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"The petitions site is a bit of a sham" -- depends what you think it's supposed to be. It's not direct democracy, where signing a petition actually gets laws directly onto the statute books, but I do think it's useful to get some dialogue going between people and government that isn't filtered through the media, and that's exactly what happens with the bigger petitions. *And* the dialogue is public too.
If you take the case of the biggest petition to date -- the anti road tax petition with 1.8 million signers -- I think we can safely say that the petition and the publicity it drew was instrumental in the shelving of a 5 billion pound government project.
Now, whether the project should have been shelved or not is an entirely different debate, but I think it's a good indication of what can be achieved with a good petition and lots of support.Tim Morley, 12 years ago.