Are E-Petitions a waste of time?

Last year BBC Radio 4 did a short programme aimed at answering this question — They talked about bees, the UK Parliament e-petition website and how petitions have been around for a long time raising issues and creating movements. 
However they didn’t really say if e-petitions are a waste of time or not. So let’s do that now in a very short bullet-point, straight-to-the-point manner.

Yes — Petitions are a complete waste of time.

  • Many of them are pointless not winning or changing a thing.
  • If a petition fails, then the charity has just wasted time and money making a difference, when that money could have been spent on better more attainable things.
  • Some petitions are pro, then some petitions are anti. The general public can not make up their mind, so how can change be made. Perfect example is the immigration debate.
  • You sign one and then the organisation thinks you should sign another petition, then another, then another.
  • There is no guarantee that anybody in authority to change something will see the petition, individual or organisation behind the campaign.
  • Signing a petition makes people lazy so they do not go onto taking further action that would actually make a difference.

No — Petitions are not a complete waste of time.

  • They raise awareness of important issues.
  • It does not matter if the petition wins, because they have already raised the profile of the issue.
  • Some petitions do win and they change the world for the better.
  • Individuals now have a free way of reaching people to help them when in need of public support.
  • It helps charities survive. They gain valuable data on how many supporters they have and how to make a difference.
  • Who will speak for the trees? Petitions will.
  • Petitions can be just the start of a new initiative, organisation or charity.

So what do you think?
Is it as simple as a yes, no answer?

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