Reality check for petition politics

Prof Honeydew

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Nothing keyboard warriors love better than starting an online petition and then claiming the whole world is behind them. It even gets political recognition in some countries where it can launch a debate in parliament or force a referendum on the electorate once enough numbers have been collected.

But is this a genuine means of public engagement in the issues of the day or just a vehicle for bored snowflakes to create viral outrage over a random issue? When it comes to expressing concern over the travails of Chilean soccer players, actual public response to bedroom megalomania can fall short of expectations..

Alexis Sanchez: More than 14,000 sign up for protest, fewer than 10 turn up - BBC Sport

On a more serious note, does this highlight the stupidity of petition politics? One of the reasons for having legislative assemblies is to allow for reasoned discussion and reflection on the aims and consequences of political decisions. Reducing that to the simplistic knee-jerk outrage of tabloid headlines appears to defeat that purpose.
 


Erudite Caveman

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Actually the whole thing is very Arsenal. Look hugely impressive, then when it matters, don't turn up.
 

Henry94.

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If you attend one march or demonstration in a year you have achieved more than all the keyboard warriors put together.
 

Erudite Caveman

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If you attend one march or demonstration in a year you have achieved more than all the keyboard warriors put together.
And if you engage with you public representatives in a single grown up conversation you'll have achieved more than any protester or march walker.
 

Erudite Caveman

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In fact, if you make a substantial donation to their campaign funding (or extension to their house) you can achieve much bigger things.
 


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