While the Internet has provided some extraordinary new vehicles for the modern campaign to share its message, a particularly abhorrent one has emerged over the past several months: The Online Petition.
In what appears to be a nakedly transparent method to collect email addresses and/or to raise small-dollar campaign contributions, our email boxes have been filled since the last election cycle with hundreds of banal, completely ineffective, poorly-considered online petitions seeking our virtual signature. I was recently solicited (by a politician/friend, mind you) to “sign” a petition in support of a college basketball team’s efforts to win a ball game. They lost, natch.
So, I am taking the next logical step, and exercising my First Amendment rights — by distributing a online petition, urging politicians to cease and desist in this odious online petition practice.
I urge you — no I beg you, to sign my online petition at: http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/TheRP
The language is below:
Attention All Politicians:
We, the undersigned, are sick and tired of politicians who send out campaign-related petitions, as a guise to raise money and/or collect email addresses from fellow travellers. We urge you to stop this abhorrent practice, which undermines the constitutionally-protected right of Americans to petition for their real grievances. Such as a better voting system on American Idol. Or to ban mom jeans. Or to allow struggling recovering politicians to build traffic for their new Web site.
Please, for the love of our country, sign the online petition at http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/TheRP