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Goodbye Democracy? As Online Petitions Suspended

By Monday 21 June 2010Political, Thinking

Is it goodbye to democracy with the new conservative liberal democrats coalition government?

I ask this open question with the recently aquired knowledge that epetitions at No. 10 Downing Street online has been suspended. From their website:

With a new Government in place a review is taking place of online services, including e-petitions. We are committed to improving the e-petitions process and are looking at ways of ensuring that it functions as part of a cohesive approach to public debate and transparent government. A full announcement on how we plan to use these and other services across Government will be made as soon as this important work is completed.

Existing e-petitions, submitted to the previous administration, will not be carried forward to the new administration as part of this process. E-petitions that were live at the time of the election announcement on 6 April, when the e-petitions system was suspended, will therefore not be reopened for signatures. We will respond to e-petitions that had exceeded the 500 signature threshold as of 6 April 2010.
(From:, Last Accessed: 16 June 2010)

I think it´s a real shame this service has been suspended and is being reviewed – with the possibility of being discontinued. It was a way for any UK citizen to tell their goverment what was important to them in a way that was quick, easily and convenient to all.

Despite being poorly promoted and marketed unlike some other of the governments ideas to get people involvement in politics, it was used by thousands who logged on and signed the hundreds of petitions on every area of government policy. Most importantly though petitions were created by your ordinary every day peerson and anyone could set one up.

Labour had set up epetitions, so is it simply that the coalition government didn´t like that fact that it was Labour´s idea? And does this mean that it´s going to be harder to tell the coalition government how we feel about their policies?

Or is it that they are going to come up with more innovative ways for us to express our views on government policy?

What do you think? Leave a comment.


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  • naldran says:

    This is bad! Even though it was very underexposed it was cathartic for many and could have been as purging as a laxitive to remove all the crap that postures as democracy. There was no reason to suspend it and in doing so it looks rather onimous and is, odious.

  • Antony says:


    Thanks for the comment. I´m just waiting to see what the budget tomorrow brings. Me thinks CUTS, CUTS, CUTS. Sound familiar? Last consertive government it sounds like.

    A x

  • Peter says:

    The Labour lot just ignored the petitions though. I think this lot are more honest to say they don’t even want them.
    so check out
    And just if you think they are taking no notice
    Which the public in general has wanted for 10 years and the stupid out of touch Labour party didn’t do.
    (I WAS a member of New Labour – but I was SO SO dissappointed)

  • Antony says:

    Hi Peter,

    Thank you for your really informative post! It was great to read and the links were really informative.

    I was brought up in a Labour household but I agree that often petitions were just ignored and they disappointed me hugely too with the lack of asking and listening to us (the people of the country) who they were suppose to work for.


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