Are peaceful protests waste of time?

  ex-wirecutter 14:13 26 Mar 2008

Are peaceful protests a waste of time ,or sending in petitions for that matter ?? The government of the day , whatever colour , do what they want anyway.

  Mr Mistoffelees 14:55 26 Mar 2008

One of the key benefits of living in a democracy is the right to vote-out a government you are not happy with.

  tullie 15:06 26 Mar 2008

A major flaw is that they are all as bad as each other

  anchor 15:54 26 Mar 2008

Governments seem to ignore petitions or protests.

A recent example was the petition to scrap the plans for road pricing. According to reports, 1.27 million signed this on-line.

However, this appears to have been disregarded, and plans are going ahead.

Asked on the BBC if such petitions would inform policy making, Cabinet minister Ruth Kelly said: "I think it's a good test of public opinion on a particular issue, but what they don't judge is the overall terms of the debate, the choices that politicians have to make in a representative democracy."

In other words, do as we say, not as you want; is this real democracy?.

  wee eddie 17:06 26 Mar 2008

1,270,000 although a large number, is a very small percentage of the Population.

The Democracy part is that we decide who will make the decisions for us ~ Not the decisions that they make.

  Forum Editor 18:11 26 Mar 2008

aren't a waste of time - they're an expression of people's feelings, and for every person who is keen enough to take part there are probably quite a lot more who feel the same way, but just don't want to march in the streets, or whatever.

It would be a very silly politician who ignored public demonstrations completely.

  octal 19:28 26 Mar 2008

"In other words, do as we say, not as you want; is this real democracy?."

Yes it is, if you don't like the present regime you vote them out, that more than can be done in a lot of countries.

I feel on-line petitions are sometimes a waste of time because some of them I've seen are inaccurate, which tends to dumb down the petitions value somewhat.

  Bingalau 19:50 26 Mar 2008

If we vote out the present regime who is there to fill the void? Just more of the same calibre of course.. Not much of a choice is there?

  lofty29 20:03 26 Mar 2008

Peaceful protests unless they are really en-masse, are a waste of time except posssibly at election time. If any government is really commited to a certain course of action it will take it regardless.

  laurie53 20:22 26 Mar 2008

Mahatma Ghandi would not agree.

  spuds 00:06 27 Mar 2008

Having been in one or two peaceful and non-peaceful protest, I can now look back and say "What a nice day out that was". Did they solve any issues, I doubt it very much.

And as for sending or contributing to on-line petitions, its a bit like listening with a large wad of cotton wool in your ears.It didn't stop two of our local well used post offices being closed, and the friendly staff being made redundant.

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