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Mulcair wins, NDP loses and E-Voting

I admit, I had a favourite horse in the horse race that is Canadian politics, and it was the NDP. The New Democratic Party was the party that you could vote for because it represented the common values of most of the people in country if you actually sat them down and had a beer with them. The problem is that most people don’t sit down and think about what they want, so they either vote in fear of losing their resource job, or vote because they have a grudge. The fact is that voting because of fear is bullshit, and voting because you have a grudge isn’t a good long-term strategy. It was OK that the NDP had no hope in hell of winning, they stood for something, unlike other politicians. Of course, thanks to Jack Layton, that changed so that the NDP were a party that you could vote for, AND they were a competitive party in Canada.

Unfortunately, that changed when Jack died, and it changed again today with the convention. Thomas Mulcair won the NDP Leadership, and proved that it really doesn’t matter what party banner you wave at the end of the day. The thing is that I’m not convinced that Mulcair stands for anything at all. I do know that he is a Friend of Isreal, that he opposed Childcare Workers in Quebec from forming a Union, and that he criticized the NDP as being too old fashioned</a> for hanging onto much of the classic NDP slogans. We know that Mulcair isn’t a socialist, and we know that he doesn’t believe in legalizing marijuana.

So, Mulcair isn’t that different than any other Liberal or Conservatives, and he won the NDP leadership. Now, frankly, I thought that it was bullshit how he won. The NDP had a one person/one vote system and encouraged people to vote online. There were two problems with this situation:

  1. The voting times were sent out in Eastern Only
  2. The NDP servers that were used for voting were subject to a Denial Of Service attack

Now, given that Halifax has had Online Voting with the same company that did the NDP leadership race, it seems that while Halifax City Council isn’t high stakes, the NDP Leadership Race is. This makes sense, since the person who wins that will be the leader of the opposition. The problem really starts coming into play when you point out the fact that the local city council, led by Vision Vancouver’s Mayor Gregor Robertson, wants to also introduce this same sort of online voting, you start running into real problems.

Vancouver’s mayoral elections are contentious, and are even more contentious than the NDP Leadership Race. While I’m still convinced that there’s a huge schism between those who stand for the traditional NDP values, and those who want to win at all costs and defeat Harper, the fact is that Vancouver City Politics is against people who HATE EACH OTHER and would be happy if their opponents got hit by cars while on their bikes. If the NPA was engaging in voter suppression in the DTES, you know the NPA would also try to DDOS the vote since that would benefit them and hurt Vision Vancouver, COPE and the other parties who aren’t completely awful.

So, the NDP leadership race has shown that E-Voting doesn’t work when it actually matters. It was easy for whoever DOSed the servers to screw up the vote so that people out in BC were all “Fuck this” and didn’t vote. In a race where it’s different parties involved, this is called voter suppression, and is what the outrage is over with the Robocalls. However, since it most likely hurt the 3rd place candidate, Nathan Cullen, and since Mr. Cullen is a class act, I don’t know how hard it would be investigated.

So, apparently Elections Canada, who was looking to do an E-Voting Trial, was watching the NDP Leadership Convention, and it would be interesting to send them another ATIP. I did send them one about Conservative complaints in the last election, but I never received a response. I also plan on filing an FOI with Elections BC and the City of Vancouver regarding the E-Voting situation in Vancouver, and in BC, since there are rumblings here about adopting that system as well. If an Election System can’t be audited because of its proprietary nature, it is not trustworthy and the election is in doubt.

Which brings me back to the NDP. Since the vote was fucked with, and since the turnout was low, is Mulcair legitimate? I’m sure the Conservatives are going to have attack ads that ask that question, but it’s a real question. If your election is fucked with, and the party runs with the results, did Mulcair actually win, or was he coronated by the party brass desperate to keep the Quebec seats? One thing is for sure, even though I like my current MP, I will not be voting NDP in the next election. I’ll probably just stay home, because honestly this is bullshit.