Kiwis so-inclined can petition their Parliament for legislative change. But they cannot petition Parliament to maintain the status quo.
Victoria University’s Chris Eichbaum wants the government to ban private fireworks displays.
This is just phenomenal. With this level of support we now have an opportunity to get them issues in front of law makers and to push for the necessary changes https://t.co/Ada1CsW6xv pic.twitter.com/5bpeJgoLym
— Chris Eichbaum (@ChrisEichbaum) November 6, 2018
I kinda like fireworks, so I submitted a petition asking the government to maintain the current rules. I started from Chris’s petition, added the word ‘not’ in a couple spots, listed some of the ways that fireworks are awesome, and submitted it.
A few days later, I got a very apologetic phone call from the Clerk’s Office saying that it’s only possible to petition Parliament to change a law, not to leave a law as it is. He was exceptionally helpful, listing all the things people could do if government did move to legislate in response to the petition – I already know them, but some folks don’t, so that was nice.
And then I got the official email rejecting the petition.
High numbers in support of a petition signal something about the strength of support for the petition, but tell you nothing about the strength of opposition. I suppose it’s nice that those opposing petitions don’t need to rally the troops to counter-petition every darn thing, but when a government cites the number of letters from school-kids in support of a policy as reason for doing things…