Tag: Newfoundland

Newfoundland Select Committee on Democratic Reform

The Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly has a Select Committee on Democratic Reform.

The Committee is charged, amongst other things, to

review and make recommendations on voting systems and methods

The Committee’s report is due before the end of the Winter-Spring sitting of the House, 2021.

Committee members would do well to read the Internet Voting Privacy and Security Risks report from OIPC Newfoundland.

Creation of the Committee

There was a private members’ motion passed on December 4, 2019 to dissolve the previous All-Party Committee and create the Select Committee.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this House urge Government to disband the All-Party Committee on Democratic Reform;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this House establish a Select Committee on Democratic Reform, with a mandate to review and make recommendations on:  voting systems and methods; voting age; funding of political parties; the role of third party groups in election campaigns; timing/date of elections; and other items at the Committee’s discretion;

Internet Voting Privacy and Security Risks report from OIPC Newfoundland

The Newfoundland and Labrador Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) has released a very clear report that explains the unique characteristics of the secret ballot and elections, and examines the risks that would be introduced by implementing Internet voting.

Internet Voting – Privacy and Security Risks (PDF)

It also asks a very fundamental question: what problem is Internet voting trying to solve?

In reviewing reports and public documentation from Canadian jurisdictions where internet voting has been implemented it appears that there has been little to no concerted effort on the part of governments, prior to implementing internet voting, to 1) identify the problem to be addressed and 2) understand what has caused the problem.

In the case of internet voting, it is not even clear that there is a problem [that is being solved]. If the problem can be framed as lack of participation in the democratic process, this is a much broader problem than the method of voting.

The report was authored by Sean Murray, Director of Research and Quality Assurance.

The report is particularly timely as Newfoundland and Labrador has established a Select Committee on Democratic Reform that is to review voting systems and methods.

For more on OIPC Newfoundland and Labrador, see: