Ok I see a similar question has been answered and there have been successes: Have any of the "We the People" petitions ever resulted in policy changes?

However, what is the success / failure ratio based on an online petition from change.org or whitehouse.gov? What is the ratio of petitions that have met the threshold and effected change, versus those that met the petition threshold and did not have an effect? Has anyone done a study or collected data?

  • 2
    Do you want to look at all petitions, or only "useful" ones (where you'd have to define that somehow)? I mean, Build a Death Star got the signatures (and a response), but I don't count our lack of Death Star as a failure of the petition platform itself.
    – Geobits
    Mar 12 '15 at 13:54
  • @Geobits It would have to be all because 'useful' is subjective. Death Stars likely comprise less than 1% of the total.
    – Chloe
    Mar 12 '15 at 20:00
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    @Geobits - I do. The biggest political atrocity this century.
    – user4012
    Mar 12 '15 at 22:43
  • Honestly if you look at the top petitions in the Obama and Trump White Houses a lot of them seem like they would never happen for political reason or legal/admin reasons that make them impossible to do. Personally I don't think anything of value has come out of that.
    – Joe W
    Jul 9 at 21:36

I follow this closely and, to my knowledge there has never been a study on the success/failure rate of White House petitions.

The real effect is that the White House uses these petitions to rationalize that which it has already decided on. Note the large number of signatures required in a short time. That requires an organized campaign, part of a large lobbying effort.

I have yet to see a petition acted on that was not already being acted on in the absence of the petition.

  • How do you know that the petition would have been acted on anyway?
    – user4951
    Sep 5 '19 at 10:44
  • @user4951 People petitioning for something that is already planned or in the works
    – Joe W
    Jul 9 at 21:37

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