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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Investigation Required Over Liberal Senate Efforts to Buy Election Software

Here’s a question: Why did the unelected Canadian Liberal Senate Caucus try to purchase voter tracking software?

More reasons that Senators should be elected...

A letter from Liberal Senate Caucus (LSC) representative Grant Mitchell to the Board of Internal Economy reveals that in March 2009, the Liberal Senate Caucus (LSC) sought approval to use the taxpayer-funded budget for the purchase of Voter Activation Network (VAN) software at a cost of $60,000. Read the letter HERE.

VAN is the voter tracking software reportedly used by the Liberal Party of Canada, by many U.S. Senators and the Obama campaign.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Senator Mitchell outlines plans for the software to “link to the voter file to maintain data integrity.” The Elections Act clearly prohibits such a use by a Senator and a Senate Caucus. The voter list is only to be used for Members “communicating with his or her electors” and “soliciting contributions for the registered party and recruiting party members” (S. 110 (1) and (2)); neither of which is allowed by a Senator.

The MOU establishes an exclusivity agreement with the Liberal Party of Canada – a political partisan entity. Senators are not to be using taxpayer-funded budgets for partisan political activities. This same concern applies for the LSC representatives who attended Somerville, MA February 3rd, 2009 to view the software. Who attended on this trip? Did taxpayers pay for this trip, or did the Liberal Party of Canada?

Unelected Senators have no business trying to use taxpayer money towards partisan political activities. It is only with investigations by Elections Canada, the BOIE, and the Senate Ethics Officer that taxpayers can be reassured that their money hasn’t been misused, and that the LSC is properly protecting privacy of voters list data.

6 comments:

jad said...

So what happened ? Was his request for funds approved or turned down ?

Robert Ede said...

Don't fuss with small potatoes!Elect the Governor General (as counter-balance to PM) and adjust-for-inflation the $4000 Net-worth & property qualifications for Senators (set in 1867 and never changed).

Anonymous said...

its stakeholder management software.

VAN makes software for both campaigns and constituency management.

The tories use the same software, its just called something different.

Kevin Gaudet said...

They turned it down. Many questions still unanswered.

Anonymous said...

"The tories use the same software, its just called something different".

So what...I don't care what the Tories use for software, as long as my tax dollars are not paying for it.
These unelected Senators were trying to use public money for partisan electoral benefit...obviously they didn't learn anything from the Adscam....

John Matthews said...

Anonymous,

This is not your run of the mill CRM software; this is specialized for electioneering. Senators aren't elected, so why would they need such a specialized program? It is so specialized that you lose much of the versatility of a standard CRM program.

If Senators just need to keep in touch, then something like Maximizer would be perfect. Its value for less-than-political work, like case-work, has already been proven by the countless MPs, on both sides, that use it AND it is supported by IT Support Services on the Hill.

This sounds more like the Liberal Party of Canada trying to use public moneys to fund their partisanship, again. Didn't they learn anything from Adscam?

Yours,
John Matthews

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