5 Online Petitions That Prove Democracy is Broken

#2. Spamming the White House

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The entire Internet is choking on spam, and this petition proves that government projects are no exception. When Skynet comes online and decides to kill us, we'll be fine -- by the time it digs through all the Viagra ads to get at the nuclear launch codes, spam bots will have evolved and be targeting it with ads screaming "GET A BIGGER HARD DRIVE NOW!" Also, we like the idea of the White House getting mail from a Nigerian prince, and Barack Obama resisting the urge to write back explaining he's the American president.

Dear Nigerian royalty, thank you for your mail, and for being more reasonable and believable than people I have to work with on a daily basis.

Confusing the White House for an advertising agency, supporters of electronic cigarettes have been calling on the government to endorse e-cigs and "support job creation" in the vast e-cig manufacturing complexes that would surely result. The government refused, on the minor grounds that FDA testing had recommended against them. As does Health Canada. And the World Health Organization doesn't recommend them. And a tobacco regulation meeting discussing the issue in Uruguay included Saudi Arabia and Thailand, where e-cigs are banned. Holy shit, we don't know anything about e-cigarettes, but when Thailand goes to Uruguay to warn people about something being bad for you body, that's a warning we listen to.

Wikimedia Commons
Thailand being well known for things you can safely put in your mouth.

This isn't about e-cigs: This is about turning anything online into a sales pitch. The official response made it clear that smoking was indeed bad, and the second there actually was any more valid scientific data on sticking an electrical circuit full of chemicals in your face, the subject would be reconsidered. They resisted the urge to point out you can't just skip FDA testing by asking nicely.

#1. Internet Users Are Better Than Other People!

Internet users are often more ridiculously entitled than Capo del Governo Duce del Fascismo e Fondatore dell'Impero Sua Eccellenza Mussolini. But not as likable. And they've been submitting petitions that make monitors refresh at the exact frequency of whine. We know this is a long one, but imagine you actually had something to do (like running the country) and still had to wade through such bullshit:

Syllabus of Internet Whining 101, aka the Full Text, here

Poisoning the rest of the Internet with passive aggression was just a testing ground for this assault on the heart of democracy. It's a black belt lesson in Internet whine-fu techniques: dictionary definitions, sarcasm and threatening. Multiple period. Sentences. You can almost see neckbeards quivering with pride as that final line was typed. Listen, asshole, if you want to make the White House obey your demands, that keyboard needs to be connected to an orbital laser cannon, not an Internet comment box.

20th Century Fox
"In the wake of the recent laser strike, the relocated U.S. government acknowledges that modern warfare does indeed 'rule.'"

"We the People" was a cute attempt to get some feedback and prove that a few people in the government knew what an Internet was. These petitions are outraged that it's not a democracy override system; 30,319 idiots honestly expected the government to do whatever random Internet commenters tell them to, which isn't just dangerous but often physically impossible unless you have a circular spine. Their math argues that every Internet petitioner's vote is worth 10,000 regular ones, which is the only way this group of idiots would actually represent the American population.

The biggest problem with the petitions is that they aren't impassioned signatories coming together to voice their support for a specific cause. Like a porn site or My Little Pony forum, any Internet voting site has a clique of regular users who tab through to click on everything they like and imagine they're changing the world. It's a sadder Internet fantasy than commenters explaining which female celebrities they would and wouldn't sleep with, as if said starlets were standing by depantied and ready to deploy.

The best bit is how several of the petitions demand that the president make things happen by "just" signing an executive order, as if the only reason President Obama hasn't just been fixing things is that he's forgotten he could do that.

"I'm sure glad GearsFag333 reminded me I could do this!"

Luke McKinney also defends democracy from idiots with John McClane in the Greatest Movie Drinking Games Ever. He also tumbles and has a website.

You can also read 5 Reasons Humanity Is Terrible at Democracy, or see what would happen If White House Press Briefings Were Honest.

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Luke McKinney

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