The Petition Ends in a Fizzle

A while ago I started getting involved in the Stop Killing Games campaign. I signed the petition. I wrote on my blog. I started writing up a report and I was hoping I could send to my MP to explain my position on the issue. Now, an election has been called. The UK government will soon shut down it’s entire democratic output until the result is called.

A side effect of the election is that all petitions currently open get closed. They won’t be re-opened afterwards. No responses to open petitions will be given. In effect, the slate is wiped clean.

I can understand that during a pre-election time and for some time post election while the new government is forming, it does not make sense for the government to engage with their petitioning platform, and indeed there are rules about non-interference. But I find it incredibly insulting to all the people who hold views bound up in the petitions to simply discard them once this process is complete.

The Stop Killing Games petition is incredibly important from a view of Digital Consumer Rights. An issue which I seriously doubt any of the electable political parties are going to bother mentioning, even as a footnote deep within their manifestos. Action such as petitions is one of the most effective ways to get these views across.

The DCMS previously failed to engage appropriately and was instructed to issue a new response. Unless they have an incredibly quick turnaround in the upcoming days, it is now highly likely this will not happen, and the current petition campaign will be consigned to history.

I am venting here because I find it immensely irritating to be teased with what looks like democratic engagement only to have it taken away from me after putting effort into it. The same holds true for the thousands of other campaigns that people had started. At time of writing there are 1415 open petitions that should still be accepting signatures, 9 petitions waiting for an initial response from government (not counting petitions needing additional responses), and 2 petitions that should be set for debate.

If I happen to come across any politicians during this campaign I will be challenging them on this, and I would encourage everyone else in the UK to do the same. Just because politicians leave their jobs and government gets wiped clean does not mean that everyone else’s priorities disappear.

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    1. Agreed. It’s technically still “archived”, but functionally that’s no different.


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