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The Determinants of E-petitions on Government Responsiveness: A Case Study of the Join Platform
government responsiveness,electronic participation,electronic petition,join platform,
|Publication Year :||2019|
After the Sunflower student movement in 2014, governments launched the Join Platform to encourage people to propose creative policies through the e-petition. The e-petition on Join Platform, the first try in governments, requests governments to response in two months after the proposals pass the threshold of 5,000 people. Past researchers mainly focused on e-mails about personal complaints to governments or e-forums consulting public opinions rather than the e-petition. Although prior researchers have discussed the importance of e-petitions, they have not yet studied the factors explaining how governments respond to citizen’s online petitions. This study aims to examine how do governments react to e-petitions and to what extent do they incorporate citizen’s proposals into the public decision-making process and thus change policy results.
This paper uses open archival data on Join Platform and collects 156 cases that have passed the threshold and governments have already responded from September 2015 to December 2018. Results show that the e-petition on join platform can provide some information to citizens, promote communication between governments and citizens and even change the policies. On the other hand, most ministries can’t achieve response limit of 60 days and can’t deeply discuss the proposals during the process. Some ministries considering a few proposals illegal explained cases by themselves. Besides, some ministries still adopted the opinions they have decided after consulting comments from other groups. Proposals concerning laws and regulations amendment got lower degree of government response because of in-depth discussions. In addition, ministries tended to consult other groups on directions indirectly influencing public interest rather than explain by themselves.
This paper also shows the linguistic characters weren’t the main factor to influence the response. About the topics feature, when the issues have involved more ministries, the degree of formal and substantial response would be higher. This result shows that ministries were willing to interact with people in the e-petition of Join Platform. As the proposals DPP may better deal with, the results of substantial response aren’t significant. Whether the results show DPP couldn’t deal with these issues or didn’t emphasize on the e-petition needs to be explained by other evidence. Besides, governments may increase the degree of response when the contents of proposals are more solid or include different data sources. When people paid more attention to some proposals, government would possibly change the policies. However, this result shows that government may not emphasize on the discussion. Last but not least, as the e-petition in Join platform has been operating, the government has gradually been increasing the degree of substantial response but slowing down speed of response. Whether the phenomenon would influence people’s trust depends on future researchers to explain.
This paper suggests that governments should amend the rules to avoid some agencies procrastinating randomly and require some ministries update contents immediately. Furthermore, the governments can motivate people to discuss the public policies by using ICT tools and broaden the public participation to avoid similar proposals. Future researchers can analyze some cases to realize the process or discuss some problems that governments may face when they respond to people.
|Appears in Collections:||公共事務研究所|
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