The Basics of Online Petitions
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Are They Valid?
There has been many debates about whether or not online petitions are valid in Canada.
The short answer is: Yes.
To clarify; "online" means on a reputable website.
Why Emails Don't Work
Email petitions are not recognized by authorities, because once they're let loose, no one is able to properly track of them. And, they never end, showing up in people's inboxes years after the issue has been settled.
What Makes It Legal?
Online petitions means there is only one copy of the petition collecting signatures. Electronic signatures are legally binding. For example, you have to "sign" an agreement to get on Facebook. By providing your real name, a valid email address, and putting a little check mark in a box next to the statement that you read and agree with the terms and conditions set out by Facebook, you are entering a legally binding contract.
The key to a petition's success is how it is written. To learn how to write an effective petition, you can read my article, How to Write an Effective Petition.
Make Sure It's Legit
The people who sign online petitions can help make it more legitimate by using their real name and providing a valid email address. While it's not necessary to make the email address public, the creator of the petition does need to be able to include it in the petition going to the decision-maker as proof of validity.
Just as a hard copy petition requires valid contact information to prove that the names and signatures aren't fake, an online petition requires a valid email address to prove you are a real person.
What Else Can You Do to Encourage Change?
For those who feel the online petition is not enough, here are some other actions you can take:
- Meeting with your MP
- Writing a letter to your editor
- Writing an option editorial
- Sending a letter or calling to the decision-maker
- Contacting the media
- Call a talk show (radio or television)
- Create a website or start a blog
© 2012 Rosa Marchisella
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