You may remember that before the referendum, William Oliver Healey set up an ePetition saying that the result shouldn’t stand if the winning vote was less than 60 per cent and turnout was less than 75 per cent. Well, the rules at the time of the referendum were the rules and this petition seeks to change the rules after the event.
This is contrary to every principal of English law that prevents retrospective enactment of legislation. Even Healey himself stated afterwards that he set up the petition to prevent the remain side ‘shackling us to the EU’ when everyone was expecting remain to win. Since then Healey complains that it has been ‘hijacked’ by the remain side. Well, sorry matey but you should have worded it better.
Still, if we’re going to play the petitions game, then let’s play nicely. Here’s a couple more petitions that you might find interesting :
Parliament is going to debate the first petition on 5th September as it reached the threshold where a debate is ‘considered’ of 100,000 signatures – even if 39,000 did come from the Vatican City which has a population of 800! To be fair, there would have to have been 4 million fake signatures to pull it under the 100,000 mark.
Thankfully, the Article 50 petition has also reached the 100,000 threshold so perhaps they could debate that at the same time?
And then there’s this one, which is fairly new but gathering pace…
Frankly, all that will happen is that a couple of MPs will stand up in a fairly empty House and bandy a few well used phrases around. Then they’ll say “Well, we debated it as required. Move on. Nothing to see here!”
Yes, ePetitions are a bit of a joke but they do at least provide some sort of method for making our views known – futile thought that might appear to be. So I’d urge you to sign the later two anyway. As they say at Tesco “Every little helps!”