E-petitioning draws in people who don't usually participate in politics, strengthening their commitment to our democracy.
The extent to which the Liberal government takes seriously its response to these petitions will demonstrate how much it embraces openness and accountability, whether or not it chooses to support or oppose these requests. In two years, the Trudeau government is scheduled to review how the new system is working and how it might be improved. In my view, the prime minister should put in the measures found in my original motion where e-petitions gaining a high level of public support, say 100,000 signatures, could trigger debates in the House of Commons.
Skeptics take heed: to dismiss online activism as mere slacktivism is to ignore one of the very real positive social benefits of the internet. But a warning to activists as well: e-petitions can help you change the world, but only when mixed with a little old-school elbow grease.
Petitions delivered to the government in the House of Commons are seldom an effective method of achieving change, unless they are accompanied by other, more effective actions. If online petitioners and other organizations are really concerned about the future of the CBC, their time would be better spent developing more effective campaigns.