[Linux-aus] Petition against the FTA

Steven D'Aprano steve at cyber.com.au
Wed Apr 14 09:51:02 UTC 2004

There is a petition against the Australian/USA free trade agreement:


Before you rush out to sign it, however, I'd like to suggest that on-line
petitions have all the impact of a damp piece of paper against a
battleship. Politicians don't pay much attention to them, because they are
so easy to fill with fake names and require no real care or commitment on
the part of the people signing them.

If you really want to make an impact, then pick up a piece of paper, write
a letter, and post it to your MP. Yes, I know dead tree by snail mail is
oh so 20th century, but MPs are old-fashioned people.

They might not act on it, but at least they will pay attention.

(As a general rule, it is usually considered that for every person who
takes the time and effort to write, 500 to 1000 care deeply enough about
the issue to change their voting preferences.)

Letter writing campaigns work because they show commitment. Petitions,
especially on-line petitions, don't because they demonstrate nothing more
than a momentary passing interest.

You can look for your Federal MP here:


You can find email addresses here:


but remember, email is easy, dead tree is effective. Which would you

Steven D'Aprano 
Operations Manager 
Cybersource Pty Ltd, ABN 13 053 904 082 
Level 4, 10-16 Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000 
Tel: +61 3 9621 2377   Fax: +61 3 9621 2477 
Web: http://www.cybersource.com.au 

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