HuffPost: As An MP, I Know We Can Improve Democracy With E-Petitions
Petitions Galore ...
But what is their real purpose?
It seems necessary to consider that online petitions may well be, at best, tricks to assess a group's support base and, at worst, may simply be collectors of personal information.
Here's a 2017 petition to impeach Justin Trudeau that went nowhere, save for a single signature --which could have been a plant or just one disappointed, lonely person living in Edmonton.
Many petitions are free and easy to get going. The sites that host them also have access to the information gathered.
Do you know with whom you're dealing when you come across a site that seems to care about the same things you do, and encourages you to join and sign a petition? That answer is probably no.
Check out the "Who We Are" section at this petition site and you won't see any names there. They may be true Green supporters, or they may be a different party attempting to assess the strength of their competition, and where and how they need to be more convincing.
As if it were an isolated incident, the CBC reports on North99, a petition site that also is devoid of personal information in the Who We Are section:
CBC: Political advocacy group North99 uses misleading petitions to gather voter data
It's possible the above CBC article answers my own "why? "with regard to the 2007 SPP protest at Montebello:
The Council of Canadians had collected petitions against the SPP from thousands of Canadians and then Maude Barlow personally plunked them down in front of the police line at the Montebello protest instead of presenting them to the Harper government.
She then walked away uphill to a safer environment where all the union types stood around observing the protest and enjoying coffee at the cafe.
Barlow is big on water, even became an advisor to the useless UN on same, but after 154 years of bad water conditions in Indigenous communities in Canada, and only now that it has come to wide media attention, she's heading up yet another petition.
But this time the petition is online, and Barlow won't ever again have to figure out where to park boxes of paper petitions!
Check out the information you are required to give -- because, whether or not your letter actually gets sent to Trudeau, the Council of Canadians will certainly have enriched its data base and will know whom to ask for financial support.
They may need it because the site that actually handles the petition doesn't do it for free. This is "grassroots" activism at its easiest and most expensive.
What's even more disturbing is that the anti-SPP petitions were solicited only during the Harper (CPC) / Bush (GOP) era. But not when Paul Martin (Lib) first signed us on to the agreement, nor when Obama (DEM) was in office, during which time we were told the SPP was dead. But, of course, it never died, and now it can be spoken of again without protest because it's Trudeau in office. We'll see what happens if Scheer wins the election this Fall.
The US always maintains the upper hand in the SPP. The latest agreement has even relaxed controls on foodstuffs (see YYC: Canadians Being Had Bigtime), and Canadians need to consider that particular stipulation when buying food imported from the US/Mexico.
The Canadian gov't is all set to blame any food-borne illnesses on "climate change".
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(Thanks to reader Brian H.)
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