Discussion:
completely OT: petitions and balance
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J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-10-01 08:36:11 UTC
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Apologies for blatant misuse of UMRA - but, I think there might be
sufficient agreement that you wouldn't mind ...

Some reporting this morning (on one news channel) that a petition had
passed the first threshold, made me think again something that I've
thought for many years: petitions only indicate the strength of feeling
_for_ a motion, _not_ the true balance of public opinion on the matter.
Those who disagree have no way of registering their view.

I finally decided to do something about it - I've started my own
petition!

I need five supporters to get it going - any takers?

Click this link to sign the petition:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229596/sponsors/new?token=ePOBkwMO8FC1xpPKrHp
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Eve had an Apple, Adam had a Wang...
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-10-01 09:19:14 UTC
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In message <***@255soft.uk>, "J. P. Gilliver (John)"
<G6JPG-***@255soft.uk> writes:
[]
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
I need five supporters to get it going - any takers?
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229596/sponsors/new?token=ePOBk
wMO8FC1xpPKrHp
Oops - I hadn't realised that that (broken above, repeated at end) goes
direct to the sign page, without giving any details of what it's about!
Here's the detail:

My petition:

Petitions and the like should be obliged to collect "votes" both for and
against

Detail:

Frequently, petitions and similar are reported as having collected so
many thousand votes. This only represents one side: without knowing how
strong the opposing feeling is, the true public opinion can be
misreported - and, decision-makers can be pushed into actions the
majority don't actually want.

More:

The single-sided petition is arguably the modern version of the
pitchfork-wielding mob; it is all too easy for individuals or groups to
whip up strong feelings. Those opposing the motion can feel
disenfranchised, as there is no immediate way for them to register their
opposition.
\\
Electronic/online mechanisms are particularly susceptible to this
problem: for example, YouTube is one of the few such where both types of
"vote" are collected - too often, only a "like" option is offered.

Click this link to sign the petition:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229596/sponsors/new?token=ePOBkwMO8FC1xpPKrHp
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

sometimes the best way to face the music is dance.
- Andrew Collins, in RT 2017/2/11-17
Vicky Ayech
2018-10-01 10:51:26 UTC
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On Mon, 1 Oct 2018 10:19:14 +0100, "J. P. Gilliver (John)"
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
[]
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
I need five supporters to get it going - any takers?
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229596/sponsors/new?token=ePOBk
wMO8FC1xpPKrHp
Oops - I hadn't realised that that (broken above, repeated at end) goes
direct to the sign page, without giving any details of what it's about!
Petitions and the like should be obliged to collect "votes" both for and
against
Frequently, petitions and similar are reported as having collected so
many thousand votes. This only represents one side: without knowing how
strong the opposing feeling is, the true public opinion can be
misreported - and, decision-makers can be pushed into actions the
majority don't actually want.
The single-sided petition is arguably the modern version of the
pitchfork-wielding mob; it is all too easy for individuals or groups to
whip up strong feelings. Those opposing the motion can feel
disenfranchised, as there is no immediate way for them to register their
opposition.
\\
Electronic/online mechanisms are particularly susceptible to this
problem: for example, YouTube is one of the few such where both types of
"vote" are collected - too often, only a "like" option is offered.
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229596/sponsors/new?token=ePOBkwMO8FC1xpPKrHp
Don't people who feel strongly about the subject and against the
petition start their own one in opposition?
DavidK
2018-10-01 12:54:12 UTC
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Post by Vicky Ayech
On Mon, 1 Oct 2018 10:19:14 +0100, "J. P. Gilliver (John)"
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
[]
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
I need five supporters to get it going - any takers?
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229596/sponsors/new?token=ePOBk
wMO8FC1xpPKrHp
Oops - I hadn't realised that that (broken above, repeated at end) goes
direct to the sign page, without giving any details of what it's about!
Petitions and the like should be obliged to collect "votes" both for and
against
Frequently, petitions and similar are reported as having collected so
many thousand votes. This only represents one side: without knowing how
strong the opposing feeling is, the true public opinion can be
misreported - and, decision-makers can be pushed into actions the
majority don't actually want.
The single-sided petition is arguably the modern version of the
pitchfork-wielding mob; it is all too easy for individuals or groups to
whip up strong feelings. Those opposing the motion can feel
disenfranchised, as there is no immediate way for them to register their
opposition.
\\
Electronic/online mechanisms are particularly susceptible to this
problem: for example, YouTube is one of the few such where both types of
"vote" are collected - too often, only a "like" option is offered.
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229596/sponsors/new?token=ePOBkwMO8FC1xpPKrHp
Don't people who feel strongly about the subject and against the
petition start their own one in opposition?
I can see nothing that guarantees that if I were to sign your petition
in the link you provided then I would be signing against the text you
quoted.
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-10-01 16:14:09 UTC
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Post by Vicky Ayech
On Mon, 1 Oct 2018 10:19:14 +0100, "J. P. Gilliver (John)"
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
[]
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
I need five supporters to get it going - any takers?
[]
Post by Vicky Ayech
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Oops - I hadn't realised that that (broken above, repeated at end) goes
direct to the sign page, without giving any details of what it's about!
Petitions and the like should be obliged to collect "votes" both for and
against
Frequently, petitions and similar are reported as having collected so
many thousand votes. This only represents one side: without knowing how
strong the opposing feeling is, the true public opinion can be
misreported - and, decision-makers can be pushed into actions the
majority don't actually want.
The single-sided petition is arguably the modern version of the
pitchfork-wielding mob; it is all too easy for individuals or groups to
whip up strong feelings. Those opposing the motion can feel
disenfranchised, as there is no immediate way for them to register their
opposition.
\\
Electronic/online mechanisms are particularly susceptible to this
problem: for example, YouTube is one of the few such where both types of
"vote" are collected - too often, only a "like" option is offered.
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229596/sponsors/new?token=ePOB
kwMO8FC1xpPKrHp
Don't people who feel strongly about the subject and against the
petition start their own one in opposition?
Yes, but they have to feel strongly enough to go through the bother -
whereas those who support it can just vote, which is a lot easier. Plus,
those in favour have the advantage of having started first.

Thanks: only two more needed before it goes live. Can I compound my
offence by asking thoserats (who approve, of course!) to propagate it
elsewhere? I'm not on twitterbooksplatterivit, which I guess puts me at
a disadvantage.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Now, don't worry. We'll be right behind you. Hiding. (First series, fit the
sixth.)
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-10-01 16:47:43 UTC
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[]
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by Vicky Ayech
Don't people who feel strongly about the subject and against the
petition start their own one in opposition?
Yes, but they have to feel strongly enough to go through the bother -
whereas those who support it can just vote, which is a lot easier.
Plus, those in favour have the advantage of having started first.
[]
Furthermore: most petitions are calling for a change. Petitions to
retain the status quo are I suspect going to garner fewer votes, and
also in the case of e-petitions, I think may not meet one of the
criteria (that the aim must involve action by the government, or
something like that).
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Security is the perfect excuse to lock you out of your own computer.
- Mayayana in alt.windows7.general, 2015-12-4
the Omrud
2018-10-03 13:30:20 UTC
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Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
[]
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by Vicky Ayech
Don't people who feel strongly about the subject and against the
petition start their own one in opposition?
Yes, but they have to feel strongly enough to go through the bother -
whereas those who support it can just vote, which is a lot easier.
Plus, those in favour have the advantage of having started first.
[]
Furthermore: most petitions are calling for a change. Petitions to
retain the status quo are I suspect going to garner fewer votes, and
also in the case of e-petitions, I think may not meet one of the
criteria (that the aim must involve action by the government, or
something like that).
Go on then, I've signed it. I await the black helicopters, although
they might have to wait as I'm in SW France.
--
David
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-10-03 13:42:26 UTC
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In message <pp2g9d$u2i$***@dont-email.me>, the Omrud
<***@gmail.com> writes:
[]
Post by the Omrud
Go on then, I've signed it. I await the black helicopters, although
they might have to wait as I'm in SW France.
Thanks. I've now got about 10 - more than enough for the next stage -
"10 people have supported your petition so far. We’re checking your
petition to make sure it meets the petition standards. If it does,
we’ll publish it. This usually takes a week or less." (I think it does
- they're mostly things like don't mention anyone's personal details, or
insult or be offensive, and the aim must be something parliament could
conceivably do.)
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

the plural of 'anecdote' is not 'evidence'. Professor Edzart Ernst, prudential
magazine, AUTUMN 2006, p. 13.
the Omrud
2018-10-01 13:09:06 UTC
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Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Apologies for blatant misuse of UMRA - but, I think there might be
sufficient agreement that you wouldn't mind ...
Some reporting this morning (on one news channel) that a petition had
passed the first threshold, made me think again something that I've
thought for many years: petitions only indicate the strength of feeling
_for_ a motion, _not_ the true balance of public opinion on the matter.
Those who disagree have no way of registering their view.
I finally decided to do something about it - I've started my own petition!
I need five supporters to get it going - any takers?
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229596/sponsors/new?token=ePOBkwMO8FC1xpPKrHp
I can't find any way to get to the subject of the petition.

On a slightly similar tack, surveys to find the Best and the Worst of
<whatever> often come up with the same result in both lists. I might
think Bach wrote the best classical music and Harrison Birtwistle the
worst (not really true, but e.g.). Another might think exactly the
opposite. That's one vote for each, in each category.
--
David
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-10-01 16:23:43 UTC
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In message <pot69j$ipg$***@dont-email.me>, the Omrud
<***@gmail.com> writes:
[]
Post by the Omrud
On a slightly similar tack, surveys to find the Best and the Worst of
<whatever> often come up with the same result in both lists. I might
think Bach wrote the best classical music and Harrison Birtwistle the
worst (not really true, but e.g.). Another might think exactly the
opposite. That's one vote for each, in each category.
Such lists, at least a lot of them, lose validity in my estimation
because they often offer a preselected list (the ones that appear in the
Radio Times from time to time are a good example) - even if it is chosen
by "a panel of experts". I can see why they do that - it means collation
of votes can be done automatically, whereas if people were allowed to
make their own suggestions, all entries would have to be read by a
human. But it pre-limits the "choices".

I've often thought any list of "favourite characters" ought to be
amalgamated with "characters you most like to hate", since a vote for
either implies a good actor/actress; however, it's academic now, in that
I haven't seen that sort of poll for a long time (if ever).
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Now, don't worry. We'll be right behind you. Hiding. (First series, fit the
sixth.)
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