May 2012 Newsletter – Registration Open for First E-volving Democracy Dialogue on Online Voting

Dear Democratic Reform Supporters:
Registration Now Open for First E-volving Democracy Dialogue Event:  Online Voting (The Hive, Downtown Vancouver, May 26th, 2-5 pm)
Later this month, PartyX and Fair Voting BC will be jointly hosting an interactive dialogue session on online voting.  Participants will look at the risks associated with online voting – and how trust might potentially be built into such a system.
The session will include a panel discussion featuring Andrew MacLeod (legislative reporter, The Tyee); Steve Wolfman (Computer Science, SFU) and Fathima Cadre (UBC Law and open media advocate).
The afternoon will also feature small group discussions in which participants will identify and prioritize conditions they believe a proposed online voting system would have to satisfy before it could be used in good conscience in a public election.  We will use the resulting recommendations to inform our public policy positions on this issue.
“Online voting is an issue of increasing importance for the progressive democracy movement, particularly with its potential to engage larger and more diverse demographics – especially younger generations – in the political process,” says John Richardson, founder of PartyX. “But with this potential also comes risk surrounding fraud, security, privacy and so on. Any system we use has to be trustworthy. But what this looks like means different things to different people.”
“Online voting is increasingly being proposed, planned and used at all levels of government as a possible way to re-engage voters in our political processes,” said Antony Hodgson, President of Fair Voting BC. “But for online voting to play this role, voters have to be able to trust the process and results. Technical failures or scandals arising from premature adoption could destroy public faith in elections, so we need to think through carefully how we as ordinary citizens could know that a proposed online voting process was trustworthy.”
Details are as follows:
Saturday, May 26, 2012, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
@ The Hive, 128 West Hastings Street #210
By donation ($10 suggested to cover costs) – Space may be limited, so RSVP Requested.
This dialogue will be the first in a series, all highlighting issues related to technology, democracy, and the theory and practice of collective decision-making. This event is designed for anyone with an interest in social change.
More information is available here: http://partyx.com/engage/dialogue-online-voting/.  Space may be limited, so please click here to reserve your spot.

We hope you can make it and really appreciate anything you can do to help spread the word!  In particular, please pass on this announcement to any individuals or groups you think might be interested.

Fair Vote Canada Annual General Meeting (May 25th and 26th): Available by Webcast
Our good friends at Fair Vote Canada will be holding their Annual General Meeting in Toronto during the last weekend in May, and will be webcasting parts of their event.  For details, please visit their event page.  Here’s what they say about it:
“May 25 and 26, 2012 in Toronto, we’ll be bringing together supporters and activists from across the country for a dynamic lineup of speakers and workshops, and to launch the Fair Vote Canada Action Network. You won’t want to miss it!”
 
“Engage with Craig Scott, MP  (NDP) , Stephane Dion, MP  (Liberal), and Elizabeth May, MP (Green) (Live from Saanich-Gulf Islands) on how they plan to bring proportional representation to the top of the agenda in their own parties and make it a major election issue in 2015.  Learn the method and power behind building a massive online and on-the-ground movement from Jamie Biggar , Executive Director of Leadnow.ca, Canada’s fastest growing online citizen’s campaign.” 
And lots more – hope you can join them.  A couple of our Vancouver supporters have proposed having a breakfast party on Saturday, May 26th at 7 am (10 am Toronto time).  If you’re interested in joining them, or in hosting your own event elsewhere in the province, please let us know by dropping us a note at info@fairvotingbc.com.
Yours for a stronger democracy,
Antony Hodgson
President, Fair Voting BC
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