lundi 2 novembre 2009

Municipal elections, the sequel

Well we have voted.  Laval has returned it's mayor and Montreal did the same.  They also elected their slates of candidates so both mayors will have a majority at City Hall.  So much for (not) cleaning up doubtfull ways of doing things.
 Longueuil has voted in a new mayor but gave a mojority to the former party in power so the new mayoress is in a minority position at City hall.  Everybody will have to thread carefully.
Elsewhere nothing has changed much and in 84 towns all were returned to office without opposition.  Satisfaction or mere apathy?

9 commentaires:

  1. Apathy. Everybody is too tired to budge.

  2. "Too tired to budge",eh? Not so sure. Many have come to feel that voting is meaningless since all politicians are alike and the system itself generates corruption. Why would anyone spend 40 thousand dollars to be elected to a job that, over 4 years, will earn him less than that?
    Private donations to a candidate can not, by law, exceed 1000$, companies can not suscribe but...several give money to their employees who give it to the campaigns as private gifts. It is illegal...but go prove it in court.
    So people stay home thus enhancing the system since the candidates get public money based on the number of votes they got. The less votes, the less they get form public money the more they need to go to private...etc. An unending process.

  3. Weird. Everybody is complaining about the flaws of their own democracy and political system. There is a need of reinvigorating people's interest in the democratic process. I wonder if voting via the Internet - the Cyberdemocracy, or Cyberdémocratie, si vous voulez - would change things a bit. Un retours à la democratie directe de la Grèce? We must not forget that now one can be connected even a cellular phone. This possibility of immediate and overall participation could boost things.

  4. Your idea is worth working on. However you will have to find a way to prevent massive fraud. How do you check all those voters and make sure they are real? I guess it can be done...the how eludes me.
    Recently, a provincial party held a telephone vote of their members to elect it's chief. They all had special ID and codes...yet one journalist managed to register the vote of a certain Omar Bongo the late president of an African country. The winner had a majority of 2 votes. Of course after Dufort revealed his prank, the majority fell to 1. The unfortunate rival has since quit the party.

  5. It is true. Fraud is possible but not in a greater extent than in non electronic elections. Besides if anything wrong happens elections can be repeated with a fraction of the cost vs old-type elections. Electronic direct democracy, EDD, from what I get from the Wiki, has been researched and developed at the Florida Institute of Technology. North America is ahead of everyone on this, I'm not surprised. As far as my knowledge goes, a good way against fraud is all the encryption and authentication methods available (electronic certificates, multifactor authentications etc.) that are tough to break and that after all have allowed e-banking and e-commerce (as for e-commerce almost $200 billion in the US only in 2008, a figure that could not be precise though.) So the obstacle as usual doesn't seem to be the technology, already present, more or less, but the social adaptation to it, people's and politicians' mentalities etc.

    And yes, in the Snails (e.g. Old) World, and especially here, this adaptation I fear will be HARD.

  6. You must be right about "adaptation". We have experienced electronic voting in polling stations for local elections. In small communities it worked well, in larger ones it was a disaster. Voting by computer from one's home is another thing altogether.
    As you state, the mechanisms allowing for safe banking and trading could apply. Would it make for more people voting? I'm not sure. The problem is not getting out of the house to vote. It's deeper than that: many do not believe in the system anymore and have a profound distrust of politicians of any stripes. Our democracy is sick, I only hope it is terminal.

  7. Of course I meant to write:"I only hope it is NOT terminal.

  8. Laval failed to elect a city councilor from a party opposing Vaillancourt.

    You get the governance you deserve I suppose.