The request for a motion of no confidence in the Liberal government in the House of Commons has become the most signed e-petition ever started in Canada, again reflecting the growing popularity of online petitions. It is an expression.
This petition was filed by the City of Peterborough, Ontario. It is sponsored by resident Conservative MP Michelle Ferreri. The bill calls on the House of Commons to launch a vote of no confidence in the Liberal government, overthrow it and call an election within 45 days.
The e-petition, which is currently awaiting verification, had gathered 386,698 signatures by the time the signature period ended just before Christmas. Ferreri frequently promoted the e-petition on social media, including videos featuring the person who started the petition.
In a statement to CBC News, Ferreri accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of undermining Canadians’ trust in the government through his government’s record on several important issues.
“Misery is a powerful motivator, and it’s clear that this petition is amplifying the voices of Canadians who are fed up with the misery Prime Minister Trudeau has imposed on them and who want a leader and government they can trust,” she said. .
Last year, a high-profile e-petition gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures. This is part of a growing trend of using online petitions to pressure governments on a variety of controversial subjects, including firearms regulation and foreign policy.
The number of e-petition signatures that can be submitted to the House of Commons has steadily increased since it was introduced in 2015, according to a CBC News analysis of House of Commons data. Last year, the number of signatures hit a record high, with around 1.5 million names submitted to around 500 e-petitions.
Most of these signatures were sent to just a few high-profile online petitions. Three of the five most signed e-petitions were proposed for the end of 2023. A fourth, sponsored by Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis, is still collecting signatures and could soon reach the top ten.
Lewis’ e-petition ask Canada to withdraw From the United Nations and its subordinate organizations. Mr Lewis has promoted the petition on social media as a measure to “protect national sovereignty”.
Her position has received pushback from the Liberal benches. Liberal MP Rob Oliphant, parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister, said the petition is asking Canada to waive its international obligations.
surely,@LeslynLewis does not support Canada’s withdrawal from the United Nations. That’s unreasonable. @PierrePoilievre Dangerous sounds can be heard coming from the front bench. Is this their new foreign policy? Will we abandon our international obligations regarding human rights, women’s rights, children, etc.? https://t.co/B2TmbkDCaw
Lewis did not respond to CBC News’ request for comment.
E-petitions do not impose a legal obligation on the government to change policy, even if they are submitted to the House of Commons or receive significant support. The House of Commons website describes them as a means of “drawing attention to issues of public interest or concern” or “demanding” action.
The petition sponsored by Mr Lewis is not the only petition calling on the government to take dramatic or controversial action. An e-petition sponsored by NDP MP Alexandre Bouleris, circulated last year, called on the government to demand a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. It gathered over 250,000 signatures.
Non-binding statement of support
An e-petition can be initiated by any Canadian citizen or resident, but must be approved by a member of Parliament.These congressmen are Ferreri, Ruiz, and Bouleris — campaign on their behalf.
E-petitions go through several stages of review and certification. Once it reaches 500 signatures, it can be submitted to the House of Commons by sponsoring MPs.
E-petitions are not binding. For example, the petition sponsored by Ferreri does not require any debate or vote of confidence in the House of Commons.
However, the government must respond in writing to petitions submitted to the House of Commons. These answers typically outline the current state of government policy and Canadian law.
The person signing the e-petition must be a Canadian citizen or resident.
Former NDP MP and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart was the original sponsor of a motion to allow e-petitions during Stephen Harper’s Conservative majority government. Mr Stewart, with the support of allies like Conservative MP Michael Chong, sought to drive change through policy. Private member’s motion It ultimately gained the support of seven other Conservative MPs and all other opposition parties.
Stewart told CBC News that given the growing popularity of e-petitions, it may be time to revisit the rules and make them harder for governments to ignore.
“It didn’t go as planned. We had to make some compromises,” he said.
Mr Stewart suggested that petitions that reach a certain threshold number of votes should automatically trigger a ‘take note’ debate in the Commons, or be dealt with by a select committee. .
He pointed out that e-petitions are well-established and very popular in the UK, with a committee set up in the House of Commons to deal with e-petitions.
“I think it should definitely be reconsidered because it has gotten to the point where it has so many signatures,” he said.
Stewart said the growing partisan popularity of e-petitions is a good thing, since one of the main goals about a decade ago was to encourage citizen participation and connection to federal politics. Stated.
“Even if you sign one e-petition over the course of four years in parliament, at least in Ottawa you have some connection to this far-flung institution,” he said, calling e-petitions an activity. He added that he was thinking about it. A “gateway drug” for political engagement.
He said one of the major advantages of the House’s e-petition process is its confidentiality. Data collected through e-petitions is protected and will not be added to party lists to facilitate party fundraising or campaigning.
“Some people may vote Conservative, but they’re signing a Liberal petition…that could foster cross-party relationships or break down boundaries,” he said. said.
“I think we should accept these things. We’re seeing such a decline in democracy all over the world. It’s very frightening. And I think we should embrace these things. It’s a good way to strengthen it.”