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We The People Petition Signature Requirement Bumped To 100,000 337

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the making-it-harder-to-accomplish-nothing dept.
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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We The People Petition Signature Requirement Bumped To 100,000

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  • by killfixx (148785) * on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:35PM (#42609039) Journal

    "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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:40PM (#42609119)

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

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:04PM (#42609501)

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

        • by smitty97 (995791) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:22PM (#42609781)
          But we really wanted a Death Star!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          In a democracy *the people* are the arbiters of what is 'nonsense' and what is not. Not some jumped up bureaucrat or an AC fascist apologist. While I might not agree with the Death Star petition, nor the Sharia for USA petition, it doesn't mean that people shouldn't have the chance to put anything to their fellow citizens and have the White House consider them without raising the threshold to un-democratically restrictive levels.
          • by dnahelicase (1594971) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:42PM (#42610055)

            In a democracy *the people* are the arbiters of what is 'nonsense' and what is not. Not some jumped up bureaucrat or an AC fascist apologist. While I might not agree with the Death Star petition, nor the Sharia for USA petition, it doesn't mean that people shouldn't have the chance to put anything to their fellow citizens and have the White House consider them without raising the threshold to un-democratically restrictive levels.

            I think people should be allowed to put anything forward, and they still can, the threshold is just bigger before the White House will recognize it.

            Given how these have taken off, I don't feel like this is unreasonable or in any way undemocratic. If it only takes about a week to get 25k, it seems like 100k should be in reach if its a half decent petition.

            I mean, isn't that around 0.03% of the population? Up from around 0.008%?

          • by oGMo (379) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:51PM (#42610197)

            In a democracy *the people* are the arbiters of what is 'nonsense' and what is not.

            Don't make me laugh. If popular news media, slashdot, and 4chan are any indication of anything, it's that "nonsense" appeals far more than "sense". A lot of people are going to vote for something because they think it's funny.

            If the majority of people were reliable arbiters of sense, we'd have a lot fewer problems in the world.

          • by johnny cashed (590023) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:53PM (#42610239) Homepage
            Check your facts, the USA is a democratic republic . It is not a pure, mob rule democracy. And that is a good thing.
            • A democratic republic is a pure democracy, as pure as all other forms of democracy. It is only not a direct democracy.

          • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:55PM (#42610283) Homepage Journal

            In a democracy

            This isn't a democracy - it's a Constitutional Republic with democratically elected Representation. Worlds of difference.

            While I might not agree with the Death Star petition, nor the Sharia for USA petition, it doesn't mean that people shouldn't have the chance to put anything to their fellow citizens and have the White House consider them without raising the threshold to un-democratically restrictive levels.

            Caveat - I completely agree.

            However, you don't need democracy for that - the Constitution guarantees your right, as an individual, to petition the government for redress of grievances. [wikipedia.org] Group participation is not a requirement.

            • by MatrixCubed (583402) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:30PM (#42610791) Homepage
              Bloody peasant.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by NeutronCowboy (896098)

              This isn't a democracy - it's a Constitutional Republic with democratically elected Representation. Worlds of difference.

              Ugh. Here's a quick refresher on terminology:
              Republic [wikipedia.org]. Or at least a very good overview of the definitions that you'll find in dictionaries.
              Democracy [wikipedia.org]. Or at least a very good overview of the definitions that you'll find in dictionaries.
              A democracy is a subset of a republic. A direct democracy is a subset of both a republic and a democracy. A "Constitutional Republic with democratically elected Representation" is a subset of both a republic and a democracy. You can't have a democracy without a republic, but

              • by GNious (953874)

                You can't have a democracy without a republic

                Crap, I thought the Scandinavian countries were democracies...

      • 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
        • by Your.Master (1088569) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:26PM (#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.

      • by icebike (68054) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:25PM (#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.

        • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:55PM (#42610273) Journal

          The White House itself demonstrated that the petitions were worthless long before any sarcastic petition got approved. 75,000 people asked why Cannabis could not be regulated like alcohol. The White House had the drug czar, who is statutorily prohibited from advocating for drug law reform, respond. He failed to mention alcohol once.

          If the White House won't treat our petitions with respect, why should we treat their petition site with respect?

        • by fafalone (633739) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:06PM (#42610455)
          To be fair the petitions are already a joke. It's not like they've been giving serious responses to anything.
        • by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @10:00PM (#42612165) Homepage Journal

          .

          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?

          I think it was a way for the people to say "you don't seem to take this seriously, so why should we?"
          Name just one petition that caused any change, or even that the government appointed a study group to get facts. This is no better than your congressman's automated canned replies stating how much he values your input, followed by ten lines of text proving that he didn't value it enough to even skim-read it. Well, the difference is that the congressman sends a reply for each petition, while the government is honest enough to admit it ignores individuals (but not honest enough to admit it ignores thousands of them too).

          Sadly, the only way to the government's ears is through a CEO (or, for some presidents, through charlatans like astrologists and reverends).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:47PM (#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.

        • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:00PM (#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

        • by causality (777677)

          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.

          • by gnoshi (314933)

            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. Cr

          • by m3000 (46427)

            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 w

            • by icebike (68054) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:33PM (#42609943)

              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.

              Asking the President to legalize marijuana is the wrong way to go. Just get it on your State ballots and problem solved.
              When enough states legalize it, those representatives and senators will force the feds to legalize it, or withhold all enforcement
              funds until DEA removes it from the banned list.

        • 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.

        • 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?

          How about giving the legitimate petitions real answers, instead of boilerplate political bullshit?

          As I recall, the first few batches of petitions were quite serious indeed, but the answers we received were not. It's hilarious irony - the White House brought this upon themselves, started the idiocy, then bitch about people not taking it seriously.

      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        You mean like building a death star?

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        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.

    • by biek (1946790) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:42PM (#42609143)
      There's no way there are 75,000 more people on the internet with nothing to do.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865)

      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.

      • it did serve a purpose. but not one they intended.

        it proved to us, with no doubts at all, that they DON'T CARE.

        if you didn't know that before, you know it now.

        so, in a way, it was educational to some. many of us knew this was BS all along, but some of you actually did fall for it.

        hopefully, you now realize what kind of government we really have. and this is not about obama; any clown in office basically does the same shit and cares less about the regular people and their needs.

        (btw, when are the fires an

  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by longbot (789962) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {elttobgnol}> on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:39PM (#42609097) Homepage
    "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."
    • by Barryke (772876)

      It also got more rewarding to ask for a mc donalds drivethrough in the pacific ocean.

    • Re:Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rhacman (1528815) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:01PM (#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.
    • 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.
    • Re:Translation (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mrbester (200927) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @07:03PM (#42610415) Homepage

      Everyone is latching on to the Death Star petition (which got a reasonable answer in my opinion. An aide who loves Star Wars took the time to compose that response. Compare with more serious petitions that just got a boilerplate answer).

      I don't think this is about the joke petitions but about the speed of getting 25000 signatories for the removal of publicity hound Carmen Ortiz because of her part in Aaron Swartz's suicide. She's part of The Establishment, they want to keep her so it is far better to raise the bar than address a perceived problem.

      • by Raenex (947668)

        I don't think this is about the joke petitions but about the speed of getting 25000 signatories for the removal of publicity hound Carmen Ortiz because of her part in Aaron Swartz's suicide. She's part of The Establishment, they want to keep her so it is far better to raise the bar than address a perceived problem.

        Failed hypothesis [nbcnews.com]:

        "[..] although petitions already underway as of Wednesday, such as the one to remove the federal prosecutor in the Aaron Swarz case, will only require the original 25,000 for White House review."

        And the petition [whitehouse.gov] has already passed the threshold:

        "SIGNATURES NEEDED BY FEBRUARY 11, 2013 TO REACH GOAL OF 25,000: 0"

        TOTAL SIGNATURES ON THIS PETITION: 39,825"

  • by Applekid (993327) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:40PM (#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.

    • by waspleg (316038) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:44PM (#42609169) Journal

      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.

      • by Applekid (993327)

        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.

    • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:46PM (#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.

    • by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:51PM (#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.

      • 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,

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:52PM (#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.

    • by synapse7 (1075571)
      Does it matter, has there ever been any response to "important topics"? I think it is all for show.
    • 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 frie

    • by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:04PM (#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.

      • by sootman (158191) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:22PM (#42609787) Homepage Journal

        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."

      • by cpm99352 (939350) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:56PM (#42610307)
        There were at least two serious petitions that were blown off - legalization of marijuana and elimination of TSA.

        Kudos to the White House for changing the URLs so that Google searches return bad links, and no search on the petition page.

        Oddly, searching for "Neill Franklin" the author of a petition, returns no results. His petition is discussed here [huffingtonpost.com]

        Searching the White House petition page for "TSA" also returns zero results, despite it having been open for voting [boingboing.net].

        I find it astonishing that anyone with an IQ over 120 supports this administration.
    • by Kindgott (165758)
      I took these petitions seriously once. ONCE.
    • Perpetual kittens, for every citizen. You'll probably crash their site.
    • by sconeu (64226) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:20PM (#42609749) Homepage Journal

      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?

    • by fufufang (2603203)

      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]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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

    • 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?
  • by mellon (7048) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:41PM (#42609129) Homepage

    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.

    • by mellon (7048) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:42PM (#42609141) Homepage

      Crap, broken link. This one should work. [whitehouse.gov]

    • by Minwee (522556)

      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.

      • by mellon (7048)

        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.

  • by jd.schmidt (919212) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:42PM (#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.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:45PM (#42609175)

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

    • by Marcion (876801)

      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.

    • by Rockoon (1252108)

      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.

  • by Forever Wondering (2506940) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:46PM (#42609185)
    Getting 100,000 signatures on a petition to lower the requirement to 50,000 might have just the right touch of irony ...
  • by Krishnoid (984597) * on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:51PM (#42609285) Journal
    The link [whitehouse.gov] is near the end of the article. This is great, because now other entities [slashdot.org] can solicit opinions similarly.
  • 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.
  • I'm sure it'd be easy to get a couple million signatures on something controversial. Why not enable negative signatures?
  • 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.
  • Ensuring only the squeakiest of hinges get the oil.

  • 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...

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      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 s

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @06:08PM (#42609573) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • If your idea goes against the Party, it will not be considered. Thanks!

  • 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.
  • Or has the response to each one on this website typically been something along the lines of "No, and here's why not"?
  • They haven't been replying to all the petitions that met the requirements, so why do they need to raise the requirements?

"Don't discount flying pigs before you have good air defense." -- jvh@clinet.FI

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