Feeds

Parliament ponders the weight of e-petitions

Westminster goes all Web 2.0

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A House of Commons committee meets tomorrow to gather evidence on the wisdom of giving electronic petitions the same status as paper petitions.

The House of Commons Procedure Committee will gather to hear evidence tomorrow afternoon from Tom Steinberg, founder of mySociety and the man behind the Prime Minister's e-petitions site, and digital media adviser Tom Loosemore. A further evidence session will take place on 30 January.

In line with the spirit of the inquiry, the committee has set up an e-consultation on the issue of e-petitions, though to date the public doesn't seem to have leapt into this brave new world. At the time of writing there are a paltry nine posts on three subjects.

One poster complains about their experience of the e-petitions run by the Prime Minister's office.

Poster "Perspective Vortex" said that at the end of the consultation period the government emailed everyone who had signed up opposing replacement of Trident nuclear missiles with a message in support of government policy.

The poster explained: "In essence, my petition was used to create a mailing list to assist the government in lobbying the public; I consider myself to have been duped into assisting interest groups opposed to my petition... I consider the e-petitioning system to be a mendacious gimmick with the overall effect of generating political disengagement and cynicism."

10 Downing Street's e-petitions site launched in November 2006 and is still in beta, but has at least gained public support - 41,000 people signed up recently to make Jeremy Clarkson Prime Minister. The Scottish Parliament and several local authorities have also experimented with e-petitions.

To put your views across you can go to the committee forum here.

Paper petitions can be presented formally by a Member of Parliament during an adjournment debate. Petitions can also be presented informally by dropping them in a green bag behind the Speaker's Chair. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.