[LINK] Electronic petitions to Parliament

Marghanita da Cruz marghanita at ramin.com.au
Wed Mar 2 17:17:19 AEDT 2011

Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> On 1/03/2011 10:21 AM, Philip Argy wrote:
>> John Murphy, Member for Reid, mentioned in this speech to Federal Parliament
>> yesterday that electronic petitions were imminent:
>> http://www.openaustralia.org/debates/?id=2011-02-28.16.1&s=speaker%3A10473#g
>> 16.2 - not before time!  Surprisingly, no mention of Government 2.0 and the
>> work that Kate Lundy and Pia Waugh (and many LINKers) have done in that
>> space.
>> Philip
> Petitions were useful in the days when communications between the 
> citizenship and the government were generally slow and non-coherent. A 
> petition solved (or helped to solve) the problem of drawing the 
> attention of the executive to concerns held by groups of people, the 
> size of the petition being an indicator of the size of the group. It 
> also brought a degree of coherence to the message.
> In today's communications rich environment, does that problem still 
> exist? What problem does an e-petition solve?

> It is the right of any person or organisation to petition Parliament. Petitions generally express views on matters of public policy and ask the Parliament to take—or, in some cases, not to take—a particular course of action.
> The presentation of a petition to the Senate is a proceeding in Parliament and is protected by parliamentary privilege. The publication of a petition before presentation is not similarly protected. (See Chapter 2, Australian Senate Practice, Parliamentary Privilege, Circulation of petitions.)

Secondly, I came across two petitions last year, both to 
local councils. Then there was this - interesting as to 
whether the petion should be presented directly to 
parliament or Senator Conroy - but I guess it was him they 
were petitioning in the first instance:
>  An army of volunteers stood outside Glebe Post Office talking to residents getting signatures for the petition. As a result, we had a very successful rally with close to 600 residents in attendance. Speakers included the State Member Verity Firth, Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Councillor Meredith Burgmann, Sofi Lidgren, President Glebe Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Member Tanya Plibersek.  At the rally, petitions with nearly 5,000 signatures were handed to Tanya Plibersek in order that she hand them to Senator Conroy when Parliament resumed.
> At this point in time, it is not clear if members of the public are aware of Australia Post’s decision. Members can still write to Senator Conroy and Ahmed Fahour, CEO of Australia Post and to David Mortimer, the Chair of Australia Post Board. It is important to ask the hard questions for which we seek answers.


> Anyway, those working in the field may already know about the EU - 
> EuroPetition project. More details are at 
> <http://itc.napier.ac.uk/ITC/ProjectInfo.asp?ID=34>.
Marghanita da Cruz
Tel: 0414-869202

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