[E-voting] Flashback to 2003

Shane Hogan shane at askaboutmoney.com
Sat Nov 28 08:05:55 GMT 2009

I’m reading Pat Leahy’s book “Showtime – The inside story of FIanna Fail in power” at the moment, courtesy of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Library Services. For anyone with a passing interest in politics, it is a fascinating chronicle of the Bertie years. The eVoting saga is covered over a couple of pages, largely to give some context for the treatment of Martin Cullen by Bertie. Joe McCarthy is mentioned as “the politician’s nightmare – independent, intelligent and au-fait with the technology”. The interesting angle in the book (which was news to me all those years later) is that he puts the blame squarely on the relevant officials (and not the Minister) for rushing through the €42m purchase of the main batch of voting machines. Here’s an extract;


“One day, Cullen was having a regular meeting with his senior staff, reviewing the disaster that the issue was turning into. Cullen’s advisers were wondering was it possible to abandon the thing completely. Without warning, the civil servants dropped a bombshell: the department had gone ahead and placed an order for the machines in accordance with government policy and policy the minister had adopted as his own. The cost was €42 million. Jesus Christ, thought one of Cullen’s advisers. They’re supposed to be on our side; this is going to bury us.”


Interesting stuff.



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