[E-voting] Stormontgate/Qinetiq/Shell

Ciaran Quinn election at polarbears.com
Sat Dec 17 16:12:40 GMT 2005

When it was revealed that the original government consultants on the 
Shell pipeline project in Mayo were part-owned by Shell, the minister 
concerned, Noel Dempsey, had to appoint independent consultants to 
conduct a new investigation. Given the recent revelations about British 
government agents within Sinn Féin, doesn't this raise questions about 
whether Qinetiq, part-owned by the British government, should be 
involved in testing the electronic voting system?

Clearly there is a conflict of interest here:-
- the British govt. are interested in preventing Sinn Féin doing well in 
elections here
- a company part-owned by the British govt.  is employed to verify the 
accuracy of the electronic voting system.
Clearly Sinn Féin candidates cannot be expected to accept election 
results based on the assurances of British govt. owned companies that 
the system is safe. In some ways it doesn't matter - the system is not 
going to be used and the charade of testing is taking place so that 
govt. candidates can deflect criticism of the money wasted on it during 
the general election campaign.

Maybe a question or 2 could be asked:-

Will Minister Roche appoint an independent company to re-do and 
re-examine all work carried out by Qinetiq in relation to the electronic 
voting system?

In view of recent suggestions in the media that British agents are 
active in Irish political parties, will the Minister exclude British 
government-owned companies from contracts involving the electronic 
voting system?

If there is genuinely a prospect of the system being used, he would have 
to exclude Qinetiq. If the testing is only a charade, he will not want 
to waste more money on it. Maybe this is a way of finding out which is 
the case?


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