Petition Bundling

During the US Election, I remember reading a biographic article about David Plouffe, one of Barack Obama’s earliest and most influential supporters, about how he came to be running the future President’s campaign. It seems he started as a ‘bundler’. These are people who go around donations from dozens of people in their network, delivering a large chunk of cash to the candidate (campaign finance rules set a limit on how much any one individual can donate).
I thought of this word ‘bundling’ over the weekend, when I tried to persuade some friends to sign not one, but four live petitions:

Much of the social media chat at the moment is about making it easier to engage with politicians on a particular issue.  The standard model at the moment, as purveyed by Amnesty UK, the Libel Reform Campaign and 38 Degrees, is a short series of steps that prompts you to:

  1. Sign the petition
  2. Write to your MP
  3. Donate
  4. Tweet and share on Facebook, &ct.

I wonder if there might be an alternative model, which would benefit projects like 38 Degrees, Power 2010 and MySociety which deal with many issues at once.  An earlier step in the process would be a set of check-boxes, where you could pick the petitions you wanted to sign.   Alternatively, other nudge tactics, or techniques used in online shopping, could be employed:

“Other people who signed the Libel Reform Petition also signed….”

The Manifesto Club petition for visiting artists and academics, presented to Downing Street on 17th March 2010 (photo by yrstrly on the English PEN Flickr stream).

3 Replies to “Petition Bundling”

  1. Great idea! And of course I’m delighted to see Gary McKinnon is on your list – extradition without evidence puts all of us at risk.
    I did see a tweet on twitter the other day “Petitions worth signing” (& link).

  2. I agree, a good idea. Thought the email formatting and sending to your local MP works really well, something I wouldn’t always get round to otherwise. The bundling concept suits me and works very well when you share similar values and beliefs. Filling in these petitions reminds me that I really need to seek out a petition to raise the age of criminality …

  3. From confused of datchet! I think I have already signed the first and the fourth and I guess its bad form to sign more than once if indeed you can.
    But yes a good idea. Will sign the third but need a bit more info regarding the second. Will do some research

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