How can we judge success or failure in relation to e-petitions to Parliament? Dr Catherine Bochel discusses a framework for assessing e-petitions, drawn from research in the National Assembly for Wales and Scottish Parliament.
By Cristina Leston-Bandeira and Viktoria Spaiser
Hashtag conversations over Twitter are common place. They are used to comment on TV programmes, conferences, general themes and now petitions. The new Petitions Committee of the House of Commons has been using hashtags to support the development of discussions associated with the themes of the petitions being debated in parliament. Are these discussions on Twitter just a lot of hot air, come and gone, or can they help us understand the different purposes of petitioning? In this blog piece, we find that, instead of just noise, these Twitter discussions help to identify themes linked to petitions, different levels of sentiment associated to petitions, varying levels of polarisation, but also those petitions that despite achieving very high numbers of signatures, actually have little traction.
Please note that this piece was originally published on the Constitution Unit blog, and is available here.
The 2015 parliament has seen the establishment of a new Petitions Committee and e-petitions system. Cristina Leston-Bandeira discusses the committee’s initial activity, arguing that it has achieved much in the space of six months and has the potential to pave the way towards a new kind of public engagement with parliament.