Importance Of Signing Petitions Online

Dec 11, 2019


If you have signed at least one petition online for a cause you thought was worthy of receiving your support, you probably know how petitions work. There are thousands of virtual petitions you could sign right now, some more important, urgent or interesting than others. But did you ever stop to think whether clicking or tapping that “sign the petition” link or button will actually have any real consequences in the real world? For a brief moment, you may feel like your action truly matters and means something: maybe you want to protect wildlife in Africa, animals or trees on the verge of extinction or show your support for a local elementary school campaign.

The trick is to actually take action for or against something you truly believe in and not only blow off some steam for a couple of minutes and forget all about it the next second. For this, you will need to make a clear difference between symbolic and practical petitions and choose wisely. But how do you actually choose the right petitions online?

Petitions Are Catalysts For Global Changes

Petitions should be regarded as a genuine catalyst for changes in the world. They could also be a simple milestone part of a greater campaign. One thing is sure: a good petition is one that allows supporters of a good cause to express their direct support for the named project. People who have made up their mind and are 100% sure they would like for their name to show up on a petition that will reach the country's government, polluting companies in the country or other important decision-makers can and should use petitions online.

Petitions Measure Support

Practical petitions should also be able to express the exact type and level of support that an important project or action enjoys from the general public. Just keep in mind that in order for a petition to reach its goal, it does not need a huge number of people to sign it. Let us take the example of Hemi-May Kelly whose petition gathered 100 signatures (including postal addresses) that reached the Hamilton City Council and make plastic recycling become a reality.

The “Say NO to online gambling adverts on television” petition gathered close to 55,000 signatures online and it was initiated by Nicola Hampton for the Australian Communication and Media Authority ACMA. The petition addressed the matter of gambling addictions that are harmful to players and their families the petition along with other similar campaigns and efforts lead to ads for betting products to be prohibited during G-rated (or lower) TV programs between predefined hours. The initiative is worthy of respect, given the large number of problem gamblers that are recorded in Australia. However, responsible and safe gambling continues to gather large numbers of fans. Sites that continuously test and review all sites addressing Aussies are extremely helpful. These informative sites have played an important role in educating the public with what venues are licensed, safe, trustworthy and advantageous to join while showing their support for responsible and aware gambling. There are today petitions online urging for online casinos to be legalized as many believe that the petitions are needed to make politicians listen.

Petitions Stir Up Conversations

Petitions should also allow people to start conversations that could change wrong mentalities. We can take the example of the previously mentioned gambling ad petition that stirred up heated debates online, on social media and dedicated gambling forums, while lots of for and against opinions. Petition initiators will, therefore, have the opportunity to get real-time feedback and find out exactly how people feel and think about the topic in question. This could also be inspiring for future related campaigns and petitions.

Petitions can be considered real polls that can tell businesses exactly what customers expect of them. Tim Pate's petition regarding the banning of plastic bags in Countdown stores after Woolworths Australia already did take this measure was also successful. A few months after the petition was initiated, the store stopped handing out plastic bags to shoppers. New World also followed their example and did the same just a week later.

Petitions Trigger More Advertising

Be ready for a good and practical petition to also set the grounds for a powerful social media campaign or story that will bring your business or campaign even more support and publicity. The same petitions started online could also set the ground for official talks with local governing bodies and counsellors.

Petitions Are A Sign Of Healthy Democracy

Whenever a new petition is handed over to an MP or a Committee and it is up for discussion by important politicians in your area, it could bring significant changes in the current legislation. In other words, you could personally contribute to promoting and propelling democracy in the country.

To show support for important issues and not knowing what petition is “right” or not should not stand in your way if you consider the factors mentioned in this article. Now it’s all up to you!

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