McCarthyite smearing, 21st-century style

Politics: The massive opposition to e-voting without a VVAT by Irish Citizens for Trustworthy Evoting and others, has clearly got Minister Martin Cullen thoroughly needled.

As John Lambe points out here, in the Dail on Wednesday he stated that ICTE are ‘not experts in this field’, ‘have no expertise or international accreditation’, and best of all, he has resorted to the 21st-century equivalent of calling ICTE ‘reds under the bed’ — they are apparently ‘linked to the anti-globalisation movement’. Here’s a cut and paste from the online transcripts:

Mr. Bernard Allen, FG: Electronic voting is a good idea but this system has been badly thought through and public confidence has been badly shaken by a Government unwilling to listen to anyone but its own so-called experts. The Government has called the introduction of this system a step forward, a point reiterated by the Minister. I submit that it is a retrograde step based on insufficient knowledge on the use of technology. The Minister has a new toy and thought everyone would like it. They do not. The Irish Computer Society said: ‘Any electronic voting system must include a paper-based voter-verified audit trail.’ The Minister in his arrogance recently said these people were cranks and Luddites.

Mr. Bernard Durkan, FG: Are they cranks?

Mr. Martin Cullen, FF: They are linked to the anti-globalisation movement. The Deputy should check them out. They are all the same.

Mr. Allen: It is all a–

Mr. Cullen: If Fine Gael bases its policies on such people, it is no wonder it is in decline.

Mr. Durkan: The people concerned are computer experts.

Mr. Allen: We do not know what the Minister’s policies are and where he stands on any matter.

Mr. Paul Kehoe, FG: The Minister should know more about policy having been a member of more than one party.

Mr. Allen: Irish technology experts have told the Government its system must include a paper-based voter-verified audit trail.

Mr. Cullen: They are not experts in this field.

Mr. Allen: The Minister has made a serious allegation about genuine people–

Mr. Cullen: They are not accredited to anything. They have no expertise or international accreditation.

(Interruptions).

Mr. Michael Ring, FG: Fianna Fáil are experts on everything. They have filled every tribunal in the country.

Mr. Allen: The Minister has come to this House and–

Acting Chairman (Jerry Cowley, Ind): Deputy Allen should direct his comments through the Chair.

Mr. Allen: The Chair should ask the Minister to cease interrupting.

Mr. Cullen: Such comments are pathetic. It is no wonder Fine Gael is in such a disorderly state.

Mr. Ring: Fianna Fáil are the experts.

Acting Chairman: I remind Members that this is not a Committee Stage debate. We are dealing with Second Stage and I ask Deputies to allow Deputy Allen to continue without interruption, please.

Mr. Allen: The Minister has vilified people who cannot protect themselves.

Mr. Durkan: Outside the House.

Mr. Allen: The Minister should withdraw the allegation against–

Mr. Cullen: I have not vilified them. I said they are not accredited–

Mr. Allen: The Minister said they are linked to the anti-globalisation movement and suggested we should check them out.

Mr. Cullen: Yes, they are.

Acting Chairman: Deputy Allen, please continue.

Mr. Allen: The Minister should withdraw that allegation against people who cannot protect themselves.

Mr. Cullen: I will not.

Acting Chairman: Deputy Allen, please continue.

Mr. Durkan: The Minister has cast aspersions on people outside this House. In accordance with Standing Orders–

Mr. Cullen: I think they are proud of their links.

Mr. Durkan: On a point of order, the making of such an allegation is not in accordance with the Standing Orders of this House. Perhaps the Minister would like to comment.

Acting Chairman: The Chair has ruled on that matter.

Mr. Durkan: With respect, the Chair has no authority to rule on this matter. Standing Orders apply.

Acting Chairman: That Chair has ruled on the matter.

Mr. Durkan: No, I am sorry, I do not agree. On a point of order, the Minister has cast aspersions–

Mr. Cullen: I paid them a compliment.

Mr. Durkan: The Minister has cast aspersions on people outside this House.

Mr. Cullen: They will regard my remarks as a compliment, a badge of honour.

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  • By GUBU » E-voting on February 7, 2007 at 10:53

    […] Thanks to Mark for that link to Justin’s post. It deserves highlighting. Unf*ckingbelievable arrogance of Cullen. Are they still going ahead with it then? […]

  • […] Cullen: he stated that Irish Citizens for Trustworthy Evoting are ‘not experts in this field’, ‘have no expertise or international accreditation’, and best of all they are apparently ‘linked to the anti-globalisation movement’ or the ‘reds under the bed’! From taint.org: Justin Mason’s Weblog (2004) […]