Sat, Nov 04, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Petition urges abolition of Web petition system

IMPRACTICAL?The National Development Council’s system has had 8.13 million visitors and 2,233 petitions, of which 1,257 achieved the threshold of 5,000 votes

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

A petition has been filed to abolish the National Development Council’s petitioning system on the grounds that petitions are unlikely to receive government attention and few petitions are actually aimed at addressing the nation’s problems.

User Red Whale on Tuesday launched a petition to shut down the system, saying that only 81 out of 2,233 petitions were reviewed by the government and those reviews did not guarantee a result matching the original proposal.

“It is an Internet platform that is exceedingly wasteful of social resources,” Red Whale said.

Since its inception in 2015 up to Sept. 10, the system had recorded 8.13 million visitors and 2,233 petitions, of which 1,257 achieved the requisite threshold of 5,000 votes.

Of those 1,257 petitions, only 89, or 7.1 percent, were deemed relevant enough for review by the government.

Two petitions were lodged last week complaining that the threshold is too low and should be increased to highlight petitions that would solve the nation’s problems.

Red Whale said that the resources expended on such matters — which could easily be used for regular channels for petitions — would be better utilized dealing with more practical matters, such as health insurance, workers’ rights and “smart” transportation.

Removing the system would also prevent users’ subjective views trying to influence government policy, Red Whale said.

Red Whale also cast doubt on the credibility and fairness of the system, saying that many of the petitions that were reviewed by the government were due to repeat voting, adding that it had not been constructive in solving actual issues.

The system has attracted attention thanks to a number of high-profile petitions, including the abolition of priority seats on public transport; the installion of air-conditioners in elementary school and junior-high school classrooms; changing the nation’s time zone; and banning the national flag of the People’s Republic of China.

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