Given an online petition isn't somehow faked either bot manipulated, so technically it's true that N individuals sign it to express theire will/attitude.

Would you say there is some number of signatures where a petition will have political consequences, by existing international laws?

  • "Given an online petition isn't somehow faked/bot manipulated" is a huge given. It is very easy to manipulate the results of any online polls or petitions.
    – tj1000
    Aug 29, 2019 at 17:19
  • @tj1000 Many of the same criticisms apply to paper petitions (albeit at a significantly increased cost).
    – origimbo
    Aug 29, 2019 at 18:22
  • Much simpler and much faster to game online petitions with automated responses.
    – tj1000
    Sep 2, 2019 at 2:26

2 Answers 2


In general, the majority of meaningful international law applies only between nations, rather than to the constitutional context of how countries govern themselves. One possible exception is with regards to human rights issues, but the right to petition (in a loose, rather than an exact sense), let alone the right to vote, isn't universally recognised.

As such it is up to individual nation states (and lower governments) how they want to deal with petitions, whether online or offline, and different bodies have come up with different answers, ranging from "no meaningful petitions", to "paper petitions only" to "online system but with very limited effect". I'm not aware of any country which has transitioned fully to an electronic scheme, but it's certainly possible one will one day.


Petitions are one of the most lightweight forms of politics. I'm not aware of anywhere where they can have direct effect; places where they have a formal role in the political process usually cause some kind of more formal process like a referendum or the recall or re-run of an election for a representative.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .