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Private Assemblies and Efraud

Legal Cases

Private Assemblies and Efraud

The Local Staff Committee Statutes are the constitution of our representation here in Luxembourg.

On the 15 of June 2009 they were "modernized" by a Private Assembly of 30 out of the 5000 colleagues to whom invitations had been sent.

That 30 is less than 1% of 5000 is simple arithmetic. That 1% of the population should decide for the other 99% is simply outrageous.

Even Dr. Ahmadinejad got over 1% of the vote, making him more representative than the big three unions.

One problem with general assemblies is that voting is by show of hands, leaving individuals open to peer group pressure.

Some of those who disagree with the wishes of big unions may well wonder whether voting openly against them is such a good career move.

At least they might wonder whether the big unions will defend them if they ever get into trouble with management.

Another dilemma emerges from the need to deal with amendments. If a General Assembly simply refuses to have the pre-printed and distributed proposals changed during the discussion it is certainly not really democratic.

But if it allows amendments and amendments to the amendments and amendments to the amendments of the amendments it becomes chaotic, and many participants cast votes based on misunderstandings. Either way, there is a problem.

Looking deeper, we find that there is a paradox about General Assemblies.

If few people attend, real discussion and even reflexion are possible. But, as in the case of the Luxembourg Private Assembly, the results are not linked to the will of a majority.

If many people come, even a majority of the eligible voters, debate and thought become impossible and the whole thing degenerates into an exercise in group psychology.

So either way, real grassroots democracy goes out the window when General Assemblies come in the door.

The most important modernization, approved 28 to 2, was to write electronic voting into the Statute.

This was a very urgent decision, because evoting had been practiced two years before the Statute was amended to give it a legal base.

The two dissidents pointed out that both the Netherlands and Ireland had scrapped their evoting systems at a cost of tens of millions of EUROs because it had been demonstrated that these systems were vulnerable to fraud.

The Supreme Court of Germany ruled evoting unconstitutional on similar grounds. However, the huge majority of twenty-eight was unimpressed and manually voted for evoting.

As though to show how wrong our colleagues were, the evoting system in Brussels crashed a few days later (see Incident Report).

The module that stored the evotes had passed them on to the one that counts them. Unfortunately, that second module could not "understand" the first one under real life conditions.

DIGIT quickly fixed the bug and the votes were counted. The bad news is that the evoting system had been thoroughly tested before it was implemented and that no one had noticed this bug, which was the size of a cow. That raises the question what other bugs live in the system.

Do all of them lead to systems crashes that are easy to detect?

Why are we so sure that no one has quietly installed a little trapdoor that will open when a secret command is given? Are we so sure?

S olidarity with those who work for their money
I ndependence from those who don't
D emocracy in all decisions taken by groups of sane, adult humans

SID - Solidarity, Independence, Democracy is an independent Trade Union of all EU Institutions employees (Je souhaite adhérer au SID…)

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Created by: admin last modification: Wednesday 15 of July, 2009 [15:45:59 UTC] by admin

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