Posts Tagged ‘Liberal’

Trudeau’s Apology Falls 10 Feet Short

February 27, 2017

– a Lockeblog exclusive –


Ayer’s Cliff mayor Alec van Zuiden poses an English question to the prime minister at a Liberal Party Jan 17 townhall meeting in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Justin Trudeau answered in French, and to date has offered no personal apology.

By Jack Locke

Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized to one person he insulted at his January 17 Sherbrooke townhall meeting, he has neglected to apologize to the other 5 people he treated rudely.

In an exclusive interview with one of the forgotten five – Ayer’s Cliff mayor Alec Van Zuiden, who posed his question in English and was responded to in French – he makes it clear no apology was tendered.

“An apology? No. That said, I was not expecting one frankly,” say van Zuiden in an email, “No, he did not call nor send me a letter.”

The mayor had asked about his region’s dire need for support for small business, where a majority of businesses are made up of four persons or less.

A month following his crude public display, much publicity was made when the Prime Minister apologized to Judy Ross and to the Quebec Community Groups Network. But respect for the other 5 persons directly dissed by Prime Minister Trudeau was once again denied.

Although much of he country was offended by Trudeau’s insensitivity, the mayor remains philosophical.

        “…an affront to common civic decency…”
                                         – Mayor Alec van Zuiden

“Long story short – and as mayor, let alone just a human being – I well understand we can all make mistakes,” he says, “while there is no question his announced position at the Sherbrooke town hall was an affront to common civic decency – he has acknowledged the error; in the name of everything holy – let’s move on.”

In his email, the mayor speaks glowingly of his Liberal member of parliament, Marie-Claude Bibeau and her staff.

“They were, and continue to be, most helpful in various matters of concern not only to me as mayor but to the community as a whole. I have rarely seen such implication from an elected official at a grass roots level and the subsequent involvement of staff.”

Ever humble, van Zuiden notes how he might have proceeded.

“If I had prefaced my introduction the way I had planned, ‘Good evening Justin, my name is Alec the mayor of a bilingual status community so recognized by the province of Québec, as such I would welcome you to respond to my query in English if you would,’” writes van Zuiden.

“Alas, that whole line simply skipped my mind when I got up…”

A call to the Prime Minister’s office has not yet been returned.






Will Cyber-iceberg Sink The Liberal’s Ship?

April 7, 2013

Computer experts say Internet voting is “questionable”
by Jack Locke

As the Liberal Party of Canada floats into the uncharted waters of an Internet-based voting leadership contest, the party maintains their ship is sailing fine as a leading Canadian computer expert warns of a potential cyber-iceberg lurking in the dark.

“Online voting has significant security risks that makes its use in high stake elections, like a leadership race, questionable,” says Dr. Jeremy Clark, a scholar at Carleton University’s School of Computer Science.

Clark’s comments echo the warnings of Princeton University computer scholar, Andrew Appel, who says internet-voting is “laughably insecure.”

As the Liberal Party of Canada prepares to start their week-long leadership vote today, their spokesperson Sarah Bain says all is well. This is the first time the Liberals are using internet and telephone voting methods for their leadership election.

“We are confident that our registry and voting system will allow LPC(the Liberal Party of Canada) to conduct a fair and accurate leadership vote,” insists Bain. But her confidence is not shared by experts like Clark and Appel.

“Casting a ballot online with a typical internet voting system provides no assurance that the votes are counted correctly, without undue interference or programming mistakes,” says Clark.

The counting of votes can be interfered with at various points: during the sending of the vote, in its reception, and following its reception in the software program that does the counting.

“Further, the removal of the private voting booth opens the system to vote-selling and in-person coercion. Finally, internet voting requires voters to submit a secret ballot from a potentially malware-infected personal computer over a hostile network for storage on an internet-facing server susceptible to hacking attempts and denial of service attacks.”

In an exclusive story, Andrew Appel, chair of Princeton’s Department of Computer Science, said there are many known threats that can significantly alter proper voting results.

“Any known methods for public Internet voting are known to be very seriously flawed,” says Appel. “Although vendors talk about idealized security where (supposedly) all kinds of security measures are in place, in actual practice in real election administration these systems are laughably insecure.”

The Liberal’s voting systems, both internet and telephone, are being coordinated by Dominion Voting Systems, a company headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

“Dominion, contracted by LPC to conduct our voting procedure, along with LPC staff and hundreds of volunteers are extremely dedicated to ensuring the highest level of confidence and accuracy in our registry process and voting system,” says Bain.

About one hundred and one years ago, on April 15, 1912, Captain Edward John Smith was equally confident, that is, until his vessel the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean. One doubts that Justin Trudeau knows the words to “Nearer My God To Thee,” the last music played by the Titanic’s musical orchestra.

Expert says Liberal’s voting system could be “laughably insecure”

April 4, 2013

by Jack Locke

As the Liberal Party of Canada prepares to hold their leadership vote starting on April 7, a leading American computer expert is casting doubts on the integrity of the Liberal’s high-tech voting system.

The Liberals will be using an internet system designed by Dominion Voting, a Colorado-based company. They will also be using a telephone voting system.

Andrew Appel, chair of Princeton University’s Department of Computer Science, says he would not endorse Internet voting for public office.

“Any known methods for public Internet voting are known to be very seriously flawed,” says Appel. He is also the Eugene Higgins Professor of Computer Science at Princeton.

“Even if we consider an idealized system, the vendor itself ends up having total control over who wins the election. We might hope the vendor writes software that adds up the tally according to how people actually voted, but there may not be a practical way to check that,” he notes.

According to Liberal president Mike Crawley, 130,744 people are registered to vote in the week-long voting period culminating on Apr 14. Questions asked of the Liberal Party related to the integrity of the voting system have not yet been answered.

Appel says Internet voting systems can be infiltrated on both the voters’ side and on the vote counter’s side.

“Voter’s personal computers/smart phones can be taken over by botnets (computer viruses) which change their votes before transmission to the server,” says Appel, who is familiar with Dominion Voting, the company the Liberals have engaged to conduct the I-voting.

He suggests maintaining voter privacy, ensuring secret ballots, is also a major concern.

“Although vendors talk about idealized security where (supposedly) all kinds of security measures are in place, in actual practice in real election administration these systems are laughably insecure,” says Appel.

The repercussions of someone tampering with the Liberal leadership results could alter the course of our nation. The winner of the Liberal leadership contest could ultimately become Prime Minister of Canada.

“When Canadians vote on paper ballots counted in front of witnesses, then your citizens don’t have to place all (their) trust in a Colorado company,” Professor Appel concludes.