Alliance Party Petition the numbers don’t seem to add up?
Despite losing the vote on the Hunting of Wild Mammals with Dogs Bill, Alliance Party MLA John Blair within only a matter of hours vowed to bring the Bill back again in the next mandate. After the defeat the Alliance Party even launched a petition calling on people to show their support for a ban on all hunting of Wild Mammals with dogs.
The petition asked those who took part to share on social media platforms, publish their names and comments on the petition website to encourage others to take part. With only names to go by CAI carried out a check of the unusual names like Thorsdatter or Clelland-Morin’s that had taken part.
Once again, we found animal activists from around the world signing the petition including Switzerland, Estonian, USA and even Canada to name but a few. Also, many we checked also had blank social media profiles making us question whether some were real people at all.
78% of the 18,425 respondents supported Mr Blairs Bill making it the largest public consultation in NI history. Therefore, his Party and I’m sure you would expect this petition to be a runaway success achieving at least the same if not more support than before, especially with the very bias and public media coverage it received.
However, from the outset the petition failed to gain any substantial traction. Even with a concerted push at the end by the Alliance Party and their animal activist supporters it only achieved a fraction of the responses that was claimed took part in the public consultation. In a last ditch attempt they have even kept the petition open past its stated closing date of 10th January, in a desperate bid to increase the numbers.
Considering this, and using the Alliance Parties own figures from this petition, it would appear to contradict the level of support and the claims made from the public consultation with only a fifth of the number taking part in this petition. It also raises serious questions as to the quality and accuracy of the information provided to MLAs before the debate.
This can only be seen as yet another embarrassment for not only John Blair personally but also the Alliance Party and I don’t think Rupert will be in any hurry back to NI to cover this story along with other media outlets.
(Interesting some of the comments left)
Even if we include everyone who has signed this petition it equates to less than 0.162% of the NI population which only further demonstrates the lack of support for the Bills return.
CAI would suggest the Alliance Party stop wasting Assembly time on this misguided Bill, that does nothing for the welfare of the fox and get on with real issues that really matter to those living in our rural communities such as Home’s, Jobs, Health, the Pandemic and cost of living crisis.