Realnews: Government Gives A Shit 2020-05-13
I have a Facebook account. Not bragging, just saying. Anyways, I have seen a number of posts about petitions in the last year or two, and they seem to be increasing. Today a buddy of mine posted a link to a petition about the recent news that three or four gun types were being labeled as "assault" weapons and that there is some plan to get rid of them. The idea is supposed to be that guns that make the shooter look like an "army guy" are really not needed. Nobody needs them for hunting or managing a farm or anything other than shooting paper or people. Additionally they are more effective at killing lots of people quickly and first-worlders like the idea of being protected from being shot. There are some folks however who figure this is the first step in the all-out-war on private gun ownership that will soon result in the RCMP showing up at every single one of the millions of homes all across Canada confiscating anything bigger than a wrist rocket. Well, I'm not buyin' it.
Many of the links I have been seeing are to individual petitions on petitions.ourcommons.ca. Unfortunately I couldn't find any statistics on how many government officials (with the appropriate political authority) actually read the petitions, or how many of the petitions have actually changed anything. To be honest, I am skeptical that anyone in our government (other than the ones who setup the petitions.ourcommons.ca web site) actually look at it at all. Why would they care? It's not like they have anyone they need to answer to. In fact there is a disclaimer on the site that says:
Disclaimer regarding petitions
There is no obligation on the part of the House of Commons or any Member of Parliament to authorize the publication of an e-petition or to present an e-petition or a paper petition to the House of Commons. Neither the House of Commons nor any Member of Parliament authorizing the publication of an e-petition or presenting an e-petition or paper petition to the House of Commons endorses the views or information contained in any petition posted on this website. Moreover, they do not make any representations about, or assume any liability for, any of the views or information set out in any petition. No petition posted on this website is protected by parliamentary privilege until presented by a Member of Parliament to the House of Commons.
Government responses to both e-petitions and paper petitions are received in an electronic format by the House of Commons and are posted as is without any alteration as soon as possible after the responses are tabled in the House of Commons. Delays may be encountered when a large amount of responses are tabled the same day. The House of Commons is not responsible for the content and format of government responses; however, it will make best efforts to assist a person requiring an accessible format in addressing the issue with the Privy Council Office.
If you have any questions or comments regarding the accessibility of this publication, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That sounds to me like the "petition people" are not obligated to ensure any kind of connection between the people who want something and the people who can supposedly give it to them. I see nothing saying government officials are required to read or give a shit about any of the content on that site either. There might be examples of petitions that were supposedly effective, but I have to think that is the exception by an enormous margin. Further, the possibility exists that public opinion expressed other ways could have been more of a deciding factor than the petition. Really, if you are a government official who has anything to do with policy of any department I'd love to hear about how much time and effort you spend paying attention to the petition site your own organization runs.
This applies to more than just the recent talk of a gun ban of course. And speaking of "gun ban", some folks are also concerned that this new gun law was made without input from various sources that should have been consulted along the way. However, there is no change to any law that I know of in this situation. None. Some gun models have been reclassified, but all gun law remains unchanged. This may encourage people to fly off the handle again and say that all guns could eventually be reclassified and taken away without consulting blah blah blah... but is that a realistic concern? Is it really? Is the government of Canada really going to eliminate all private gun ownership by reclassifying guns a thousand models at a time? Is that mathematically possible, considering the number of new gun models created globally annually? Not buyin' it.