year ago | (#42609475)

Y'know guys... if there's an overwhelming number of petitions to dramatically change things, maybe, just maybe, you should consider actually fixing shit that's constantly being petitioned about instead of saying "no, fuck you", and closing the petition.

Okay. How about if there's an overwhelming number of petitions for ridiculous garbage like building Death Stars or annexing Canada? What should they consider doing then?

I'm thinking they should raise the number of signatures that trigger a response, but that's just me.

They should ignore the petitions about "building Death Stars" and respond to the realistic ones, such as legalizing marijuana.

This is not difficult.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609531)

I'm pretty sure that building a Death Star is more realistic, actually.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (2)

gnoshi (314933) | about a year ago | (#42609619)

They should ignore the petitions about "building Death Stars" and respond to the realistic ones, such as legalizing marijuana.
This is not difficult.

I can't tell if you're being funny or not, but actually you've hit the nail on the head: it isn't always easy to differentiate serious and 'humorous' petitions. Legalizing marijuana is a real issue for many people, and I think the current criminalization in so many countries is a terrible idea, but such a petition could equally be created as a joke.

Also, what is crazy (not humorous, but properly nuts) to one person is not crazy to another. e.g. a petition to deport someone for their views on gun control. Crazy? Yes, I think so, but those putting it up didn't think so. Needs a response? Equally, yes.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (2)

m3000 (46427) | about a year ago | (#42609655)

They did respond to the marijuana one. They just didn't give the answer the people who signed it wanted.

I'm kind of baffled why people were shocked they got a response that said they weren't interested in legalizing marijuana, when that was ALWAYS his point of view. It's not like they didn't already know some good percentage of people want it legal, but a petition of 25,000 people isn't going to automatically change policy all of the sudden if they don't want to do that.

I always saw the petition site as a way to force a response from the administration on some topic, not a way to force them to change their minds on that stance.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#42609585)

Maybe they should consider building the stinkin death star so that people can shut up about it.

I mean here I thought we were a democracy.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about a year ago | (#42609891)

I mean here I thought we were a democracy.

Nope. Never was meant to be one. Try again.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609613)

*GASP* Heaven forbid they have to use humour to answer a humorous petition once or twice a year. Why, this is an outrage, and they should be allowed NO smiles!

If they get a blatantly obviously funny petition, answer it in a funny manner. What's so fucking hard about that? That way, you don't just tell people "this is too much work, go fuck yourselves" by raising the limit.

Besides, the single only reason there's "joke" petitions is because everyone has figured out that they don't give even the slightest of two shits about actually listening to any of the "real" ones.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#42609727)

Or in other words "You're giving us too much work. Here, we're making it so we only have to answer like... 3 things a year."

Y'know guys... if there's an overwhelming number of petitions to dramatically change things, maybe, just maybe, you should consider actually fixing shit that's constantly being petitioned about instead of saying "no, fuck you", and closing the petition.

There are 150M registered voters in the USA (out of around 200M eligible voters). Raising the petition limit to 0.067% of registered voters doesn't seem out of line and helps keep down the noise to allow more thorough answers to the petitions that do make the cut.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (5, Funny)

biek (1946790) | about a year ago | (#42609143)

There's no way there are 75,000 more people on the internet with nothing to do.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609153)

Or, "Try taking this shit seriously, idiots. You're given a chance and you ruin it".

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609447)

Ironically, there was a petition that got WELL over the required number of signatures but was quietly swept under the rug... something along the lines of "stop giving do-nothing answers and take the petitions seriously."

So clearly according to you, that line of thought can only go in one direction. They can take the suggestions as un-seriously as possible, but when the shoe's on the other foot... well shit, gotta punish people.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609207)

In my country, Switzerland, the initiative requirement is 100k. Admittedly, the it's quite a difference (the initiative causes a binding popular vote), but it's a thorouhgly proven systen and with a roughly 50x bigger population the US probably wouldn't do too badly with a limit of 5 Million. You'd have to build up a comparable communication and voting infrastructure first, though ;)

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#42609307)

Yes, but aside from the racism, Swiss democracy is working. Not so in the U.S. How we can have a democracy where 90% of people are unsatisfied with the net results(at least for congress) is baffling.

(I guess that's kind of like saying, "aside from the feces in it, this sandwich is delicious" though)

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609417)

Compromise is everyone agree to be unhappy with the results.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (1)

peeping_Thomist (66678) | about a year ago | (#42609459)

It's possible to have a democracy in which every decision is made by majority rule, but the majority is dissatisfied with the majority of the decisions. You just have to have a small percentage that wins all the time.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (2)

jez9999 (618189) | about a year ago | (#42609563)

What racism? Do you mean the ban on minarets? That isn't racism.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (1)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about a year ago | (#42609683)

In the US if you have 5 million voters seriously motivated on a topic you can bet it will get some attention, as that is about 5% of the people who are likely to vote in any given election. 5% is PLENTY enough to win you practically any national election in US history.

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609667)

How is this whole thing not the equivalent of distracting people with stupid petitions while they are dismantling the Bill of Rights?

Re:IOW, we're making it harder get a response... (3, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#42609761)

Does it really matter? It's a piece of theater to placate idiots into thinking anything they have to say -- even in numbers -- means a shit. Make it five people. Make it a million. It's irrelevant.

YOU there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609077)

Stop Collaborating!

Translation (4, Insightful)

longbot (789962) | about a year ago | (#42609097)

"We got tired of answering crazy shit like building a Death Star or putting a Starbucks on the moon, so we want to make it more difficult for the people to express crazy shit while still looking like we give a damn about them."

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609371)

"We got tired of answering crazy shit like building a Death Star or putting a Starbucks on the moon, so we want to make it more difficult for the people to express crazy shit while still looking like we give a damn about them."

As a Tax Paying Citizen, I'm disappointed they acknowledged the crazy questions in the first place.

Re:Translation (3, Insightful)

Rhacman (1528815) | about a year ago | (#42609457)

And the sad thing is that in all likelyhood raising the threshold will just filter out more of the reasonable petitions in favor of the pop-culture distractions and other bat shit crazy petitions.

Re:Translation (1)

Bureaucromancer (1303477) | about a year ago | (#42609833)

And what's the problem with this? The system is intended for serious discussion, and when it becomes so easy for stupid shit to get through why NOT raise the threshold? It's not as if answering these things doesn't take significant time and effort.

Thanks to the jokesters (4, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#42609101)

Thanks to those who started petitions for Master Chief statues, roaming motorcycle gangs of justices, and Death Stars. Without you folks making jokes out of serious attempts to make political headway on important issues, we might not have had our collective voices diluted. Making a mockery of those interested in forcing the white house to defend, or oppose, or otherwise make a solid stand of issues sure is helpful.

Let's see what nonsense you can come up with to raise that threshold from 100,000 to 250,000.

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609155)

looool. You think this site was about making political headway on important issues.

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609463)

looool. You think this site was about making political headway on important issues.

laughing out out out out loud? do you type-stutter?

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609517)

There were five Os; do you count?

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609161)

Challenge...ACCEPTED!

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (4, Insightful)

waspleg (316038) | about a year ago | (#42609169)

People only did this because they ignored the real petitions and even most of the ones they answer are canned bullshit PR responses. It's a gimmick to make you think they care at all in any way whatsoever what you think.

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (2)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#42609707)

People only did this because they ignored the real petitions and even most of the ones they answer are canned bullshit PR responses. It's a gimmick to make you think they care at all in any way whatsoever what you think.

Which I think is part of the accidental brilliance of the program. It lays bare the spinworks in play in politics. When you see a political advertisement that goes on and on about how much some candidate cares about YOU and your problems, here is the undeniable indisputable evidence of a government that doesn't give a crap about you.

The best image in the spirit of this revelation is this one [pinterest.com] IMO.

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609183)

Who gives a crap? The government certainly doesn't. Any petition worth signing will either be ignored or given a BS reply.

Have any of the petitions actually resulted in positive action?

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42609187)

Making a mockery of those interested in forcing the white house

As if this is bad? The point is awareness that unless you pay money, nothing will change. Making a joke about a joke is not bad.

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (5, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#42609291)

Making jokes out of serious attempts to make political headway on important issues

Ah hahahahahahaha.

Wait, you're serious? The jokes are the only ones getting attention because people have realised just how pointless putting a real issue up for debate is. Bring up anything remotely important, and all you'll get is the canned response about how the current policies are best.

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (2)

jd.schmidt (919212) | about a year ago | (#42609829)

Making jokes out of serious attempts to make political headway on important issues

Ah hahahahahahaha.

Wait, you're serious? The jokes are the only ones getting attention because people have realised just how pointless putting a real issue up for debate is. Bring up anything remotely important, and all you'll get is the canned response about how the current policies are best.

Well, I know you are making a joke, but this is worth responding to.

The Whitehouse response is probably the least important part of the petition process. Politicians of all stripes are more than willing to give their ideas and opinions to you (well, what they claim to be but close enough). Really, read whitehouse.gov or either party's web sites. They are just full of stuff the politicians want to tell you and why their solutions to whatever problems is best. You may not like it or find is unsatisfying, but that is the product you are voting for.

The petition process is by definition just a chance for the general public to get their voice heard. No more. Think online town hall.

Also I think the idea of a negative vote on a petition is very interesting.

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609311)

I'd hardly call these petitions a "serious attempt to make political headway." People figured out pretty early on, from responses like that to the highly earnest pot legalization petition, that the White House was basically going to be using these things to trot out boilerplate responses and the occasional cutesy "haha, Star Wars reference" fluff piece. Better that people recognize these petition responses for the pointless PR exercise they are than labor under the delusion that this (or any) administration cares that a few thousand people have signed a viral internet petition. If you want to actually influence the policy of either political party on a federal level, you better bring a few hundred million dollars (or a few thousand swing state voters) to the table.

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (2)

synapse7 (1075571) | about a year ago | (#42609359)

Does it matter, has there ever been any response to "important topics"? I think it is all for show.

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#42609367)

What does it say when it's far FAR easier to find 25,000 people willing to support a joke cause than to find 25,000 people willing to tackle actual issues? The fact is, raising it just puts it further and further out of reach for the people with actual issues that need to be addressed, whereas it'll never be that difficult to find tens of thousands of Internet folks interested in trolling or being silly. Now that that site has become more well-known, it's getting easier and easier for people to recruit friends for nonsense petitions.

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609513)

Let's see what nonsense you can come up with to raise that threshold from 100,000 to 250,000.

"In consideration of the lack of potential for harm, combined with the inordinate cost of enforcement and imprisonment, and the ensuing fiscal strain on both federal, state, and local budgets, the DEA shall be ordered to remove cannabis and its derivatives from all schedules of controlled substances."

Or even 1,000,000, or 2,500,000.

I don't smoke the shit, I probably won't smoke it even if I live long enough to see it legalized. I'm just sick of having to pay a fortune in taxes to lock up the people who do.

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (5, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | about a year ago | (#42609515)

Thanks to those who started petitions for Master Chief statues, roaming motorcycle gangs of justices, and Death Stars. Without you folks making jokes out of serious attempts to make political headway on important issues, we might not have had our collective voices diluted.

You have it exactly backward. People did take it seriously. Only when it became apparent that the administration did not also take it seriously, did we begin to deliberately mock the system with these made-up issues. It is clear the administration doesn't care what petitioners are saying. By filling the queue with ridiculous nonsense we are perpetrating a satire designed to expose the false nature of the thing.

When the administration takes it seriously then we will also. We started in good faith and received only bullshit in response. Now we're feeding the bullshit back into the system.

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (4, Informative)

sootman (158191) | about a year ago | (#42609787)

Mod parent up. I came here to say the same thing. Once they demonstrated that they weren't going to give meaningful answers to serious questions, it turned into "well, we may as well use this to entertain ourselves."

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609541)

That's because the serious ones get a response that boils down to FOAD (when they are respectful enough of the people to even give that much response).

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/addressing-legalization-marijuana

That was addressing THREE petitions, the largest of which got over three times the required number of signatures (almost making enough to meet the NEW requirement) all of which significantly broke the required number at the time. What was the "response?" A complete dodge of the question written by someone who stood to lose a significant amount of his power had there been real action on this.

The response was a joke, and showed for all that the entire site has been a joke from day one. I applaud those who post and sign the "ridiculous" petitions, I consider it a mass performance piece accentuating through irony the (lack of) value of the "we the people" site.

And the WH isn't BS'ing? (5, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#42609749)

Because responding to a petition to eliminate (or reform -- I can't remember) the TSA by having the HEAD OF THE F***ING TSA tell us about the awesomeness of his department, and completely ignoring the issues raised by the petitioners isn't making a joke of the process?

Re:Thanks to the jokesters (1)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year ago | (#42609767)

Thanks to those who started petitions for Master Chief statues, roaming motorcycle gangs of justices, and Death Stars. Without you folks making jokes out of serious attempts to make political headway on important issues, we might not have had our collective voices diluted. Making a mockery of those interested in forcing the white house to defend, or oppose, or otherwise make a solid stand of issues sure is helpful.

Let's see what nonsense you can come up with to raise that threshold from 100,000 to 250,000.

Here is the Death Star petition, take a look before it expires.
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/isnt-petition-response-youre-looking [whitehouse.gov]

well played white house (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609111)

at 9 days for 25,000 (if that rate is sustainable) were looking at 36 days to hit 100,000 on a 30 day petition... well played white house

Re:well played white house (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year ago | (#42609589)

Yes, the average petition currently wouldn't make the cut at 100,000 signatures in the allotted time-frame. They're trying to cut back the number they are required to address; isn't eliminating the current average ones sort of the point?

Time to sign the Aaron Swartz prosecutor petition (3, Interesting)

mellon (7048) | about a year ago | (#42609129)

This petition [whitehouse.gov] , asking the White House to censure the prosecutor responsible for Aaron Swartz' felony case, will need a lot more signatures if they apply this standard to it. So now would be a good time to go sign it.

Re:Time to sign the Aaron Swartz prosecutor petiti (1)

Minwee (522556) | about a year ago | (#42609243)

This petition [whitehouse.gov] , asking the White House to censure the prosecutor responsible for Aaron Swartz' felony case, will need a lot more signatures if they apply this standard to it. So now would be a good time to go sign it.

Tomorrow would be a good time too, since the limit only applies to _new_ petitions, not existing ones.

If you look at the link you provided, it clearly states that the goal was 25,000, not 100,000.

Re:Time to sign the Aaron Swartz prosecutor petiti (2)

mellon (7048) | about a year ago | (#42609455)

Doesn't mean they won't increase the limit for existing petitions. And in any case, it would be really great if this petition made it to 100k, because it would be taken more seriously. If not by the White House, then by the press, which has started paying attention to these petitions.

Re:Time to sign the Aaron Swartz prosecutor petiti (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609747)

I'd rather sign a petition to remove the prosecutor who keeps shutting down [google.com] my favorite weed shops.

Good for them (2)

jd.schmidt (919212) | about a year ago | (#42609147)

I can get 25,000 people to sign a petition that the world is flat and that everyone should be required to wear their underwear on the outside of their clothes. Yes, that is one petition that says both of those.

A milion people willing to click to support an idea is still less than 1% of the U.S. population. For an online poll 100,000 is very reasonable.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609471)

100,000 has always been the requirement for the UK's equivalent

Re:Good for them (1)

gnoshi (314933) | about a year ago | (#42609649)

A proportion of voting-age people, sampled at the beginning of each year, could be a good way to go.
The downside being that as population increases, the ability to effectively organise doesn't necessarily scale identically.

It's a practical development (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#42609175)

I'd rather them raise the cap and actually look at petitions than leave it low and just give lip service to them.

Re:It's a practical development (1)

Marcion (876801) | about a year ago | (#42609245)

I'd rather them raise the cap and ... just give lip service to them.

Well you will get half of what you want. I doubt you will get the other half.

Re:It's a practical development (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42609331)

I'd rather them raise the cap and actually look at petitions than leave it low and just give lip service to them.

This isnt the dichotomy we are presented with.

What they are doing is raising the cap while continuing to not look at any petitions seriously.

My challenge to slashdot is to cite a single We The People petition that was actually taken seriously by the administration.

How about a petition to lower the requirement? (5, Funny)

Forever Wondering (2506940) | about a year ago | (#42609185)

Getting 100,000 signatures on a petition to lower the requirement to 50,000 might have just the right touch of irony ...

Re:How about a petition to lower the requirement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609409)

I'd like a petition to have the government take the petitions seriously.

Re:How about a petition to lower the requirement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609577)

Someone tried that a few years ago - http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/11/04/petition-asks-white-house-to-take-petitions-seriously/

It got taken down.

Re:How about a petition to lower the requirement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609595)

If the petitions were weren't either silly or batshit crazy, maybe it would.

But "We the People" had that opportunity, and pissed it away on things like "Build a Deathstar".

What happens when it gets to 70 million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609247)

Wouldn't this mean that if the majority of Americans wanted a Death Star...then a Death Star they shall have? If no action is taken then impeachment!!! Maybe the government is just compiling a list of people who's votes should be filtered out if they sign a petition that the government is not to keen on? Maybe they are compiling a list of people who aren't following suit and should be dealt with? I say tacos for all...

Re:What happens when it gets to 70 million? (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about a year ago | (#42609697)

Maybe the government is just compiling a list of people who's votes should be filtered out if they sign a petition that the government is not to keen on?

That is one reason, among several good reasons, why we have a secret ballot [wikipedia.org] .

Be assured that anyone wishing to change that has malicious intentions, no matter what excuse they provide.

Still to low... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609277)

Bump it to 250,000 signatures. If we're going to take this whole idea seriously, talking to the White House here, bump it to a significant amount already. That would be roughly, 1 out of every 1250 supporting official comment on a matter.

I'm reminded of a Mel Brooks movie... (0)

Mindragon (627249) | about a year ago | (#42609309)

Dark Helmet: 25,000 people is too low.
Colonel Sandurz: 25,000 is too low?
Dark Helmet: Yes, we'll have to go right to... 100,000 people!
Colonel Sandurz: 100,000? Sir, we've never gone that far before! I don't know if the people can take it!
Dark Helmet: What's the matter Colonel Sandurz? Chicken?
Colonel Sandurz: Prepare the people -- Prepare the people for 100,000! Fasten all seat belts, seal all entrances and exits, close all shops in the mall! Cancel the three ring circuis! Secure all animals in the zoo!

Waste of time (1)

Tenek (738297) | about a year ago | (#42609335)

You can't raise the threshold high enough to weed out the stupid ideas because a lot of them are popular - the Texas succession petition got 125k. That said, the petition system was never going to be useful in the first place, so at least we're not using anything valuable.

actually, a waste of money! (1)

mschaffer (97223) | about a year ago | (#42609509)

Maybe the White House is coming to their senses. Giving it away for free is more work, while small, one-on-one meetings with a fat check are more productive.

Whats the point of a petition without negative (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year ago | (#42609369)

I'm sure it'd be easy to get a couple million signatures on something controversial. Why not enable negative signatures?

Mandatory Hearing in Congress (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year ago | (#42609375)

What about higher thresholds with bigger results?
Spitballing the specifics:
Get 10 million and news networks need to devote time to its discussion.
Get 50 million and it needs to go before congress as a bill.

Ironic and sad (1)

bjdevil66 (583941) | about a year ago | (#42609507)

Even tools that are only supposed to make us FEEL like we have a voice in government are being lifted out of the average Joe's reach and placed only in the hands of those with resources (i.e. money, and/or people).

It's even more ironic that this is (by chance) being done during Obama's presidency. The voice of the people was gonna be heard under this president. It was gonna be different. Riiiiiight...

Re:Ironic and sad (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#42609669)

Anyone that thinks an ultra rich man will work "for the people" is a complete and utter moron.

There is one way to fix washington. Eliminate Voting. All senate, judge, and executive offices are filled by random lottery at gun point. If you are chosen to serve, you can not say no. we will come to your home on Nov2 and forcibly take you to washington where you will work in the government for 4 years. then you get to go home.

Random = fair and it will eliminate all politics. I also suggest marines to shoot on sight any lobbiest, any person in the lottery found to be taking bribes will be hung from the gallows on the steps of the capitol and their body left there for 30 days.

On Jan 1 of the next year a random assignment of all offices is handed out and they MUST put in a 40 hour work week every week without breaks for 4 years.

Re:Ironic and sad (1)

Bremic (2703997) | about a year ago | (#42609737)

As a non-US citizen, the situation there seems to be.
Democrat: We need 100,000 signatures to care about what you are saying.
Republican: We need 100,000 dollars to care about what you are saying.

It doesn't make you all look good when the serious petitions get ignored and the stupid fatuous distractions get so mach attention. Still, I am glad you have a system where you can raise a petition AND get promised an answer if you can get enough support - and it doesn't have to be political or financial support. I wish more countries had that.

Why We Won't (2)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#42609573)

They should change the name from "We The People" to "Why We Won't Listen".

I mean, seriously - has any petition on that site been acted upon? Does the number of petitioners even matter?

The site was only a stop-gap measure to give people hope in the credibility of the federal government. It's run its course as people have realized how pointless it is.

It was total PR, it's purpose was to address growing anger at the federal government and defuse some of the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations.

Change the method, not the volume (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609587)

How about don't raise the amount of signatures required, but require them to be, ya know, actual signatures on actual pieces of paper. Yeah, petitions by mail can be gamed too, but at least this way they might reduce the number of frivolous '1-click' petitioners while also not looking like they are reducing access to the government.

It was a waste of time from the start (2)

mrjimorg (557309) | about a year ago | (#42609661)

If the president likes the idea, he will do it. If he doesn't, he will dismiss it out of hand. It doesn't matter what the petition says of how many signatures it gets. It only serves to act as propaganda to bolster any idea that he likes. The colonists had an equal chance to petition their king over 200 years ago - and the result would have been the same.

Has any petition resulted in actual action? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#42609725)

Or has the response to each one on this website typically been something along the lines of "No, and here's why not"?

Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42609739)

It's all joke petitions, I haven't seen an actual response to a legitimate one.

Why did they bother? (1)

Len (89493) | about a year ago | (#42609757)

They haven't been replying to all the petitions that met the requirements, so why do they need to raise the requirements?

Seems appropriate (1)

davesque (1911272) | about a year ago | (#42609763)

If we waste their time with death star petitions, this seems like a totally natural move on their part.
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