Guest Post: On the Art and Technology of Petition Publishing

London: My first petition was a response to the “Credit Crunch” - Stop the Cash Crumble to Equalize the Credit Crunch – in May 2008. The text was targeted at the Treasury Select Committee, for that was the advice I had been given: “go for Parliamentary scrutiny via the Treasury Select Committee”.  But what did the petition achieve? 235 signatures with more than 12,000 page views. Somewhere I read that petitions with less than 200 signatures are not taken seriously in Downing Street.

We had 200 signatures in April 2009, when the election was due and thus a new Treasury Select Committee. Hence the petition actually remains to be “exploited”.  Meanwhile, we got 1,316 signatures for Stop the Oppression of the British People – with 8,900 page views – but due to the avid promotion by one particular person. In our age where only numbers count, preferably big ones, I console myself with the awareness that goes with viewing and reading a petition. 

I have taken great pride in the collections of comments which have become the most wonderful literary by-product. They are a different kind of ‘web product’ than blog comments. Collated and grouped, they are a remarkable expression of likemindedness in our times. Together with the number of signatures, I have sent the comments not just to the ‘targets’ of our petitions, but also to lots of other ‘people in high places’, besides mentioning the links in emails and blog posts.

I have written to Buckingham Palace and other fine addresses often enough to know that their answers do not matter. What matters is that they’ve been told. They must know what’s going on, besides what they read in the mainstream media.  

All in all, I’ve got 4 petitions going. The first 2, speak on behalf of victims as to the effects of unsustainable monetary policies. The subsequent 2, addressing misguided monetary policy as the cause of financial and economic ills in our society.

1.  WANTED: Fair Trials and Compensation with > 3,900 page views, > 230 signatures and these most interesting comments (since November 2010);   

2.  Stop the Oppression of the British People with > 8,900 page views, > 1310 signatures and these wonderful comments (since March 2010).   

3.  Financial Fairness for Taxpayers and Voters with > 3,600 page views, > 45 signatures and neat comments (since March 2009);    

4.  Stop the Cash Crumble to Equalize the Credit Crunch with > 12,300 page views, > 230 signatures and very intelligent comments (since May 2008).  

As all the issues are long term, the petitions will never be closed and I shall email signatories every so often. For I see signers as another kind of ‘community’ that the web creates. People who support the same causes are likeminded. They mean what they write as comment on a petition or a blog.  They are not by-standers. But only 17% opened the email I sent to the 196 signers of WANTED: Fair Trials and Compensation. Maybe comments are more valuable than email addresses? Only time will tell!  

Sabine K McNeill
Forum for Stable Currencies
Most supported petition: Stop the oppression of the British people