Transparency

There’s a tragedy happening in Venezuela. I am trying to discover the truth but one part of the story struck me as interesting and odd. Venezuela, it would seems use an e-voting system. This is supplied by Smartmatic, a British based company and their CEO, quoted in the Guardian, has announced that he believes that

 … results recorded by the company’s systems show “without any doubt” that the official turnout figure was tampered with

This is the problem with e-voting systems. How can he know and how can anyone know the truth?

Transparency

MXV

So the momentum stitch-up has kicked off big time. I think I’ll constrain this little post to the e-democracy part of the debate. The momentum bureaucracy are proposing that the coming sovereign national conference is framed, decided or influenced by a digital platform and have conveniently launched one. It is called MXV and is based on a product called Consul which seems to have been built for Madrid City Council. When you arrive at the home page, you are offered the opportunity to “sign in” or “Join Momentum”. If you are already a member, and have not been issued with a password, you’re fucked. There is one email address on the site, to use if one has a problem. I have now mailed them twice to ask for login credentials, with proof that I am a member. (The second mail was sent today.) I’d have expected them to use getsatisfaction or user voice for their help desk interface since people can help themselves and see what’s happening; they seem to be learning from the Labour Party and the whole thing is just a black box bit bucket. Actually it’s several steps better because it’s open source, although I have not yet sought to prove that this code line is in use and I don’t do Ruby so I can’t check the vote counting routines. The original product offers oauth support.

What we have here is the construction of the electoral roll in secret. This isn’t good enough. It’s why we have polling agents, judicial review and even international observers in our public elections and why I argued that the Labour Party needs an independent reviewer of its own elections to make sure that the behaviour of the returning officer and his or her agents is transparent. This is all before we measure the value of the conference, the debate and the mandating meetings,

If this is the new e-democracy epitomising new politics, then frankly it’s wanting.

MXV