[Linux-aus] Grant request: Contribution to Senate voting source code FOI request review.
bret at busby.net
Tue Jun 24 02:30:56 EST 2014
On Tue, 24 Jun 2014, Bret Busby wrote:
> Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 00:22:02
> From: Bret Busby <bret at busby.net>
> To: Linux Australia <linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au>
> Subject: Re: [Linux-aus] Grant request: Contribution to Senate voting source
> code FOI request review.
> On Mon, 23 Jun 2014, James Polley wrote:
>> Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 16:00:50
>> From: James Polley <jamezpolley at gmail.com>
>> To: Bret Busby <bret at busby.net>
>> Cc: Linux Australia <linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au>
>> Subject: Re: [Linux-aus] Grant request: Contribution to Senate voting
>> code FOI request review.
>> On Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 5:26 PM, Bret Busby <bret at busby.net> wrote:
>>> On Mon, 23 Jun 2014, James Polley wrote:
>>>> Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 13:14:24
>>>> From: James Polley <jamezpolley at gmail.com>
>>>> To: Chris Neugebauer <chrisjrn at gmail.com>
>>>> Cc: council <council at linux.org.au>,
>>>> Linux Australia <linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au>
>>>> Subject: Re: [Linux-aus] Grant request: Contribution to Senate voting
>>>> code FOI request review.
>>>> I support this application, so much so that I've thrown some of my own
>>> money towards the cause as well.
>>>>> On 23 Jun 2014, at 11:56, Chris Neugebauer <chrisjrn at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> Hey all,
>>>>> One of our members, Michael Cordover, has been going through the
>>>>> Freedom of Information process to gain access to the source code used
>>>>> by the Australian Electoral Commision to tally Senate votes in
>>>>> Australian federal elections.
>>>>> Michael's process, including all correspondence with the AEC, has been
>>>>> thoroughly documented here at .
>>>>> The AEC declined the FOI request, and Michael is currently seeking
>>>>> appeal through the administrative appeals tribunal, as the free review
>>>>> process was performed by the OAIC, a body being disbanded through the
>>>>> 2014-15 federal budget process.
>>>>> The appeal requires a lodgement fee of some $850. Michael is in the
>>>>> process of crowd funding this request .
>>>>> Whilst I'm not a lawyer, I've been following the process quite closely
>>>>> since it started, and have been deeply bemused by the AEC's arguments,
>>>>> which I personally feel are either technically flawed or absurd.
>>>>> I believe that the goal of the FOI request, and associated review, is
>>>>> well in line with Linux Australia's values , in particular, that of
>>>>> "Freedom", which explicitly states:
>>>>> "We value free access to, sharing of and repurposing of information,
>>>>> in particular that information held by the public sector."
>>>>> I'd like to request that, as a showing of support, Linux Australia
>>>>> make a small contribution, not exceeding $150 to the crowdfunding
>>> What is the purpose of the application?
>> I believe Michael has attempted to answer this question on the Pozible site
>> (http://www.pozible.com/project/183015) and his mini-site (
>> Do you have specific questions about details he hasn't clarified?
>>> Is it to simply challenge the methodology of the AEC in counting senate
>>> If so, is that an appropriate action for the involvement of Linux
>>> Is the purpose of the application, to lead to a challenge to the
>>> appropriateness of the method of selection of members of the senate, by
>>> such a bodgy system that prewvents democratic elevction of membvers of
>>> the parliament?
>>> If so, is that an appropraite action for the involvement of Linux
>> I believe there has been consistent evidence that the majority of the LA
>> community supports the notion that the workings of our government should be
>> open and accountable.
>> For instance, LCA 2013 ran an Open Government miniconf (
>> The LA statement of values (http://linux.org.au/values) starts with a very
>> broad statement:
>> As an organisation, we aim to represent and assist the groups and
>> individuals who make up the Free Software and Open Source communities in
>> If, as I believe, a large proportion of the groups and individuals who make
>> up the Free Software and Open Source communities in Australia believe that
>> it would be in our interest to do what we can to make sure that the senate
>> vote counting process is open and accountable, I think it falls within LA's
>> mandate to represent and assist the groups and individuals in achieving
>> that end.
> But then, if Linux Australia is not confined to issues relating to Linux,
> and, is to be involved in pursuing the concern "that the workings of our
> government be open and accountable", where is the line to be drawn?
> Should Linux Australia then become involved in lobbying for a judicial
> enquiry into the influencing of the ACT magistracy, by the federal attoney
> general, in the case of the member of the politburo who was let off the drunk
> driving charge ("You should let our little mate off - our little mate has
> immunity, because she IS our little mate"), or, involved in lobbying for an
> enquiry by the UN, into why the Australian federal parliament, having signed
> a document that stated that the International Covenant of Civil and Political
> Rights, "entered into force in Australia", more than thirty years ago, but,
> has never been of any effect, with the previous government (and, this is not
> just limited to the ALP/Greens Party - it equally applies to the LNP) having
> decided that Australians are not entitled to human rights, despite the
> "consultative process" (and all of the resources and money that that
> involved), having showed that the people who took part, made it clear that
> Australians should have human rights, and, legislative protection of human
> Sure, we should have open and accountable government, and, we should have
> democratic government, and, democratically elected government, and, we should
> have human rights, and, the corruption should be eliminated.
> But, is it what Linux Australia is supposed to be about?
> Or, is Linux Australia, supposed to be solely about furthering the cause of
> the Linux community?
That should have been "furthering the cause of Linux, for the Linux
The Linux community may all agree on various poltical causes, including
abolishing the death penalty in the USA, but, whilst that might be a
cause common to members of the Linux community, it is not the same as
"the cause of Linux for the Linux community".
> I believe the question is, what exactly, is Linux Australia, supposed to be
> Bret Busby
> West Australia
> "So once you do know what the question actually is,
> you'll know what the answer means."
> - Deep Thought,
> Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
> "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
> A Trilogy In Four Parts",
> written by Douglas Adams,
> published by Pan Books, 1992
"So once you do know what the question actually is,
you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
A Trilogy In Four Parts",
written by Douglas Adams,
published by Pan Books, 1992
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