The New Democrats are forcing a debate in the House over whether to hold cross-Canada consultations on the government’s proposed changes to federal election laws. The party is using its opposition day, a day set aside for it to set the subject of debate in the House, to present a motion that would instruct the procedure and House affairs committee to travel the country and seek input from Canadians. NDP Deputy Leader David Christopherson called the Conservatives a “serial-cheating government” that’s trying to “pre-cheat” the next election through the proposed changes. New Democrat MP Craig Scott called the bill the “unfair elections act,” playing off the government’s title for the bill, the fair elections act.
The source of the cyber attack that disrupted voting at the NDP’s leadership convention in March remains a mystery, and further investigation to find out who was responsible has been dropped. The NDP was the victim of what’s known as a distributed denial of service attack when thousands of members were trying to vote online throughout the day on March 24. These kinds of attacks result in websites crashing or slowing down because the server is flooded with bogus requests for access. Legitimate voters couldn’t access the NDP’s website to vote and organizers ended up extending the time allotted for each voting round, delaying the final result until hours after it was expected. Thomas Mulcair was finally declared the winner at about 9 p.m. Scytl Canada, the company contracted to run the voting, quickly detected what was going on soon after voting began that day and reacted accordingly. They were able to keep the voting going by increasing the system’s capacity and by blocking some of the bogus IP addresses. Scytl, an international company based in Spain, conducted a forensic analysis after the convention but came up dry when trying to pinpoint exactly who was behind the co-ordinated campaign. “They weren’t able to locate the ultimate source of where this was all programmed,” said Chantal Vallerand, acting director of the NDP.
An advanced cyber-assault, which created chaos during the federal NDP party’s election, has been attributed to a specialized Web hacker who utilized over 10,000 PCs globally for so slackening the pace of the online-voting that it started to crawl, thus published vancouversun.com dated March 28, 2012. Actually, according to the provider of the Internet-based balloting, Scytl Canada, one Denial-of-Service assault was deliberately unleashed with the objective of disrupting the voting exercise by the NDP on 24th March 2012. It was determined that the assault successfully clogged the channel of the voting mechanism so voters had to wait long to gain access. This slackening of the voting speed thus frustrated the party’s representatives gathered at Toronto.
Revolutionaries, some political parties and youth groups called on the Higher Election Commission (HEC) to bar all members of former president Hosni Mubarak’s disbanded party from running in a parliamentary poll that starts later this month, in application of an administrative court ruling in a Delta city. The revolutionaries also urged parties fielding the remnants of the formerly ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) to purge them from their lists of hopefuls.
“The administrative courts are always fair and their verdicts are the eye of the truth. However, lawyers and rights groups should take the battle to courts in order to bar all NDP members from running,” said Injy Hamdi, a spokesman for the April 6th Youth Movement.