Tag Archives: Online voting

Why did city council suppressed citizen’s right to vote Online in the 2018 election?

By Gerry Barker

October 18, 2018

Opinion

In the spring of 2017, city council killed Online voting in this year’s civic election based on the evidence of a professor from the University of Western Ontario.

He claimed that Online voting was insecure and dangerous in terms of the election outcome. The person behind this was progressive activist, Susan Watson, who invited the professor to tell his story to city council.

Council narrowly voted to ban Online voting for the 2018 civic election based mainly on the professor’s dire warning of the dangers of E-voting.

The progressive majority on council voted against allowing electronic voting for 2018.

The fact that Susan Watson played such a major role in creating this decision should not go unnoticed. It goes back to the 2014 civic election when her close friend, Karen Far bridge, was defeated. The progressive leftists, who had dominated city council for eight years blamed every one but themselves for their leader’s defeat.

This was the beginning of a series of moves by Ms. Watson, and the still progressive domination of city council to seek revenge. The Online vote ignored the success of the voting in 2014 when 12,767 votes were cast Online. There were absolutely no errors, confusion or evidence of misuse of the system as predicted by the Watson surrogate, the professor from London and others.

Here is the difference between 2014 and 2018. In 2014 there were 2.985 walk-in votes taken in the advance poll. This year that number was 5,400 walk-ins to the advance poll.

Voter  suppression at work

So, next Monday it will be interesting to see what happened to those 12.767 votes cast Online. The 2014 election saw a sharp increase in the number of votes cast with 43 per cent of eligible electors.

In my opinion, the Farbridge supporters, including Ms. Watson, were angry and blamed Online voting for the former mayor’s defeat.

After eight years of stumbling and fumbling administering the city, it was a shocker and that remains today. You have to ask yourself, if they believed they were snookered by Online voting, why did they vote collectively to ban it in 2018? Also, why didn’t Karen Farbridge run for mayor this term, as a number of her supporters urged her to do?

In my opinion, this was nothing but an attempt to suppress the right to vote.

Mayor Guthrie is secure that he will win because the progressive left could not recruit an electable candidate to run against him.

Not having a demographic profile on each of the 12,767 Online voters, just how many were disabled, out of town, or handling a catalogue of personal reasons that prevented them to go to their poll and vote.

Before going any further, what else has Susan Watson brought to the attention of council, in the past four years?

This was a campaign that never stopped

The first was Ms. Watson’s complaint to the city committee of election compliance regarding the donation to Ward 6 candidate, Glen Tolhurst, of $400 by GrassRoots Guelph, an incorporated, non-profit citizen’s activist group. Ms. Watson hired a lawyer to present her case that supported her claim.

Based on that lawyer’s presentation, the committee hired a Toronto auditor to investigate if the donation was illegal. Mr. Tolhurst and GrassRoots Guelph were eventually both exonerated by the auditor, William Molson. Ms. Watson, a close personal friend of the former mayor, Karen Farbridge, was not required by the city to pay the audit costs of some $11,000 that she initiated. The taxpayers had to pick-up the tab, including citizens Mr. Tolhurst and Gerry and Barbara Barker, officers of GrassRoots Guelph.

It should be noted that Mr. Tolurst had personal legal expenses regarding his defence.

The second Watson proposal to council was a request to have the city adopt the proportional voting system for the 2018 civic election. Ms.Watson is chairperson of the Fair Vote initiative, supported by the NDP across the country.

What is proportional voting? When you receive your ballot, you are asked to rank the candidates on a 1, 2, 3 basis thereby rating the whole slate. The top three are assigned points that are credited to them when the votes are counted. On the surface, this sounds plausible. The Trudeau government proposed election reform during the election campaign four years ago. Following the Liberal’s landslide victory, the Trudeau government backed off and proportional voting went with it.

The jury is out when it comes to discussing proportional voting. There are a number of municipalities, plus the British Columbia provincial government, who employ it.

Will that be pepperoni our ancovies?

The state of Israel has voted proportionally resulting in what is called the “Pizza Parliament” where none of the 18 political parties achieve a majority. This results in the party leading in the vote is forced to form a government with another party to achieve a majority. This has resulted in a right wing coalition government that has ruled the country for the past eight years.

The Watson proposal was an attempt to capture the election by running several progressive candidates in each of the six wards to maintain dominance of city council. Despite the progressive majority on council, the proposal was defeated.

There you have it. High stakes manipulation by the progressive left to stifle, thwart and defeat the greater majority of independent voters, new comers to the city and the aged and disabled.

It’s time to send their candidates to the minors and elect citizens whose real interest is making our city a successful, productive and efficient community, serving all the people not just those with special interests.

The evidence is clear. The proliferate spending on failed projects by the progressive – dominated council over the previous eight years has cost citizens millions in city support of failed projects and cost overruns on capital spending.

Next Monday Election Day, it’s your turn to change the administration to create a better Guelph Tomorrow.

Change means, affordability, civility, responsibility, honesty, creativity, unity, fairness, participation, competence, industrious, reality, and independence.

Our city has lost its compass and the new council has the opportunity to correct the course by navigating through the shoals of discontent and division.

Important Notice: We incorrectly reported that a Canadian passport was proof of ID when voting next Monday. It is not acceptable because it does not contain your address. The key documents that a voter must present at the polls includes a valid driver’s licence, a utility bill or a mortgage statement, provincial ID card with your photo, name and address. Your Health card may be one of a series that does not have your address on it.

If you have not any of these ID documents, contact the city website, Guelph.com website with a link to voter rights and procedures.

If that does not solve your right to vote, contact the City Clerk’s office for clarication.

First priority: Be sure and vote.

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Here are the poster councillors who bugged out on online voting in 2018

By Gerry Barker

April 27, 2017

Last Monday night, by a slim one-vote majority. Council voted to not use online voting for the 2018 civic election. The seven rejecting online voting include: James Gordon, Phil Allt, June Hofland, Mike Salisbury, Karl Wettstein and Leanne Piper and, surprise Bob Bell.

I’ve always has respect for the W1 councillor but this decision is doubly baffling.

His comment that: “The only valid argument for online voting that I have heard is the issue of accessibility for those that need it,” Coun. Bob Bell said. “For me, what’s important is that we protect the integrity of the process.”

Bob, did you have your hearing aids in? Did you not vote for online voting as a member of the Farbridge administration? Were you not re-elected in 2014? Were you not the beneficiary of online voting in that election? Or, maybe you didn’t know but check the 2014 advance poll results to see how many voted for you online.

Did you think at that time that online voting was an insecure method of casting a ballot?

In the straw vote conducted in the Committee of the Whole you voted to disallow online voting two weeks ago. This was before you heard the compelling arguments from Aleksander Essex, a professor from the University of Western Ontario. Does he live in Guelph? Is he familiar with the more than 97 Ontario municipalities who use online voting, including the City of Toronto and Ottawa?

The professor said: “We are in unchartered territory here. He continued: “There are insufficient advances in the technology to implement it (online voting) at this time.”

Gee, where was the professor three years ago to speculate on the lack of technology that was used by the city in 2014?

Did the Farbridge administration request an opinion from the professor in 2013 when online voting was being considered?

Were the two experts paid to make their presentations to council? If so, who paid for their attendance?

Former city councilor Maggie Laidlaw said council was “naive” when it gave the go-ahead to advanced online voting for the 2014 municipal election. Well that did not help her to be re-elected.

Naivety has nothing to do with it, fair and square the outcome was validated and Maggie, the Mayor and Todd Dennis were defeated. Two others did not run.

This is all about poitical risk management by denying people to register their opinions in a 21st century manner.

So here is what has to happen in 2018.

The citizens have to collectively register their opinions to reform our civic economy, already destroyed by secret spending of millions of public money.

The progressive candidates, no. read that regressive, need to be defeated. Let’s finish the job in 2018.

If I were Coun. Bob Bell, I would retire or he faces going to be hit with putting alleged online voting security ahead of those who are disabled and unable to vote.

That sounds like a losing platform.

This decision reeks of defensive political action to prevent election defeats that occurred in 2014 when the former mayor lost by more than 5,000 votes. It is facetious to blame online voting for the defeat. Just do the math. The total votes cast on Election Day was 45,000, more than half, 54 per cent went to Cam Guthrie. The overall breakdown result is self-evident. Guthrie won both the advanced poll and the Election Day vote, hands down.

Since 2014, the regressives tried to block the volunteer citizen’s group, GrassRoots Guelph, with a Susan Watson complaint that GRG could not donate money to a candidate. The Independent audit proved otherwise and her frivolous complaint cost the city $11,000 to process.

Then as chorus of the Fair Vote Canada Guelph chapter, MS Watson ‘s group expected to have the city reform the entire civic voting system by agreeing to allow proportional voting. That was turned down.

Now Ms. Watson and her dellow regressives have successfully stopped online voting in the city for 2018.

The grip that the regressives have on this council must end. We need responsible citizens to step forward and organize a reform movement to clean up the financial mess remaining three years after the former mayor has gone.

All you have to do is take a hard look at your property tax bills for the past three years and the user fees charged to use city facilities, to decide to help change the administration once and for all.

There is not a better time to start than now.

If you agree, send me your name and email to join our growing protest of this attempt to stifle our right to vote and participate in our civic affairs.

Contact: gerrybarker76@gmail.com.

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