This seems oddly familiar…
The White House is setting up a We the People website, where citizens can petition the government… and get a response.
Anyone 13 or older can create or sign a petition on WhiteHouse.gov asking the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country. […]
Creating or signing a petition is just the first step. Itâ€™s up to you to build support for a petition and gather even more signatures. […]
If a petition meets the signature threshold, it will be reviewed by the Administration and an official response will be issued. And weâ€™ll make sure that the petition is sent to the appropriate policy makers in the Administration.
The initial threshold to get a response from the Administration is 5,000 signatures.
Drug policy reform has dominated every other citizen-based feedback forum (change.gov, the various townhall and video townhall events, etc), and I’m sure we’ll do the same here (as we should). It’s the same idea dressed up in new clothes.
Like all similar efforts in this administrations, this rings a bit like providing bread and circuses to the populace – giving them the feel-good sense of government being “open and accountable,” when it’s anything but.
Despite my cynicism, these opportunities do provide us with something of value. Not in terms of reaching the government (they already know their answer to our petition), but in terms of reaching the people and making them aware of how many other people are demanding change.