|Category||Type of debatable item|
A petition is an item that is used to debate a statement. This means that they have no effect on the TSR law, regardless of whether they pass or fail. Petitions are often used to call upon the government to do something. Similar to motions, it is common for petitions to discuss topical events but they are not restricted to these. They may only be submitted by non-MPs.
In December 2011, Metrobeans successfully passed an amendment to introduce petitions into the MHoC. The first official petition created was the Sprinkler Systems in Domestic Properties Petition in December 2011. Since then, there have been over 60 petitions.
Every petition that has been presented in the House has been recorded in the Petition Hansard, which is updated by the Speaker. This archive details who proposed a petition, when they proposed it, and what the result of the petition was. When petitions are put to the House, they are given an item reference. This will be 'P' followed by a number.
There are no rules regarding the format of petitions, except that they must call on the government or the House to do something. If they do not meet this particular criteria, the Speaker will either alter them or reject them, adding them to Rejected Submissions. Also, if the Speaker deems the petitions system to be unmanageable at any point, they may impose restrictions as they see fit in order to allow petitions to proceed in an orderly way.
There are three ways someone can submit a petition. Firstly, they could simply create a thread for their petition in the main forum. Secondly, they could send their petition to the Speaker who will then put the petition up. Thirdly, they could use the petition tool which automatically creates a thread for their petition in the House. Whichever way the petition is submitted, the Speaker will include it in their MHoC update. The petition will stay in the House for a maximum of four days when it will then be sent to vote automatically, unless a piece of legislation that would validly enact the content of the petition is posted in the House.
In the Division Lobby, all MPs will be able to either in favour, against, or abstain. After four days, voting will close and if the petition in question receives more votes in favour than it does against, it will pass. It is worth noting that the proposer has the power to withdraw a petition at any stage. If a petition passes that is calling upon the government to do something, the Prime Minister or minister responsible will make a statement to the House within 7 days of its passing to outline their intentions on fulfilling the ptition through legislation. A further statement will be required if a bill fulfilling the petition is not brought before the House within 3 weeks of the first statement (not including when the House is not sitting). If a petition which calls upon the House to do something is passed, The Speaker will appeal to the House for a coalition, party or MP to fulfil the petition.
Referendum petitions are a specific type of petitions. They are used to petition for a referendum to take place. Unlike normal petitions, they can be submitted by parties and MPs, and non-MPs require a seconder if they are to submit one. However, despite being introduced before normal petitions, they follow the same procedure and are recorded in the Petitions Hansard. Referendum petitions are expected to follow this format: "We the undersigned call for a referendum on..... with the question......". They follow the same procedure as normal petitions. Referendum petitions were introduced in August 2010 following the passing of an amendment by Metrobeans. The first official referendum petition was the Capital Punishment Referendum Petition in January 2017. Before then, only bills had been used to create referendums.