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The Theory of Petitions
Definition: "Petition, an entreaty, a request, a supplication, a prayer; a
solemn, earnest, or formal prayer of entreaty addressed to the Supreme
Being, or to a superior in rank and power. A single article, or several,
in a prayer; as, the several petitions of the Lord's Prayer. A formal
written request or application made to one vested with authority, or to a
legislative or administrative body, soliciting a favor, grant, right,
or act of mercy. The paper or document containing such request or
application; especially applied in legal language to an application to a
court or judge, as a petition for a divorce."
[Quoted from: Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921]
Petitions have no legal effect, but the signatures of millions of people on the petitions represents a moral force that help change to take place. Non-governmental organizations such as ACT! For Canada often use petitions in an attempt to exert moral authority in support of various causes relating to Canadian freedom and cultural values. Other non-governmental subjects of petition drives include supporting related causes and organizations. The Internet petition is a new form of a petition becoming commonplace in the 21st century.
[Quoted from: Wikipedia]
Online Petition Providers