ePetitioning success in Haparanda

The City Hall of Haparanda with snowsculptures in the foreground
(Photo from the municipalities homepage)
The web based ePetioning system of the Municipality of Haparanda was opened on November 22, 2011. It is allready a great success.
Haparanda is a small municipality with around 10 000 inhabitants. Voter turnout is the lowest in Sweden (slightly above 60%), more than 60% of the citizens have finnish as mother tongue. The inhabitants interest in traditional politics has been ambigous. So the politicians of Haparanda decided to find out about peoples opinion and introduced ePetitioning in the municipality.

ePetitioning is a method where anyone can make a proposal to the municipality through a web page. All proposals (or petitions) that fulfill formal criteria are published on the web page where other citizens can sign the petition. This gives a clear indication of the development the citizens prefer.

The Municiaplity of Haparanda decided to pass all ePetitions that are signed by 30 or more persons directly to the council board. This does not automatically make the petition implemented in reality, but it means that the proposal will enter the political system for evaluation and handling.

Today we have a first result:

After 3 months the municipality has received 32 petitions. Until now 11 of them have received more than 30 signatures and so far 4 have been sent to the City Board for action.

3 (!) out of these 4 petitions have been accepted by the city council and will be implemented in reality. The subjects are varying:

"We want street lighting in Vojakkala"
"Renovate the bath house / the swimmingpool"
"No so called "light products" in the preschool and the school"

ePetitioning in Haparanda has just started. It puts new demands on both politicians and officials. The model increases the interaction with the citizens and has probably come to stay.

imCode Partner AB is happy to have received the confidence of the Municipality of Haparanda to participate in the work with process plans and to have delivered the technical system.