Welcome 2017

Dreaming of A Green New Year

There are several important events coming up in the new year that may be of interest to Waterloo Region Greens.  Our calendar will keep you up to date on any WRGreens events, as well as events put on by other organizations that may be of interest to local Greens.


Provincial Basic Income Consultation

GPOflag avatar smallFriday January 13th, 2017

6:30 – 9:00pm
Kitchener City Hall
200 King Street West
Kitchener, ON
N2G 4G7

Register for the Kitchener Consultation here.

You can make an online submission until January 31, 2017

Basic Income Waterloo meets with Richard Walsh and Bob Jonkman at the Waterloo Greens Office during the 2015 election
Basic Income Waterloo meets with Richard Walsh and Bob Jonkman at the Waterloo Greens Office during the 2015 election

“Basic income is an idea which provides a different approach to income security and reducing poverty,” the statement said. “It’s important we hear as many views as possible to ensure we get this right.”

The ministry says it’s particularly interested in thoughts about how the pilot program is designed, including who should be eligible, which communities to include, and how it will be evaluated.

“What they’re doing is trying to collect information in order to build a position. It’s very difficult (for us) to take a firm position at this point because we don’t actually know what the province is going to end up doing,” Bartholomew-Saunders said. “They’re collecting information to determine what they’re going to be doing.”

— Kitchener Post: Public invited to have say on basic guaranteed income

Guaranteed Livable Income was an important part of the 2015 GPC platform, and remains as party policy, so we are pleased to see the Ontario Liberals proceed with this program.   The danger is that it could actually make Ontario poverty conditions worse if implemented badly. 

Find out more about Basic Income from our own long time local advocacy group, Basic Income Waterloo Region.


GPC Federal Council Meeting

Sunday 22 January 22nd, 2017
6 to 8 pm EST

Any Green Party member (in good standing) is welcome to attend GPC Federal Council Meetings online. The next meeting will be on Sunday, January 22nd from 6 to 8 pm EST.

If you wish to attend, you can register here


Trusted Clothes Swap at KCI

Saturday, January 28th, 2017
10:30am – 1:00pm
Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School
787 King St W,
Kitchener, ON N2G 1E3

Bring your gently used, clean clothes that you don’t want any more and leave with new (to you) stuff!  We will be accepting donations beginning at 10:30am, event starts at 11. The event is COMPLETELY FREE and aims to raise awareness about textile waste and how our clothes affect the environment.  No under garments or lingerie accepted please!  There is free parking available at the KCI lot, just off King Street. Public transit also available via route 7 from Uptown Waterloo. You can swap men’s wear, women’s wear, kids clothes, jackets, shoes and accessories. Please share this invite with your family and friends. No tears or stains. Just bring items you would bring home. Our past clothing swaps have been featured on CBC, CTV, and various newspapers and magazines within the Waterloo Region.
If you or someone you know is interested in helping out at the event please send an email to events@trustedclothes.com.

There is free parking available at the KCI lot, just off King Street. Public transit is also available via route 7 from Uptown Waterloo.

[Note: the school was formerly Kitchener Collegiate Institute, and is still known locally as KCI]


GPC Online Ratification Vote

gpcflag-avatarFinally, there is the online vote to ratify the policy adopted at the December SGM in Calgary.  All GPC members can (and should) participate in the ratification vote until February 6th, 2017.

Don’t leave it until the last minute!


You’ll find these — and more as we hear about them—  in the WRGreens Calendar you can always find in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Be sure to keep an eye on this calendar  for future Green events and outings (movie nights, learning communities, etc.) in Waterloo Region.

Subscribe to the blog (click the green “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar) for regular updates.

This is going to be a very good year!

 

Why Online Voting is a Bad Idea for #ERRE

ballot-boxComputer security people will be able to tell you:

You can have a secret ballot OR a secure system, but not both. Internet banking and commerce can be secure, but only because the bank knows who the customer is.

Fair Vote Waterloo says:
On Referenda, Consultations, and Postcards

Australian Computer Expert Vanessa Teague:
Election explainer: why can’t Australians vote online

Daily Dot takes a much more technical look:
Online voting is a cybersecurity nightmare

“The” computer security expert, Bruce Schneier agrees:
More Voting Machine News

Barbara Simons asks: Why can’t we vote online?

Online voting is one of the things Canada’s ERRE Special Committee on Electoral Reform has been tasked with studying, so WRGreens own Bob Jonkman framed this important issue in the Canadian context in his Submission to the ERRE Consultation:

“I am opposed to electronic voting and online voting. I am a computer consultant by profession, and nothing I see in my work shows that people’s home computers or even the computers in most businesses have the security capable of upholding the Integrity requirement, ensuring reliable and verifiable results.

“The main issue with online voting is not computer security, but a fundamental incompatibility between voter identity and the secret ballot.

“When voting takes place outside of a polling station it is important that voter identity is established to prevent fraud. It must be provable that the ballot filled in online was actually filled in by a registered voter, and not by someone impersonating that voter. To achieve this, voters need to be issued a ballot with a serial number or barcode to ensure that only that one ballot is filled in for that registered voter. But if every ballot cast has a serial number, then the completed ballot with the voter’s choices is identifiable with the voter’s name and registration information. The secret ballot is impossible, and the Integrity criterion cannot be met.

“When voting does not take place in a polling station then it is possible that a voter will be coerced into voting according to the demands of the “head” of the household, or voting at the workplace according to the employer’s demands. Without the scrutiny of Elections Canada, voting integrity cannot be ensured.

“But computer security is an issue too. People’s personal computers are constantly being attacked by computer viruses, malicious web sites, and denial of service attacks from compromised Webcams. And spam. The difficulty of ensuring online voting integrity is at least as great as is the difficulty of eliminating spam (unsolicited, unwanted e‑mail, sometimes commercial in nature, sent in bulk). If you haven’t experienced problems with spam then it is likely your E‑mail Service Provider is filtering your e‑mail for you – but how many good messages are being filtered accidentally? You’ll never know, because you’ll never see them.

“There are actually very few large-scale spammers on the Internet, maybe a couple of dozen at most. But they’re responsible for almost all the unwanted e‑mail that clogs up billions of e‑mail accounts in the world. It shows how a few bad actors on the Internet can completely overwhelm an e‑mail system. Similarly, a few bad actors on the Internet can completely compromise an online voting system. If we can’t secure our mail systems to solve the spam problem, it is unlikely that we’ll be able to secure everyone’s computer to guarantee online voting integrity.

“It is unfortunate that there were so few computer security experts providing witness testimony to the Committee. Almost every computer security expert who has commented on electronic voting since the U.S. “hanging chad” elections in 2000 has decried the use of voting machines, and, more recently, online voting. Voting machines are regularly compromised, are not auditable by design (they have proprietary source code), and are prone to failure when needed most. Computer security lecturers delight their audiences with tales of voting machine touch screens that dodge the target when the “wrong” vote is selected, or that play marching band music after they’ve been compromised by a prankish hacker.

“Voting is very much different from buying a product from an online store. If the wrong product is delivered, the store will ship the right product the next day to ensure customer satisfaction. But if the wrong candidate is elected, there is no recourse the next day. It is unlikely that fraud will be detected until the voting machines are audited many weeks after the election, and even when fraud is detected the outcome will be hotly contested by the affected candidates. In fact, if voting machines don’t use publicly published open source code then it is likely election outcomes will be hotly contested because proving that no fraud was committed is impossible.
Bob Jonkman working in the WRGreens office
“However, vote tabulation by machine is perfectly acceptable, although there must be a requirement that vote tabulators are also audited and their source code is made public. Ballots designed for vote tabulators (optical mark cards) can always be counted manually if the electronic tabulation is in dispute.”

— Bob Jonkman:  Electoral Reform — My Submission to the #ERRE Committee

Here’s hoping the #ERRE Committee puts Online Voting aside until it might be accomplished securely.