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“Get rid of the ballot boxes and pencils”

Official Online Direct Democracy media release

In News, a historic turn in Australian Politics, as Online Direct Democracy Party, Australia’s first Online Party, a Not for Profit, contests the 2016 Federal Election! Picketing, marching, signing petitions, will be replaced with a tap on our phones with a Yes, No or Abstain vote on Every Bill, using an exciting Internet Platform called POLLYWEB!

Pollyweb, the ODD voting platform will revolutionise the way we view politics, making politics easily accessible, transparent and engaging, even fun, whilst ensuring all the facts are presented to voters without prejudice, so that voting is informed. ODD senators and MPs have committed in writing to vote as the majority direct on Every Bill. The Online Direct Democracy Philosophy is to Empower People.

With most of the population on their smart phones 24/7, this will entice our young voters. According to Associate Professor Joo-Cheong Tham, an expert in Australian electoral law at the University of Melbourne, young voters are ‘not engaged or interested’. “One-in-five are not voting, that is a serious issue, a serious democratic deficit,” he said. “It is concentrated among the young. We are talking about people coming into the political process, reaching adulthood who are for one reason or another disengaged from politics.

“Get rid of the ballot boxes and pencils and save on the $100m it costs to run each federal election!”, says Party Leader Francois Crespel.

With weeks to go, the party is on a crowdfunding mission, without any major backing other than the people it vows to represent. “We are ready to get out there and spruik online direct democracy, we invite Media Enquiries” says Tula Tzoras Candidate for Sydney ODD.

For more information and Media Enquiries please visit www.onlinedirectdemocracy.org

 

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21 comments

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  1. cornlegend

    Sorry, but with the record of hacks worldwide, this little black duck isn’t registering online

    A massive data breach appears to have left 55 million Philippine voters at much greater risk of identity fraud and more.
    Based on our investigation,{theregister.co.uk} the data dumps include 1.3 million records of overseas Filipino voters, which included passport numbers and expiry dates. What is alarming is that this crucial data is just in plain text and accessible for everyone. Interestingly, we also found a whopping 15.8 million record of fingerprints and list of peoples running for office since the 2010 elections.

    The Filipino breach surpasses the US government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hack last year that leaked personal identifiable information including fingerprints and social security numbers of 20 million US citizens.

    The number of records apparently spilled by the COMELEC leak also exceeds a periodically recycled Turkish data breach potentially affecting nearly 49 million Turks.191 million voters’ personal info exposed by misconfigured database (UPDATE2)http://www.databreaches.net

    Backgrounder: What Data Are in a Voter’s List?

    Voter lists or databases may include a lot of information about you in addition to the information you are required to provide when you first register as a voter. They may contain your first and last name, your home and mailing addresses, your date of birth, gender, and ethnicity, the date you registered to vote, your telephone number, your party affiliation, your e-mail address if you provided one when you registered, your state voter ID, whether you’re a permanent absentee voter, and whether or not you’re on the Do Not Call list.

    For $26 and an 8th Grade Education, You Can Hack a Voting Machine {antimedia.org}

    How to Hack an Election
    Andrés Sepúlveda rigged elections throughout Latin America for almost a decade. He tells his story for the first time.From Bloomberg Businessweek

  2. Jack Russell

    Don’t forget how George Dubya Bush got his presidency…lots of electronic shenannigans and a corrupt judiciary that covered his arse…

  3. Kevin Brewer

    ODD won’t even make it at 99 on my Senate paper. If the young don’t vote, that is their decision, and no matter what level of moronic simplicity the system reached they still wouldn’t. A pencil and paper and half a hour of their time isn’t too much to ask. If they want to make a difference they would think otherwise, and do the responsible thing. And who uses their smart phone 24/7? No one except ex smokers who can’t hold a fag and fiddle at the same time.

  4. Miriam English

    cornlegend, those data breaches already happen from databases for paper-based voting systems where the electronic information is not designed to be properly secured.

    We can now create completely tamper-proof anonymous voting systems that are verifiable not only by the authorities, but anyone, including the press, researchers, and the individuals who voted.

    The current paper-based systems are easy to tamper with at numerous points in the chain, and if you think they don’t end up as bits in computers then you’re wrong. The biggest problem is that the design is ad-hoc with incomplete security stuck on afterward as a bandaid. If the system was designed to be secure right from the beginning we could use the best mathematics to make it both anonymous and transparent.

    Also, don’t forget the “Direct Democracy” part of their name. It would end fiascos like Abbott’s Pledge: “No cuts to Education, no cuts to Health, no changes to pensions, no changes to GST, no cuts to ABC or SBS”. All actions would be voted on by the entire population instead of a few half-drunk morons thinking of their vested interests. We would already have marriage equality, a commission into political corruption, scaled up renewable energy, no new coal mines, no politicians’ pay rises, no TPP. All those things are being stopped by corrupt politicians against the wishes of the majority of the population.The changes to the way Australia is run would be massive and would be a great relief. That’s not to say everything would be solved, for example, racist things like locking up and torturing refugees would still happen until the population could be better educated.

    Kevin Brewer, you know as well as I do that the youth who don’t vote are not motivated by laziness. It is exasperation at what they see is both sides of politics exhibiting large scale corruption and not to be trusted in anything they say. It is easy to see how they feel when the revolting Newman QLD LNP government was voted out, to be replaced by a Labor government that went ahead with many of the same things that most upset the voters; when both major parties want us all to be spied upon all the time; when both major parties are in deep with the rich bastards who run the show.

    To mischaracterise the youth the way you do smacks of ageism. Be careful or you will reap what you sow; there is a grain of truth to the old joke, “Be nice to your kids. They’ll choose your nursing home.”

  5. cornlegend

    Miriam, I only used examples of voting, as that was what the article title was about
    Nothing you said would made me change my mind on Internet security in general at this stage.
    the following, all reported in one week , Not paper, digital ,

    The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift), the international bank transfer system used to transfer billions of dollars on a daily basis, has recently warned its customers of “a number of cyber incidents” where intruders had sent fraudulent messages over Swift system. Swift is a cooperative owned by 3,000 financial institutions.

    FBI Will not Tell Apple How It Hacked iPhone
    A few weeks ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation purchased a hacking tool for $1.3m to break into the iPhone from the San Bernardino shooting case. However, the agency wasn’t sure what exactly it paid for. Soon after the successful hack, the FBI claimed it wouldn’t tell Apple about the security flaw that made it possible. The agency explained that it didn’t buy the rights to the technical details of the hacking tool.
    Facebook Corporate Network Was Hacked
    Cyber attackers have had access to Facebook’s internal corporate network for several months, including access to Facebook’s employee usernames and passwords. The breach was conducted in July and September 2015 and possibly in February 2016 and was discovered by a security researcher during penetration testing on the tech giant’s corporate network

    American Congressman Called for Investigation into Phone Surveillance
    One of the US congressmen was hacked when the intruders tried to demonstrate that someone’s phone number is all they need to record the calls, texts and location. He then called for an oversight committee investigation into this phone vulnerability.

    https://extratorrent.unblockmy.xyz/articles/?page=1

  6. Miriam English

    cornlegend, you missed my point. Voting information, currently beginning on paper ends up on electronic systems. We have the worst of both worlds — a cumbersome paper system married to a vulnerable electronic system. Why not have an electronic system designed from the ground up to be safe and secure? It can be done. It the moment we have a paper+electronic system that is neither safe nor secure.

    When you add in the fact that a fully electronic system could allow us all to easily vote on all topics of concern to us at virtually zero cost to gain us a fully participatory democracy then the answer seems a no-brainer to me.

  7. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    I think that in time electronic voting will be normal. Plenty of ways to sort out the technical and security issues. However, I’m not sure that involving the electorate in every single political vote is the best of ideas. I am far from ignorant, but the time to get up to speed on a single policy, rather than the multiplicity that are voted on, is almost impossible, such that voting then becomes guess work, or worse still, simply supporting your “team”. Like it or not, representative democracy is the best way forward – certainly it is flawed, particularly having been gamed by political parties to their, their donors and their “electorates” benefits and at the expense of others – but it remains the only efficient way to do it IF we can get representatives to actually represent the voting public, not their personal vested interests. This must be the challenge we try and resolve.

    Imagine if any business, or indeed any organisation, had to ask the workforce/members each and every time they wanted to make a decision? It simply doesn’t make sense, and to expect the general public to vote on sometimes highly complex issues makes no sense either, unless of course, you could pre-test their knowledge of the subject, and only allow their vote to count if they can prove they have enough understanding to make an informed input.

  8. cornlegend

    “you could pre-test their knowledge of the subject, and only allow their vote to count if they can prove they have enough understanding to make an informed input.”
    Wouldn’t/couldn’t that lead to the banking industry formulating banking policy, miners/mining, health industry/health etc

  9. Korstraw

    cornlegend has got it right. I’m an ‘early adopter’ of technology and promote it widely to those about me. But not this, there’s nothing right about it. I’d rather keep the pen and paper system we have at whatever ‘cost’ (how do you price ‘democracy’?). The facts in this case speak for themselves – hacked/fraudulent elections in America and elsewhere. I think Wikileaks, Snowden and the FBI/Apple nonsense would be enough to tell anyone, no electronic elections here. Anything digital is hackable.

  10. Backyard Bob

    Totally agree with what Steve said. While I have to accept, I suppose, the inevitability of electronic voting, I’m not a fan. In fact I think it’s a bad idea, but for a reason that has not been raised thus far.

    Australia is going through a period where political disengagement and cynicism is a real and serious problem. I don’t see how electronic voting can do anything but make it worse. It may be because I’m getting older, but I don’t think so since I’m on the Internet more than is good for me.

    As it stands, voting is a visceral act. It is a communal act. For many, if not most people, it represents the most direct, physical connection they have to the political process. And we want to take that away by isolating people even further? I mean, I’m a lazy shit who thinks technology replacing effort and “work” is an awesome thing, but not in all contexts.

    Simpler isn’t always better. Easier isn’t always better. I still use a mortar and pestle in the kitchen.

    What of the joy of chatting to booth workers giving up their time for the sake of the system? What of the ego-high you get from telling “enemy” booth workers that you don’t need their “how to vote” card because you already know how to vote? How often do you get to do something, anything, with a pencil anymore? I mean, c’mon!

    The system already caters, of course, for those, who for whatever reason are unable or unwilling to engage with the physicality of voting.

    I fail to see how sitting in your bedroom, hitting the return key to cast a vote can make anyone feel politically engaged. For me the process could hardly be more dismissive of it, and more causative of a feeling of isolation from each other. Politics is community. Every step we take away from that idea is a step towards politics of the individual. I think we all know where that leads…

  11. Miriam English

    Uh-oh. The end of the world must be near… I’m in partial agreement with Backyard Bob. 🙂 (Though only partial.) For those that make a social occasion of it, electronic voting would be a step backwards. But how many people do that? I don’t know anybody who thinks of voting as a social event. Most people I know think of it as a chore. However they see it as their one chance to have any kind of say in the awfully broken political system we have. And even then, there is a kind of fatalism that whoever we vote for won’t do what we want anyway.

    For the other people who keep talking about the insecurity of electronic voting… you understand that after you make your marks on paper it is all electronic anyway, don’t you? It is terribly insecure at the moment and almost certainly gets tampered with. Why not have a system that is designed to be secure from the get-go? The great advantage is that it would let everybody check that the votes were counted properly — not just the people on the inside. Everybody.

    As for the “problem” of getting the population to vote on everything… what you see as a problem I see as an advantage. If people don’t feel knowledgeable or enthusiastic enough to vote then that’s why the “abstain” choice would be there. There is no way the government could pull off the bullshit about marriage equality in such a world. Or the TPP, or blocking renewable energy, or cutting health/education/women’s refuges, or many of the things that have the Australian people pissed off.

  12. ColinM

    There’s no point is aiming for a 100% opinion on online voting – people will be for it or against it – the debate will range as long as we exists. Am I for it – definitely, as a concept. Am I in favour of making it compulsory? Definately not. That would be as undemocratic and “Client” (voter) (un)engaging as Paypass on Debit/Credit cards (don’t get me started on THAT one).

    Yup, most of us “risk” online banking – it’s perfectly secure right, with the latest HTTPS/SSL encryption etc? – Nope it’s not, but it’s so darn convenient and time saving we risk it. Why? Probably because there are so many banks, credit unions and other financial institutions that we represent a relatively small target – thousands of bodies on the firing range if you like.

    But online voting would be different – every eligible (at least those on the EC radar) in one huge accessible database. THAT would be an attractive hacking target for all sorts of informational reasons.

    But I still like the idea – and it SHOULD save a LOT of money. (Notice the word should).

  13. Miriam English

    I don’t know why people keep saying that it would be a target for hacking, as if that’s something new. It is all already stored on computers. Online voting would attempt to make that safer, especially if the anonymised options are used where your vote is recorded against a unique number (generally as a barcode or Q-code) and nobody knows that number except you.

    We already have all our data stored in giant honeypots. It is already incredibly dangerous. We need to take it seriously and make it secure. At the moment it is NOT secure.

    This is almost a completely separate issue from electronic voting. The point of convergence is that electronic voting would hopefully force us to get serious about making this stuff secure.

    Arguing against electronic voting because of security problems is like arguing that I wouldn’t ever shop at a particular shop in a shopping center because driving is dangerous, yet being perfectly happy to drive to the same shopping center to other shops there.

  14. Jexpat

    One the very best things Australia has going for it is paper ballots, counted by hand and capable of being actively scruntineered.

    And/or recounted and audited.

    Any inroads against this process necessarily involves degradation of transparency and opportunities for systemic fraud.

  15. John

    Jexpat One the very best things Australia has going for it is paper ballots, counted by hand and capable of being actively scruntineered

    I’d be happier if they at least used a pen !

  16. Miriam English

    Jexpat and John, you realise it is all electronic after the initial paper part, right?

    There are already ample places for tampering in the existing system. Making it secure from beginning to end would make a lot more sense.

  17. cornlegend

    having scrutineered for decades at LG, State and Federal elections along with a dozen or two other individuals, all representatives of their respective Parties, in the one room , sometimes for weeks on end {and at times, recounts}and that is only one of the 150 electorates in a Federal election I’d trust that system.
    This occurs in each polling place well before transfer to Electoral Commission offices.
    There have been hiccups, but minor to anything overseas, and until a foolproof system comes along I’m happy with the status quo
    SLOW, but effective !

  18. Athena

    I’d like a choice to use online voting. I’d have to shut my cat out of the room first though or her stroll across the keyboard might have me voting Liberal.

  19. jim

    Well Mal’s a tech head then he should explain why the most securest safest easiest cheapest convenient way to vote and saving $Millions $$.isn’t implemented straight away.

  20. Kris

    It appears that most of the people commenting on this article are terrified of how a digital system can be hacked. To which I can probably reply with three points;
    1. This system is not replacing the Australian Government, so calm your farm. It’s a consultation tool for a micro party to talk with their electorate and the nation.
    2. I guarantee that you all have your money in banks. Banks who hold all of your money and far more of your personal detail than this system would ever hold. If you are worried about this new system knowing what the AEC system already knows about you (plus your mobile phone number for voting verification messages), then you should be absolutely terrified of the amount of information that your banks hold on you. If someone hacks a bank, your whole life disappears. If someone hacks PollyWeb, we reset your password and undo any votes that were cast without your permission…
    3. Because of your baseless fears that this new system wields incredible powers and is vulnerable extensive corruption, you would prefer to continue to vote for existing parties…who actually do wield incredible power and are vulnerable to extensive corruption.

    Great logic.

    We will let those who are terrified of progress stay cowering in the dark. The rest of us will move on. Feel free to join us when you are ready.

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