e-Petitioning for the UK parliament

The UK Parliament’s Procedure Committee held an enquiry into adapting e-petitioning for the UK parliament, and issued a report on 6 April (In HTML and PDF formats), as noted by William Heath and ICELE amongst others.

The geeks will already know that the Scottish Parliament’s had one of its own for a while now – it’s currently maintained by the ITC, MySociety has implemented a very popular system for the PM’s office and public-i have implemented a system for Bristol Council.

As part of the process of preparing the report, some of the big players had the chance to give their opinion: Tom Steinberg and Tom Loosemore spoke on 18 January and ITC’s Kathy Buckner and Ella Taylor-Smith spoke on 30 January (Note the links are to the uncorrected evidence, so there may have been some adjustments in the final report).

Although I do not work on any of the e-petitioner projects, it is an area that interests me, so before the report was published, I thought would be fun to try to illustrate what I got from reading the transcripts.

I started with the process that seemed implicit in the Toms’ submission, and amended it to take into account Kathy and Ella’s comments to come up with this diagram illustrating the three stages of an idealised e-petitioning process which is properly integrated into the broader democratic-parliamentary system (ie making sure the MPs are involved, not just civil servants or government ministers).

e-Petitioning diagram

Download as a PDF here


  • I haven’t made a a big effort to make the image look good on a browser – instead, click on it to download a nice clear PDF.
  • I have not had the chance to match my diagram against the report’s final recommendations. In a way, that’s not the point here anyway, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you want to distribute the diagram further.
  • Contact me if you want access to the original Word document

About Peter Cruickshank

Lecturer in the School of Computing and a member of the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. Interested in information systems, learning, politics, society, security and where they intersect. My attempts at rounding out my character include food, cinema, running, history and, together with my lovely wife, bringing up a cat and a couple of kids.
This entry was posted in e-participation, politics, UK and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to e-Petitioning for the UK parliament

  1. Pingback: Welsh Assembly e-petitions « Spartakan

  2. Peter says:

    BTW you can find out more on my initial reactions to MySociety’s petitioning system here and here

  3. Pingback: Euro-Petitions: Supranational democratic experimentalism? « Spartakan

  4. Pingback: Updated model of an e-petitioning system « Spartakan

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