[E-voting] Notes on DemCom submission/Questionaire

David GLAUDE dglaude at gmx.net
Sat Mar 27 23:46:04 GMT 2004

I know nothing about e-Participation, however some think I am an expert 
on that topic (where eVoting is the topic that interest me).

I made this presentation on the topic:
Where I present the eTools we have been using to coordonate the fight 
against Software Patent (and after that to fight IP Right Enforcement).

Unfortunately I have not seen the same tools beeing used to fight 
eVoting in my country or Europe wide, but more important I have not seen 
enough motivated peaple and technical enbeling guy to empower thos 
motivated peaple.

I can say that "you" have not been using many internet tools and those 
used might not have been used as effectively as possible...

The main problem beeing having the TIME, experience and technical 
expertise to choose and setup those tools. Then you need to have your 
audiance capable of also using those tools to make them usefull.

I guess some of the hard and dirty work has been done either off-line, 
or centralised. I don't say it would have been done best in an 
on-line/distributed way... but it could.

Cian, here is the first one for you... don't send TXT attachement where 
you could have the same information "inline". The extra click require 
(and the cut&paste effort) is all it need to get 50% of the potential 
interested party to not read or reply. Having an attachement in that 
case is a bad idea.

For the other, posting WORD document is a bad practice. Generating the 
PDF is the minimum requirement. I have seen a few LaTeX posting, is 
sound fun, maybe many don't have the tools, but at least it is 
readable... It would be best into a CVS or a WIKI if that is remotely 

Here is my reply to you Q?:


Q 1. What do you work at/study?
"Senior Network Eng."
How old are you?

Q 2. Have you previously been involved in politics in any way?
If so, how?
"Figthing against Software Patent."
"Fighting against eVoting in my Country."
If not, why not?

Q 3. How long have you been using computers/the Internet?
"Computer: 22 Years"/"Internet: 12 Years"
Have you previously used technology to participate in groups like this one?
Do you consider yourself a 'member' of ICTE, or an interested observer?
"External advisor"

Technology and Democracy

Q 4. Where do you see the role of technology in democracy?
"Technology is most of the time a gadget added that offer no real 
benefit. Technology is by it's nature non democratic since only expert 
can master it leaving the peaple without any control."
How do you see it helping or hindering democratic participation?
"Helping the transparency of the state and letting citizen pressuring 
the politics to do the right thing."
"Hidering by all the Big Brother effect and the danger of eVoting."

Q 5. Can technology strengthen inclusion and equality in democracy? How? 
How could it fail?
"Technology bring more exclusion and increase the gap between those that 
can use in and those that can not. Techonology is most of the time and 
for most of the peaple a black box... wich is not good."

e-voting at lists.stdlib.net

Q 6. Do you think this list has 'worked' as a way of organising a 
geographically distributed group?
"I guess it has."
What are its strong points?
"Quality of it's member (including political relay) and a informal 
aggreement on the way to go."
What are its weak points?
* Beeing the only tool used.
* Beeing monitored (open/public/archive/...) without any multilevel 
system: announce, public list, private list, ...

Q 7. What tools do you think have worked well here?
What further tools and processes would be useful to us or a similar group?
* SPIP or any CMS for common editing of web site content
* WIKI or any colaborative tools to edit/comment on document
Anything that permit colaborative work without introducing bottle neck 
and single point of failure.

Q 8. Does the government have a role to play in facilitating groups like 
this one?
"Not making them impossible is the best way to go... any governement 
controled infrastructure to organise things like that would be a way to 
control, monitor and censor the opposition to them."
Could this model be used in government organisations?
"No, governement and most political party are by nature hierarchical, 
secret in there internal way of working, with hidden aggenda, ... This 
way of working is not possible/acceptable for most."

Cian wrote:

> I've done a little work on the Democracy Commission submission over lunch.
> Find attached the DemCom's Terms of Reference, my notes on what sort of 
> submission we might make, and a brief questionaire I'd like people to have
> a look at. Everything is explained in more detail in the files themselves.

Don't let computer expert control election...
Endorse: http://www.free-project.org/resolution/
For Belgium: http://www.poureva.be/

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