DISCUSSIONS of a formal petitioning system to give the public more say over what happens in Cardiff Bay are to be broadly welcomed.
In its fledgling years the Welsh Assembly and incumbent governments have battled on occasion to engage potential voters. They have also sometimes struggled to educate the public on which issues it can legislate over and which remain the responsibility of Westminster.
Now anyone who wants to change the law will be able to present a petition provided they have gathered just 10 signatures.
It may seem a paltry number, but a similar system trialled in Scotland has attracted 1,000 petitions. If it engages people with democracy, as it appears to have done, that is surely a positive move.
Interested parties won't even have to hang around in the rain on the Assembly steps in order to get their voices heard - a practice that is only viable to the most committed lobbyist in the rush of modern life.
Instead petitions can be developed online and the public will be guaranteed that the Presiding Officer will set any relevant cogs into motion.
This way, issues will be on the record, it could be discussed in a committee, and Ministers could be asked to answer questions on it.
All of which further helps to engage the public with the legislative process and familiarise them with new democratic options which are open to them.
The only fear is that the public might go overboard or abuse the system. They might flood the Assembly with topics which are superfluous, flippant or irrelevant to Wales.
In some cases they may suggest policy changes which are not within the Assembly's remit or which are dealt with elsewhere such as in Westminster or Brussels.
This has been a thorn in the side of some Scottish politicians but surely it is more important to persevere and put up with the minority of irrelevant petitions which can be weeded out almost immediately. Scottish petitions have led to changes in the laws on mobile phone masts, sewage and even the colour of the Scottish flag. Petitions also influenced a major policy issue - the ban on smoking in public places.
Welsh AMs will meet today to discuss the idea and the wider shake-up of how the Assembly works.
Now AMs must ensure that the public is up to date with which policy areas they are able to influence. And most importantly of all, they must be prepared to listen to the voice of the people.
With the Government of Wales Act will come big responsibilities, and considering the public's ideas seriously will be among the biggest.
When democracy is done, and is seen to be done, from the grassroots upwards then it is a powerful tool in renewing the public's faith in politics.