By Aaron Wherry - Friday, February 15, 2013 - 0 Comments
NDP MP Kennedy Stewart has tabled a motion to study opening up the House to online petitions, including the possibility of a mechanism whereby those petitions could trigger debates.
That the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be instructed to recommend changes to the Standing Orders and other conventions governing petitions so as to establish an electronic petitioning system that would enhance the current paper-based petitions system by allowing Canadians to sign petitions electronically, and to consider, among other things, (i) the possibility to trigger a debate in the House of Commons outside of current sitting hours when a certain threshold of signatures is reached, (ii) the necessity for no fewer than five Members of Parliament to sponsor the e-petition and to table it in the House once a time limit to collect signatures is reached, (iii) the study made in the 38th Parliament regarding e-petitions, and that the Committee report its findings to the House, with proposed changes to the Standing Orders and other conventions governing petitions, within 12 months of the adoption of this order.
It could conceivably be modelled on the White House’s online petitioning hub—and conceivably that could lead to an important parliamentary debate on the feasibility of building a Death Star—or the UK model for online petitions.
The future of government is probably going to involve open data and the future of Parliament should probably involve more direct and open engagement with the public.
By Katie Engelhart - Friday, January 25, 2013 at 1:00 PM - 0 Comments
The coffee juggernaut plans to open a café in Montmartre, to the dismay of locals
Earlier this month, Starbucks announced plans to open a café on the old stomping grounds of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso in the storied Parisian neighbourhood of Montmartre. In response, the association Paris Fierté (Paris Pride) is circulating a petition and planning to protest its arrival. “Opinion,” the association says, “oscillates between anger and fatalism.”
Paris Fierté spokesperson Pierre Brabant warns that Starbucks’ attempt to breach Montmartre could be “the drop of coffee that makes the vase overflow.” The global giant opened its first French branch in 2004. But there are just 81 Starbucks in France, compared with more than 1,000 in Canada, and France’s Starbucks have yet to turn a profit.
In response, Starbucks has changed tactics—offering croque monsieur and pain perdu alongside its blueberry-studded jumbo muffins.
Laurent Pauzié, a young engineer in Paris, believes the Starbucks outlets “are only here to comfort tourists when they’re lost.” Kate Menzies, a Canadian living in Paris, is more accommodating. Starbucks, she says, “is one of the few places with public toilets and free WiFi in the city.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 1:23 PM - 0 Comments
Kennedy Stewart wants to bring parliamentary democracy into the social media age.
Brought forward by Burnaby-Douglas MP Kennedy Stewart, the motion seeks to amend standing orders so that petitions brought forward by constituents and approved get put online so the public can see them and sign them. The motion also calls for automatic debate on those petitions that generate more than 50,000 signatures … Stewart is calling for a dedicated website where petitions could be posted for public viewing and electronic signing. They’ll be closed and archived after six months and those that receive significant support will be debated for one hour, after regular parliamentary business.