“You stupid woman, digital signatures don’t count,” we said less than a year ago, but a new law has changed that rule. If you want to tell parliament to put certain topics on the agenda, digital signatures are good enough to support your Citizen’s Initiative. Last year for instance, a group of women wanted parliament to debate on binge drinking youth. That bid failed, because the autographs had been digitally collected. The law has now been changed, and as of 1 January 2009 digital signatures do count.
So, with this great democratic leap forward, what do citizens elect to do with their new found power and responsibility? Why, declare their support for the War on Fun of course! The first digital Citizen’s Initiative is here, and it’s about fireworks. The citizens, led by Green Party city council member and sour puss David Rietveld, want it outlawed. To be precise, they demand that only professionals are allowed to light fireworks on New Year’s Eve, an activity often shared between dads and their sons.
As is typical for this time, something that is clearly wrong and illegal is taken and glued to something that is fun, yet irritating to some. In this case, the New Year’s celebrations are a signal to a very few troublemakers to start burning cars and houses. And so the David Rietvelds of this world figure that it is clearly the fireworks that are at fault, not the troublemakers—who in my opionion won’t be hindered by fireworks-banning legislation in the first place, and if they did would just find other ways to be dorks.