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Online petitions are nothing but an unofficial poll or survey. A "who-cares" popularity contest." They have zero importance, viability, legality- in every state in the country, and especially with regard to national politics.

A popularity contest. Why waste 3-5 minutes filling out an online form that means nothing?

If you want to make a difference in voting rights and laws, do it with a real petition in your state, city or county. Find out your state's requirements to get things on the ballot (somebody please provide a nice universal link for all 50 states).

If you seriously want to get some common sense shit on the ballot next election, you need to give it a name that nobody can say "no" to... How about calling your proposed bill the "Americans for American Rights Act!" Or maybe, the "Ted Nugent Tea Party Americans Act for Americans!"

Be sure to closely look at the laws and "font size regulations" that have to do with getting shit on the ballot... and remember to make the actual law (after the fluff-n-stuff) about ease-of-access to polling/voting.

Really- Your law could be about anything, actually- but calling it something like the "We Love America Act," is like calling any random law the "patriot act."

Personally, I'd like a law banning anybody with a Confederate flag from voting. I believe that is direct proof of treason, just as it would have been for somebody in 1980 flying a soviet flag.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You woke me up for this? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, JamieG from Md, mint julep
  •  You can't dismiss the success of online signature. (6+ / 0-)

    gathering organizations like Color of Change, Change.org., Demand Progress, Credo, the NRDC, and a host of others.

    Online petitions are nothing but an unofficial poll or survey. A "who-cares" popularity contest." They have zero importance, viability, legality- in every state in the country, and especially with regard to national politics.
    They're just another tool, to be used in conjunction with other venues, to bring about political change.

    In my opinion, to tell people their efforts are meaningless doesn't seem at all helpful.

    "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

    by markthshark on Sun May 06, 2012 at 10:53:19 PM PDT

    •  I do dismiss virtually all online petitions (0+ / 0-)

      The success of Moveon, Change.org, etc is not based on their online petitions, it is based on their ability to also raise (and spend) money. They ask you "sign this petition and donate $5" ... a million digital signatures looks pretty as a stat... But $5,000,000 look scary to a a politician if it will be used against them.

      •  Millions of signatures on petitions... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mint julep, VTelder

        have made (and continue to make) a big difference on many issues.

        You're right about one thing: $5 million dollars does a helluva lot of influencing. However, ultimately, all that money can't magically transform into 5 million votes.

        Millions of signatures can... and often do.

        "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

        by markthshark on Mon May 07, 2012 at 07:01:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  To answer the question in your title, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh

    let me suggest that most people are inclined to grant polite requests, especially when it costs them nothing but a bit of time.
    However, the assertion that on-line polls and petitions are meaningless is flat out wrong. "Live" email addresses are worth money to list-sellers, especially when the social/political interests of the persons are known. The addresses are collected, categorized and sold to commercial, political and social organizations, just as addresses used to be sold for bulk mail advertising.  Communications may even be addressed to "occupant," but that doesn't mean the particular proclivities of a householder or renter aren't known.  
    When the GOP political operatives talk about "preparing the ground," one of their central concerns is data collection so they can divine who's likely to vote and who not and for whom.  Then they target supporters and opponents with messages to prompt some and discourage others. It's a bi-partisan enterprise -- two-pronged, pro and con.  In the binary model of reality, for every pro there is a con.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Mon May 07, 2012 at 02:08:33 AM PDT

    •  Excellent reply (0+ / 0-)

      Very good point about the potential dollar value (and fund-raising potential) of the byproducts of only petitions. But the list of names itself has no power, measurable value or scientific validity.

      •  Well, if you're going to be like that, (0+ / 0-)

        let me assert that the dollar has no power, no value and no scientific validity because, although it is a measure of value, it's a relative measure that is always fluctuating. :)

        People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

        by hannah on Mon May 07, 2012 at 11:51:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Online Petitions are often very effective. (7+ / 0-)

    For example, search "Color of Change".

    If you don't want to sign them you don't have to.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Mon May 07, 2012 at 02:57:55 AM PDT

  •  Answer: I don't (0+ / 0-)

    Of course, I don't sign petitions in real life either.  Plenty of harm in our state has been done by Oregon's initiative system, the lifeblood of which is petitions.

  •  Well This Diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulitics, FG, dilireus, Oh Mary Oh

    ...has zero "importance, viability, [or] legality" but you still took the time to write it.  Facebook accomplishes nothing.  DailyKos accomplishes almost nothing. I would estimate that of the sixty zillion trillion jillion hours people spend on the Internet, 48 minutes of "something" is accomplished.

    Why single out online petitions?

    Too Folk For You. - No matter how progressive the jurisdiction seems, remember this: If you're going to flagrantly violate the laws, it REALLY helps to be white when sentencing time comes.

    by TooFolkGR on Mon May 07, 2012 at 06:32:44 AM PDT

  •  I dismiss you and your diary (0+ / 0-)

    Wanting to ban people because you don't share their view tells me everything I need to know about you.
    You sure you're in the right place here?

    El pueblo unido jamás será vencido. The people united will never be defeated

    by mint julep on Mon May 07, 2012 at 07:56:10 AM PDT

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