GOODMAN and ESSEX: Online voting entirely possible for MPs during times of crisis

Nicole Goodman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, co-wrote a piece recently published in Policy Options with Aleksander Essex, Associate Professor of software engineering at Western University, about how Canadian MPs could vote securely and remotely during the COVID-19 crisis.

They write:

“The international COVID-19 pandemic has forced many sectors to explore online tools to ensure operational continuity during this time of crisis. Provincial governments in Canada have begun releasing online learning platforms to continue to provide students with learning resources (Ontario’s Learn at Home program, for example). In the United States, the New York Stock Exchange has temporarily closed its trading floor in favour of fully electronic trading.

In such unprecedented times, even institutions steeped in tradition must consider technology. Under the current circumstances, it could also be the answer for Parliament.

The Trudeau government suspended Parliament until April 20 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, but recalled parliamentarians this week to pass emergency measures to support Canada’s response. Only 20 MPs (including the Speaker) must be present for a vote according to Commons procedure, though approximately 32 attended the emergency debate on March 23. Likewise, Australia’s federal parliament has been suspended until August 11.”

Read the full story here.

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