Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Scoop Link: American Coup Makes The Guardian

Paranoid party rights


Matthew Engel
Wednesday February 12, 2003
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,893701,00.html

Anyone who has had any connection with British politics will know the election-night scene: the draughty hall; the trestle tables; the piles of ballot papers; the suspicious agents prowling, ready to holler if a solitary ballot is misplaced. The system is zero-tech, offers a near-ideal combination of secrecy and transparency and (Northern Ireland excepted) has produced a trivial number of failures since the secret ballot came in 130 years ago.

The United States, as we know, has been less fortunate, though it is considered rather churlish and passé these days to mention what happened in Florida, and anyway the system has been reformed: there will be no more butterfly ballots and pregnant chads. The US is spending billions of dollars to "upgrade" voting systems - switching to methods that are far less transparent and even more corruptible. Furthermore, Britain is thinking of following suit.

By 2004, most voters in the US may well be voting by touch-screen systems, provided by a handful of companies, mainly private. Routine oversight of the counting process is effectively impossible. Even in the event of a court challenge, there is no sure way of telling that the votes have been allocated correctly. I asked a spokesman for Diebold, one of the largest firms involved, how a losing candidate would know they had lost. "Our machines undergo a battery of tests undertaken by independent testing associations for logic and accuracy," he said.

Fine - in theory the machines are perfect: we all have computers that never go wrong, don't we? Unfortunately, there appears to be nothing to stop to a corrupt company, a corrupt official or a corrupt (or merely incompetent) programmer subverting the democratic will.

For full story see...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,893701,00.html

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

FIRST TARGET ACHIEVED: Help Scoop.co.nz To Fly In 2015

Scoop is NZ's oldest and largest independent online news service. We have described ourselves as fiercely independent for more than a decade and we would like to stay that way... By making Scoop’s connection to the public and contributors more explicit we hope to achieve the level of support and sustainability that will enable Scoop to fly as a community asset. More>>

ALSO:

Greek Riddles: Gordon Campbell On The Recent Smackdown Over Greece

There had been a fortnight of fevered buildup. Yet here we are in the aftermath of the February 28 showdown between the new Syriza government in Greece and the European Union “troika” and… no-one seems entirely sure what happened. Did the asteroid miss Earth? More>>

ALSO:

McBeth On The Cricket World Cup: It's How They Handle Fan Pressure

Brendon McCullum's team has achieved impressive results in the lengthy buildup to the contest and they deserve to be among the favoured teams, but... Their results need to be kept in perspective and fans should get a much better idea of the Black Caps chances when they face England in the capital on Friday. More>>

Keith Rankin: Contribution Through Innovation

The economic contribution of businesses and people is often quite unrelated to their taxable incomes. EHome, as a relatively new company, may have never earned any taxable income. Its successors almost certainly will earn income and pay tax. Yet it was eHome itself who made the biggest contribution by starting the venture in the first place. More>>

ALSO:

A Public Conversation: Reinventing News As A Public Right

Alastair Thompson: Oh how the mighty have fallen. Once journalism was possibly a noble profession, though that is certainly now, to quote our Prime Minister, a 'contestable' notion. It certainly seemed at least a little noble when I joined the ranks of reporters in 1989 . But ... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news