Elections Canada: VOTE2040

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January 18, 2019

Summative Report: The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

VOTE 2040 Prepared for Elections Canada

Foresight Project Lead Helen Kerr

KerrSmith


KerrSmith: Foresight + Research + Innovation KerrSmith is a multidisciplinary research & design studio specializing in complexity, innovation and the future. With 25 years of international experience, we deliver strategic services in Foresight, insight, innovation and implementation. We have developed insights & innovations for clients in a wide variety of fields, including the transportation, cultural, educational, financial, retail, healthcare and corporate sectors. KerrSmith creates strategic and effective work that helps our clients meet their goals. Helen Kerr President/Director Head of Research and Strategic Foresight KerrSmith Design hkerr@kerrsmithdesign.com Disclaimer The contents and views included in this report are the results of the research conducted by the author and do not necessarily represent those of Election Canada. Cover Photo by Edwin Andrade https://unsplash.com/@Edwin Andrade

2 River Street Toronto, Ontario M5A 3N9 (416) 703 5377 kerrsmithdesign.com


VOTE 2040 THE FUTURE OF ELECTORAL ADMINISTRATION IN CANADA



“ Our intelligence tends to produce technological and social change at a rate faster than our institutions and emotions can cope with… We therefore find ourselves continually trying to accommodate new realities within inappropriate existing institutions, and trying to think about those new realities in traditional but sometimes dangerously irrelevant terms.” – Gwynn Dyer, “War: The Lethal Custom”

“ Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy



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Contents 6

Preface

Part 1

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Introduction Project Methodology

Part 2

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Understanding the Context of Electoral Event Administration Components of Futures Thinking Drivers of Change Overview of Shift and Indicators Shift 1: Human and Machine Shift 2: Centralized and Distributed Shift 3: Simple and Chaotic

Part 3

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Understanding the Potential Futures of Electoral Event Administration Workshop #1 – Understanding Change Overview of Four Scenarios Future 1: CEO Knows Best Future 2: Liquid Gold Future 3: Less is More Future 4: Ice Breaker

Part 4

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Understanding the Implications of Change on Electoral Event Administration Workshop #2 – Understanding the Implications of Change for Election Canada Strategic Implications: Challenges and Opportunities

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Conclusion

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THE FUTURE OF ELECTORAL ADMINISTRATION IN CANADA

VOTE 2040

Preface In the summer of 2018, Elections Canada undertook a Foresight exercise to inform both its innovation agenda and the Chief Electoral Officer’s long-term vision. This work was designed to support both the development of a new five-year Strategic Plan that will set the road ahead to ensure the most effective use of resources, and also guide strategic and operational objectives that will apply to multiple electoral cycles. This document lays out the Foresight research in four parts. Part 1: Introduction outlines the intent for this research and the methodology that guided it. Part 2: Understanding the Context of Electoral Event Administration presents the Horizon Scan, an exploration of emerging issues that might influence the changing landscape for eletoral event administration and the lives of Canadians. Part 3: Understanding the Potential Futures of Electoral Event Administration presents four future scenarios differentiated across a framework of characteristics and supported by a timeline of change between the present and 2040. Part 4: Understanding the Implications of Change on Electoral Event Administration, summarizes the implications of the research project for Elections Canada and stakeholders.

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PART 1 Introduction

THE FUTURE OF ELECTORAL ADMINISTRATION IN CANADA Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada


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Part 1: Introduction

Introduction We live at a moment in time of tremendous pressure on democratic processes and increasing threats to the integrity of electoral administration globally. Building resilience against a range of possible, plausible futures requires rigorous consideration of the potential for change and the impact it could have on an organization. In the summer of 2018, KerrSmith Design was engaged to undertake a Foresight research project for Elections Canada. The research was designed to explore the Futures of Electoral Event Administration in 2040 and was guided by the following research question: “ Over the next twenty-two years, how might life in Canada change and what might be the implications for electoral event administration?�

Project Methodology To address the research question, KerrSmith proposed a methodology that made use of several well-respected Foresight methods and techniques.

1. Gathering Information About Change A first step was to identify the emerging issues that might influence the changing landscape for electoral event administration and the lives of Canadians through a variety of methods. Interviews In-depth and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 Thought Leaders from Canada, Europe and the United States. These authorities reflected a range of areas of expertise across academic, public policy and private sectors, including democracy, citizenship, electronic voting, digital technology, civic technology, political science, voting behaviour, electoral reform, public opinion research, election finance, and ethics. Each interview lasted approximately one hour and augmented the direction of the literature and media scanning activity.

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Drivers of Change Slower moving and globally experienced forces that are more certain to impact the future were identified. These elements are broadly impactful beyond simply the realm of electoral management in Canada and form some of the contextual baseline for the overarching changes being explored. Horizon Scan Relevant sectorial evidence, in the form of weak signals of change, was gathered from a broad range of sources, both scholarly and populist. Coherent with Foresight approaches, the Horizon Scan was framed by the generalized but encompassing categories of change in society, technology, economy, ecology, politics, law and values (STEEPLV)1. Every effort was made to reduce bias by employing filters and questions to identify whether any given signal was validated or negated compared to the original information capture. Signals were further processed using the Verge2 framework as an analytic tool. Six domains of human experience were explored to better understand dimensions of change: how do we define, relate to, connect with, create, consume, and destroy the world around us, including our relationships. The resulting information was translated into clusters of concepts related to patterns of emerging directional changes that were observed. Those directional currents are described in the Horizon Scan as a set of three major Shifts that were recognized as being important to the future, specific to electoral event management and more generally relevant to society at large. Shifts were supported by six Indicators each, with three reflecting change in one direction and three reflecting change in the opposing direction. In order for a Shift and its Indicators to be included in the Horizon Scan, it had to fulfill three criteria: 1. W as it resonating at different scales (globally, nationally, locally, organizationally), thereby confirming that the issue identified was of importance to the primary research question? 2. Did it resonate in different sectors, thereby establishing the scale of impact? 3. D id it transcend cultures/societies/demographics, ensuring that researcher biases were not being embedded? This document was distributed to stakeholders and used as an input into the following project phase.

1 STEEP+V evolved from PEST Analysis, which created by Harvard professor Francis Aguilar in 1967 2 Developed by Foresight professionals Richard Lum and Michelle Bowman in 2004 Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada


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Part 1: Introduction

Components of Futures Thinking: The Iceberg Metaphor

Signals Evidence of emergent directions

Indicators Grouping of Signals

Shifts Large scale directional change

Drivers of Change Deep forces that shape change

Signals, Indicators, Shifts and Drivers of Change The iceberg is a metaphor to help illustrate the differences between Signals, Indicators, Shifts and Drivers of Change. A Signal is a piece of Evidence of emergent directions, such as a report, an event or media article. Indicators are groupings of Signals that form a pattern of emerging change. Shifts depict larger-scale directional change, ultimately a transformation from one state to another. Drivers of Change are the slower moving and deep forces that shape change in our world.

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Part 1: Introduction

2. Processing Information About Change Workshop #1 – Understanding Change This first workshop took place on November 6, 2018 at the Orange Gallery in Ottawa. The Horizon Scan was the priming document for a wider discussion of the implications of change and what that might mean for voting and elections management in Canada. Participants, who included academics, entrepreneurs, government of Canada employees and Elections Canada staff members from a range of areas within the organization, discussed each of the outlined Shifts and its attendant indicators. The objective of the workshop was to explore the potential intersections of the Indicators and the emerging issues they might suggest. Participants also identified which issues had the potential for high impact on the lives of Canadians and were the most uncertain. The outputs of this workshop contributed to the next step in the research: the development of a set of distinct and plausible scenarios (narratives about the future). Four Future Scenarios Four “Alternative Futures” were developed using a structural scenario generation framework ideal for broad contexts and longer time frames. Formulated by Jim Dator3, this framework makes use of generic images of the future that describe four distinct worlds4: -C ontinued Growth represents what is often recognized as the “official” view of the future based on economic and other factors of growth that are important to modern society; - Transformation anticipates the transformation of humanity from its present form into something “posthuman”, often deeply influenced by technological advancements. - Discipline explores the refocusing of the economy and society toward survival, and away from simple economic growth; - Collapse presents a world where social and/or environmental collapse has taken place; This document was provided to stakeholders and used as an input into the final project phase.

3 Jim Dator is the former Director of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa. 4 Dator, J. (2009). Alternative futures at the Manoa School. Journal of Futures Studies, 14(2), 1–18. Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada


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Part 1: Introduction

3. Determining Implications of Change Workshop #2 – Implications of Change for Elections Canada The second workshop took place on December 17, 2018 at 50 Sussex in Ottawa. The set of four scenarios with differentiated characteristics, associated timelines and “day in the life” future narratives was circulated to workshop participants in order to provoke discussion of how electoral management might differ in 2040. Attendees included academics, graduate students and Elections Canada staff members from a range of areas within the organization. The focus of this workshop was on investigating the implications for Elections Canada and some key stakeholders in each of the four distinct future scenarios. Integral Futures The data that emerged from this workshop was processed using Integral Futures5, an approach to futures work that is adapted from Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory6. This holistic framework presents four quadrants that explore the interiority and exteriority of both the individual and collective experience. This translates into a deeper understanding of the intentions and behaviours that shape an individual and a collective, as well as the cultural and social underpinnings/aspects of a collective. Quadrants of Integral Futures: Questions7

INDIVIDUAL INTENTIONAL

BEHAVIOURAL

How will Elections Canada Staff members deal with changes?

How will electors & candidates behave differently?

INTERIOR

EXTERIOR

How will changes affect Elections Canada as an organization? CULTURAL

How will changes affect the electoral process?

COLLECTIVE

SOCIAL

5 Collins, B. T., & Hines, A. (2010). The Evolution of Integral Futures A Status Update. World Future Review. 6 Wilber, K. (1996) A Brief History of Everything, Shambala, Boston & London 7 Adapted from A. Hines - https://www.andyhinesight.com/tag/integral-futures/ KerrSmith


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PART 2 Understanding the Context of Electoral Event Administration

THE FUTURE OF ELECTORAL ADMINISTRATION IN CANADA Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada


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Part 2: Understanding the Context of Electoral Event Administration

6 Drivers of Change Drivers of Change are the slow moving and deep forces that shape change in our world. Because they are at play over long time periods, there is less uncertainty about their existence and potential impact. These critical Drivers of Change have shaped and will continue to shape the Shifts and Indicators outlined in this report: 1. Climate Change Climate change is a long-term shift in the average weather conditions of a region, such as its typical temperature, rainfall, and windiness. Climate change means that the range of conditions expected in many regions will change over the coming decades. This means that there will also be changes in extreme conditions. ...Climate change is already causing impacts on human and natural systems in Canada and around the world. Further changes are inevitable, with larger changes projected for higher emission scenarios. Depending on the region, changes projected for Canada include:

• higher temperatures • shifts in precipitation patterns • more frequent and intense heat waves • fewer cold snaps • rising sea level

More frequent and severe extreme events, such as floods, droughts and wildfire are also a risk. — https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/climate-change/canadian-centreclimate-services/basics/concepts.html

2. Rapid Tech Advancement “The unprecedented speed of change, as well as the breadth and the depth of many radical changes unleashed by new digital, robotic and 3D technologies, is having major impacts on what we produce and do, how and where we do it and indeed how we earn a living. And while the transformation will proceed differently in advanced and developing parts of the world, no country or market will be spared from the tidal wave of change.” — Blanke, J. (2016). Is Technological Change Creating a New Global Economy? World Economic Forum.

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Part 2: Understanding the Context of Electoral Event Administration

3. Aging Populations Seniors became more numerous than children in Canada by 2017. The proportion of seniors within the population has been steadily growing since 1960, increasing from 8% at that time to 14% in 2009. According to all population projection scenarios, seniors are expected to comprise around 23% to 25% of the population by 2036, and around 24% to 28% in 2061. In 1971, the median age of the population was 26.2 years—it was 39.5 years in 2009. The population’s median age is projected to continue rising to between 42 and 45 years by 2036, and then to between 42 and 47 years by 2061. — https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11-402-x/2010000/chap/pop/pop02-eng.htm

4. Multicultural Canada “In recent times, the contribution of natural increase to population growth has waned as the Canadian population aged and fertility rates declined. Today, natural increase accounts for less than one-third of Canada’s population growth and has ceased to be the major player in the equation. Meanwhile, migratory increase plays an increasing role in Canada’s population growth. Migratory increase currently accounts for about two-thirds of Canada’s population growth. Statistics Canada projects that immigration will not only continue to be a key driver of population growth in the coming years—without it, Canada’s population growth could be close to zero in 20 years, as the population continues to age and fertility rates projected to remain below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman.” — Statistics Canada. (2016). Population Growth: Migratory Increase Overtakes Natural Increase. Statcan.

5. Urbanization Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. Projections show that urbanization, the gradual shift in residence of the human population from rural to urban areas, combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050, with close to 90% of this increase taking place in Asia and Africa, according to a new United Nations data set launched today. — https://www.un.org/development/desa/publications/2018-revision-of-world-urbanization-prospects.html

6. Global Geopolitical Volatility Escalating conflicts across the globe impact foreign policies and economies. The University of Cambridge identifies these threats of conflict: conventional war, asymmetric war, nuclear war, civil war and external force to prevent national authorities from pursuing harmful internal policies. — University of Cambridge. (2016). Centre for Risk Studies: Geopolitical Conflict. Cambridgeriskframework.com.

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Part 2: Understanding the Context of Electoral Event Administration

Overview of Shifts and Indicators Shift 1: Human and Machine Shift 2: Centralized and Distributed Shift 3: Simple and Chaotic Shifts represent substantial and complex patterns of transition in human behaviour and our external context, including sometimes contradictory, concurrent realities. Each Shift is described through six Indicators of change that clarify opposing directional movement: three Indicators representing a transition from one state to another (A to B) and three Indicators representing simultaneous trends in the opposite direction (B to A). Each Indicator describes an emerging issue, its potential relevance to the work of Elections Canada, and supporting evidence drawn from broad literature review.

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Part 2: Understanding the Context of Electoral Event Administration

SHIFT 1 HUMAN AND MACHINE

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Shift 1: Human and Machine

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Shift 1: Human and Machine Technology is driving transformational change in every aspect of our existence. The digitization of daily life is a reality that will impact some of the most critical aspects of procedures and management as data becomes commodified and automation is ubiquitous. Using science and technology to mimic and expand upon the capacities of the natural and human world, we are able to create purpose-designed elements to drive new experiences and applications. Humans expand their capabilities to previously unimaginable levels, provoking questions of rights to access benefits. Complete transparency is possible and can be used for the greater good or to support more nefarious objectives.

Human to Machine Indicators for this Shift: • Minister Bot • See Through • We Know Who You Are Machine to Human Indicators for this Shift: • Humachines • Confirmation Bias • Deep Fakes

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DATA DRIVEN

Indicator: Minister Bot With advances in Artificial Intelligence and its ability to parse the vast quantities of data generated by a population, many decisions that previously fell to humans are being replaced by algorithms and predictive analytics. While on the surface data driven governance suggests a reduction in bias, it is possible to exclude or impact some citizens more than others. Imperfect systems create imperfect outcomes. Smart city sensors are used to optimize transportation routes. Aggregated healthcare data helps inform preventative care models and anticipate infectious outbreaks. Facial recognition tools assist border control in maintaining security. The intent is to streamline service delivery and improve policy development in a manner that is responsive, convenient and beneficial to citizens. However, advances in machine learning outstrip the capacity of government to effectively utilize them and create associated protective policies especially regarding privacy. Fear that computational decision-making has the potential to harm humans increases, as early trials result in occasional failures of high-performance systems. Fatal crashes of early automated vehicles, the disabling of trading on international stock exchanges due to system errors or clinical errors resulting in improperly prescribed medication all have an impact on AI adoption rates. Citizens see chaotic and unpredictable systems as untrustworthy. Hardware and software failures may increase with use over time and heavily used, complex systems require significant investment in maintenance and repair. With practice, though, systems achieve much more accurate results. In cases where speed and management of vast information pools are involved, they outperform humans. In some cases, the efficiency of the system itself holds the potential for harm; The Cambridge Analytica example, where algorithms were used to target political campaign messages without human intervention, is viewed as a cautionary tale. Data privacy and consent to allow use become complicated matters when anonymised information still points to specific individuals or the habit of data use becomes too customary and useful. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation may be an example.

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

RELEVANCE: • Adequate investment is required if machine learning systems are introduced into electoral management • Regulatory restrictions on appropriate use may be required • Are elections necessary if all decision-making is through machine learning?


Shift 1: Human and Machine - Human to Machine Indicators

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MINISTER BOT: EVIDENCE

“In 1955, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov published a short story about an experiment in “electronic democracy,” in which a single citizen, selected to represent an entire population, responded to questions generated by a computer named Multivac. The machine took this data and calculated the results of an election that therefore never needed to happen. Asimov’s story was set in Bloomington, Indiana, but today an approximation of Multivac is being built in China. For any authoritarian regime, “there is a basic problem for the center of figuring out what’s going on at lower levels and across society,” says Deborah Seligsohn, a political scientist and China expert at Villanova University in Philadelphia. How do you effectively govern a country that’s home to one in five people on the planet, with an increasingly complex economy and society, if you don’t allow public debate, civil activism, and electoral feedback? How do you gather enough information to actually make decisions? And how does a government that doesn’t invite its citizens to participate still engender trust and bend public behavior without putting police on every doorstep? Xi Jinping’s strategy for understanding and responding to what is going on in a nation of 1.4 billion relies on a combination of surveillance, AI, and big data to monitor people’s lives and behavior in minute detail. ...Developments such as Donald Trump’s election, Brexit, the rise of far-right parties across Europe, and Rodrigo Duterte’s reign of terror in the Philippines underscore what many critics see as the problems inherent in democracy, especially populism, instability, and precariously personalized leadership. Since becoming general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in 2012, Xi has laid out a raft of ambitious plans for the country, many of them rooted in technology—including a goal to become the world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030. Xi has called for “cyber sovereignty” to enhance censorship and assert full control over the domestic internet. ...“No government has a more ambitious and far-­reaching plan to harness the power of data to change the way it governs than the Chinese government,” says Martin Chorzempa of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC. Even some foreign observers, watching from afar, may be tempted to wonder if such data-driven governance offers a viable alternative to the increasingly dysfunctional l­ooking electoral model. But over-­relying on the wisdom of technology and data carries its own risks. Larson, C. (2018, August 20). Who needs democracy when you have data? [MIT Technology Review.]. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview. com/s/611815/who-needs-democracywhen-you-have-data/

Data instead of dialogue Chinese leaders have long wanted to tap public sentiment without opening the door to heated debate and criticism of the authorities. The bloggers, activists, and lawyers are also being systematically silenced or imprisoned, as if data can give the government the same information without any of the fiddly problems of freedom.”

“Singapore has announced the establishment of the Government Technology Agency, or Govtech, to be formed at the end of this year. Continuing the efforts of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), the new agency will lead technological transformation in the public sector, and will be tasked to develop citizen-centric Smart Nation applications, nurture ICT talent and capabilities, and build a more intuitive and anticipatory government through digital services. GovTech will have a staff strength of 1800, and will be helmed by Ms Jacqueline Poh, who is currently the Managing Director of IDA. Within GovTech, six new capability centres will be set up in the areas of application development, cybersecurity, data science, government ICT infrastructure, geospatial technology and sensors & IoT. “GovTech, along with the Ministry of Finance as the central policy agency, will drive the digital government initiative across the whole-of-government. It will build up a core of public servants who not only have deep technical expertise to develop the digital government, but also a willingness to experiment and create change for the better,” said Peter Ong, the Singapore Head of Civil Service.

Kwang, T. W. (2016, May 30). Singapore’s GovTech and ICT plans for the year ahead. Retrieved from https://www.enterpriseinnovation.net/ article/singapore-govts-ict-plans-yearahead-84897554

Anticipatory government Ms Jacqueline Poh emphasized that citizens are at the heart of Govtech’s work, and their aim is to create a responsive and anticipatory public service. ‘We think about everyone’s journey through life – the important and memorable moments of life including getting married, buying your first HDB flat, having kids and sending them to school, or looking after healthcare needs as we and our family members age. At these and all important moments, we want to make it easier and more convenient for everyone to engage and transact with the government. Ultimately, we want to create anticipatory services that will predict what are the necessary services — such as a health check-up or a library book that needs returning — that you might need at that moment in your life, and prompt you to take action,’ said Ms Poh.”

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“Buyers and sellers on eBay use the site’s automated dispute-resolution tool to settle 60 million claims every year. Now, some countries are deploying similar technology to let people negotiate divorces, landlord-tenant disputes, and other legal conflicts, without hiring lawyers or going to court. Couples in the Netherlands can use an online platform to negotiate divorce, custody, and child-support agreements. Similar tools are being rolled out in England and Canada. British Columbia is setting up an online Civil Resolution Tribunal this summer to handle condominium disputes; it will eventually process almost all small-claims cases in the province. Until now, says Suzanne Anton, the province’s minister of justice, “if you had a complaint about noise or water coming through your ceiling, you might have to go to the Supreme Court,” spending years and thousands of dollars to get a ruling.”

Matlack, C. (2016, June 30). Robots Are Taking Divorce Lawyers’ Jobs, Too. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg. com/news/articles/2016-06-30/ robots-are-taking-divorce-lawyers-jobs-too

“Algorithms have long been used to aid decision-making, but in the last few years the growth of ‘big data’ and ‘machine learning’ has driven an increase in algorithmic decision-making—in finance, the legal sector, the criminal justice system, education, and healthcare, as well as recruitment decisions, giving loans or targeting adverts on social media, and there are plans for autonomous vehicles to be on public roads in the UK. Algorithms, in looking for and exploiting data patterns, can sometimes produce flawed or biased ‘decisions’—just as human decision-making is often an inexact endeavour. As a result, the algorithmic decision may disproportionately affect certain groups. The Centre for Data Ethics & Innovation should examine such algorithm biases—to identify how to improve the ‘training data’ they use; how unjustified correlations can be avoided when more meaningful causal relationships should be discernible; and how algorithm developer teams should be established which include a sufficiently wide cross-section of society, or of the groups that might be affected by an algorithm. The new body should also evaluate accountability tools—principles and ‘codes’, audits of algorithms, certification of algorithm developers, and charging ethics boards with oversight of algorithmic decisions—and advise on how they should be embedded in the private sector as well as in government bodies that share their data with private sector developers. Given the international nature of digital innovation, the Centre should also engage with other like-minded organisations in other comparable jurisdictions in order to develop and share best practice.”

House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. (2018). Algorithms in decision-making. Retrieved from https://publications. parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/ cmsctech/351/351.pdf

“While most algorithms suffer from programmers/developer’s biases, MoglA aims at learning from her environment, developing her own rules at the policy layer and develop expert systems without discarding any data. The AI computer uses 20 million data points pulled from engagement on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. MogIA found that Donald Trump passed Obama’s 2008 engagement numbers by 25 percent. Created in 2004, MogAI and is constantly getting smarter and evolving. The computer even accurately predicted the outcome of the Democratic and Republican primaries. Perhaps in the future, we will not depend on a privy professor or artificial intelligence to predict the future of our country. Rather, artificial intelligence will just choose the most viable candidate for us. We will hear the speeches, follow the campaigns, and tune in for the debates, but at the end of the election trail, could artificial intelligence, one day, be responsible for choosing the (distant) future leader of the United States? Would it use a similar model to that of Professor Lichtman to make the choice? Or would it be something else entirely?”

Polhemus, L. (2016). Artificial Intelligence and Politics. Retrieved from https://futurism.media/ artificial-intelligence-and-politics

“Hawking delivers a grave warning on the importance of regulating AI, noting that “in the future AI could develop a will of its own, a will that is in conflict with ours.” A possible arms race over autonomous-weapons should be stopped before it can start, he writes, asking what would happen if a crash similar to the 2010 stock market Flash Crash happened with weapons. He continues: “In short, the advent of super-intelligent AI would be either the best or the worst thing ever to happen to humanity. The real risk with AI isn’t malice, but competence. A super-intelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours we’re in trouble. You’re probably not an evil ant-hater who steps on ants out of malice, but if you’re in charge of a hydroelectric green-energy project and there’s an anthill in the region to be flooded, too bad for the ants. Let’s not place humanity in the position of those ants.””

Haldevang, M. de. (2018, October 14). Stephen Hawking left us bold predictions on AI, superhumans, and aliens. Retrieved from https://qz.com/1423685/stephenhawking-says-superhumans-will-takeover-ai-is-a-threat-and-humans-willconquer-space/

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Shift 1: Human and Machine - Human to Machine Indicators

Ford, P. (2015, February 11). Are We Smart Enough to Control Artificial Intelligence? [MIT Technology Review]. Retrieved from https://www. technologyreview.com/s/534871/ our-fear-of-artificial-intelligence/

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“Stephen Hawking has warned that because people would be unable to compete with an advanced AI, it “could spell the end of the human race.” Upon reading Superintelligence, the entrepreneur Elon Musk tweeted: “Hope we’re not just the biological boot loader for digital superintelligence. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable.” Musk then followed with a $10 million grant to the Future of Life Institute. Not to be confused with Bostrom’s center, this is an organization that says it is “working to mitigate existential risks facing humanity,” the ones that could arise “from the development of human-level artificial intelligence.”

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PARTICIPATORY TRANSPARENCY

Indicator: See Through Technology-assisted transparency creates flatter, less hierarchical organizations and systems. Digitally enabled broad-based decisionmaking and access to bureaucracy on a day-to-day basis empowers citizens to bring authentic voices to public sector domains. As social media services facilitate the interconnected realms of media, business and society, citizens and corporate shareholders are increasingly able to voice their concerns about transparency and accountability and act on their convictions through participatory engagement. Increased demands for distributed models of decision-making mirror changes in organizational behaviour throughout the economy and society. A sea-change is underway as young people begin to make their presence known. They are steeped in collaborative experience having learned their lessons since kindergarten in sharing, inclusion and working together. Some are shell-shocked as they encounter stiff resistance in places not yet fully transitioned to the habits of Millennials. Enabled by digital tools for information flow and autonomous self-management, new models have evolved and been adopted in agile business environments. Can digital public engagement similarly go beyond service delivery and extend to accountable self-governance? Moving beyond representative democracy towards participatory models significantly alters the status quo. Governments are becoming more porous, allowing for collectives of selforganized groups to participate actively, requiring responsiveness to “niche” concerns and needs as well as high degrees of transparency and accountability. The potential remains that dramatically increased participation becomes distracting if every public issue requires a direct response and attention to critical concerns get lost in the noise.

RELEVANCE: • ● Shift in the role of the Government towards regulatory and monitoring/ enforcement activities/ strategic guidance rather than all decision making • ● Potential reduction in levels of governance overall • ● Full transparency of all stages of electoral management is possible • ● Demand for online voting outweighs cyber-security concerns

Equal distribution of opportunity to participate requires reasonable internet capacity for everyone, which is an expensive undertaking in a country as geographically dispersed as Canada. Overcoming inequality of education, income, digital experience and technology literacy is required if ubiquity of participation is to be achieved. Even if the focus remains on service delivery, generational shifts increase the demand for systems that reflect “normal” interactions. Banks, insurance companies and clinical testing labs with high requirements for data security all transact digitally - why not government? The Estonian public sector example demonstrates heightened digital trust enabled by broad technology access, universal digital ID, citizen data ownership and real-time transparency.

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

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Shift 1: Human and Machine - Human to Machine Indicators

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SEE THROUGH: EVIDENCE

World Bank. (2018, June). States of Disruption: Measuring Governance in a Changing World. Retrieved from http://www.worldbank.org/en/ events/2018/05/15/states-of-disruption

“Governments across the world today are facing increasingly complex pressures that are altering the world in which we live – fragility, conflict and violence; the amplifying impact of technology; large migration flows; tensions in managing resources; and more complicated service provision needs. These pressures are re-defining the relationship between citizens and the state and leaving many asking what the role of government in the 21st century should be. In the midst of this state of disruption, the way ‘governance’ is measured is still largely based on how it was understood twenty-five years ago. There is increasing recognition that governance “enablers” like trust, legitimacy, leadership, social cohesion – and governance “constraints” – capture, clientelism, and exclusion – matter for outcomes, but public sector reform programs are still being designed (and their success measured by) increasingly outdated concepts as the world continues to change.”

World Bank. (2012). Strengthening governance: Tackling corruption. Retrieved from http://siteresources. worldbank.org/

“The contours of a new social contract are emerging. Citizens are seeking a relationship with their government based on transparency, accountability, and participation. From revolutionary change in the Arab world to powerful anticorruption movements in India and Brazil, to the ‘Occupy’ movement in some western countries, a groundswell of citizens’ movements Signals frustration with a perceived inability of governments to handle increasingly complex global problems of poverty, joblessness, fiscal crises, and environmental vulnerability. …Worldwide there is increasing recognition that citizen involvement is critical for enhancing democratic governance, improving service delivery, and fostering empowerment. Social accountability refers to the extent and capacity of citizens to hold the state and service providers accountable and make them responsive to needs of citizens and beneficiaries.”

Delogu, B. (2016). Risk Analysis and Governance in EU Policy Making and Regulation: An Introductory Guide. Springer International Publishing. Retrieved from //www.springer.com/fr/ book/9783319308210

“In conclusion, participatory governance must not be misinterpreted as a substitute for the political responsibility of the institutions that have got a democratic mandate to take decisions on behalf of citizens in view of the general interest of the public. A participatory approach is necessary in the case of complex, uncertain or ambiguous risks. Its objective is to inform decisions and to establish the best possible conditions for dealing with risks in an effective and efficient manner. Participation of civil society is a difficult exercise. It is seldom perfectly balanced and truly representative of the complex and diverse European society. Once again, the responsibility, the last word on risk management remains with the Institutions that directly or indirectly are accountable to citizens. Industry confederations, NGOs, associations and lobbies are obviously not. Risk governance may well reinforce, but not legitimately replace risk governance. Policy makers know well that if things eventually go wrong, they will be the ones held to account.”

Littler, J. (2018, January 4). Inequality is under attack - but what should equality really look like? The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/ inequality/2018/jan/04/inequality-isunder-attack-but-what-should-equalityreally-look-like

“There are also many innovative examples of participatory democracy which can be built on - including the “new municipalism” wave of revitalisation of local governments, such as citizen platform Barcelona en Comú (Barcelona in Common). In the UK, the democratisation of Labour Party membership and the energising of the grassroots has been hugely influential in engaging a new youth vote (the last general election saw the highest youth turnout for 25 years). The hashtag feminism of #MeToo began as a grassroots movement in the US to aid sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities with no rape crisis centres. In Mississippi, Co-operation Jackson is building on the Black Lives Matter movement through its “solidarity economy”, a local network of co-operative sites including stores, an education centre and a bank.”

Knight Foundation, & Rita Allen Foundation. (n.d.). Scaling Civic TechPaths to a sustainable future. Retrieved from https://www.knightfoundation.org/ features/civictechbiz/

“Technology has the potential to massively change the way citizens interact with government and each other, serving to strengthen communities and governance. People, organizations and government have begun to leverage technology to inform and encourage civic engagement, from simplifying voter registration to hosting virtual government town halls to launching crowdfunding campaigns supporting civic assets. This growing cluster of activity has become known as “civic tech.” Despite the proliferation of activity in civic tech, few startups in the field have meaningfully scaled and demonstrated sustainable business models capable of adapting to a rapidly changing operating landscape and set of needs. Civic tech for-profits and nonprofits alike have struggled to identify business models to expand their reach and impact. The struggles with sustainability have been increasingly observed and lamented by startups, funders and others committed to leveraging technology to promote a vibrant civil society.”

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House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. (2018). Algorithms in decision-making. Retrieved from https://publications. parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/ cmsctech/351/351.pdf

“Transparency must be a key underpinning for algorithm accountability. There is a debate about whether that transparency should involve sharing the workings of the algorithm ‘black box’ with those affected by the algorithm and the individuals whose data have been used, or whether, alternatively, an ‘explanation’ is provided. While we acknowledge the practical difficulties with sharing data in an understandable form, the default should be that algorithms are transparent when the algorithms in question affect the public. The Centre for Data Ethics & Innovation and the ICO should examine the scope for individuals to be able to challenge the results of all significant algorithm decisions which affect them, and where appropriate to seek redress for the impacts of such decisions. Where algorithms might significantly adversely affect the public or their rights, we believe that the answer is a combination of explanation and as much transparency as possible.”

“The authors envision shareholders guiding the broad direction of company strategy. They do not elaborate on the details, but imagine 100m Americans pressing a “shareholder democracy” app on their phones. Grannies from Grand Rapids and cowboys from Colorado might vote for Delta Air Lines to provide more legroom, Exxon to assume a higher carbon price when it drills for oil, IBM to move some jobs from Delhi to Detroit and Apple to pay a higher tax rate than its current 18%. It would be a plebiscitary shareholder democracy, more in tune with what many Americans think, but more dangerous, too. There are two big risks. One is that the combined voice of tens of millions of shareholders becomes a meaningless cacophony that no board can deal with. As Andrew Carnegie, the 19th-century Scottish-American tycoon, put it: “Where stock is held by a great number, what is anybody’s business is nobody’s business.” The other pitfall is that shareholders manage to produce a clear enough voice, but that this voice is stupid, fickle or sinister. This is clearly possible, too. Most individuals have little idea about the technicalities of running big companies. In the investment world retail shareholders are often known as “dumb money” because of their tendency to buy high and sell low.

The Economist. (2017, November 30). What if the unwashed masses got to vote on companies’ strategies? Retrieved from https://www.economist. com/business/2017/11/30/what-ifthe-unwashed-masses-got-to-vote-oncompanies-strategies

Shareholders’ values Just as political democracy only works with checks and balances, the same is true for shareholder democracy. Messrs Hart and Zingales suggest that for a proposal to be put to a digital vote by all shareholders, it would need the support of at least 5% to start with. Another safety mechanism would be to make the votes of ordinary shareholders non-binding. Boards would have to note them, but would not need to obey. Or people could invest through single-issue funds, which are identical to normal funds except that they guarantee to pursue a well-defined goal—for firms to pay higher wages, for instance, or to cut pollution levels. Plebiscitary capitalism may seem far-fetched. But the company has evolved continually to deal with pressures that boil up from society over time. More participation by ordinary, individual shareholders might be exactly what capitalism now needs to restore its reputation.”

The Economist. (2018, October 18). Mexico’s president-elect puts the capital’s new airport to a vote. The Economist. Retrieved from https://www.economist. com/the-americas/2018/10/20/mexicospresident-elect-puts-the-capitals-newairport-to-a-vote

“A veteran populist, Mr. Lopes Obrador portrays himself as an instrument of the will of ordinary Mexicans. He will offer them an opportunity to vote him out of office mid-way through his six-year term. The airport consulta is a preview of the sort of direct democracy that he says will characterise his administration. ...Unlike recent votes on airports in Berlin and in Nantes in France, the consulta does not just test opinions of citizens in the vicinity. It will be organized by Mr. Lopes Obrador’s inner circle, not by the national electoral institute (INE). Activists from Mr.Lopes Obrador’s Morena party will set up and minitor 1,073 booths in about 500 municipalities, home to 80% of the population.Just 1M ballot papers will be printed for a nationwide electorate of 90M people. They will be counted by a little known NGO. Without access to the INE’s electoral rolls, it is unclear how the poll workers will prevent people from voting more than once”

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UBIQUITOUS SURVEILLANCE

Indicator: We Know Who You Are Both voluntary and involuntary data trails are collected and parsed continuously for security protection, social purposes, and corporate benefit alike. Digital dust, or the everyday data streamed from people’s lives through travel, shopping, social media, gaming, apps, fitness and information searches, is collected to form profiles and realtime monitoring of activities. Purposeful and unconscious relinquishing of personal data in exchange for free/convenient access to goods and services coupled with increasing digital monitoring and physical surveillance by state or foreign actors means we live less private lives than previous generations. The inclusion of voluntary data generating devices in our homes, workplaces and in wearable form on our persons allows tech providers to develop precise profiles of individuals. Augmented Reality tools, Internet of Things, interactive Smartphones and Biometric sensors make many other forms of surveillance superfluous. Governments and police routinely ask for or demand customer information from private sector corporations. RELEVANCE: • Potential use of surveillance measures to influence electoral behaviour through targeted advertising, to ensure voting compliance, or to more efficiently deliver reliable electoral events • Predictive analytics could replace voter agency • Voting privacy may no longer be valued by digital natives

Having provided broad access to immense quantities of personal information for extended periods of time, the notion of sequestered private data may be abandoned. Algorithmic analytics support the development of anticipatory and targeted responses to all manner of systemic and transactional options including voting. There is a potential for loss of legal protection due to broad secondary distribution of data: for example, electoral registers used by marketing firms, tracking of spending habits, and digital profiling. Security breaches due to technology failure escalate. Predictive analytics hold the promise of “anticipatory knowing”—the ability to discern the unspoken before open disclosure has occurred. The need for competitive advantage in the marketplace pushes companies to dissect even anonymized data to interpret customer needs and deliver solutions. Using the data collection framework of “volume, variety and velocity” security providers augment their ability to protect the public from harm by monitoring suspicious behavioural patterns. Bureaucrats bemoan the strict controls on information privacy as a hindrance to effective service innovation. Increasingly, government efforts to maintain order and compliance use data as a tool both in protection and policy development. China’s system of social credit is seen as a tool for boosting administrative efficiency. Everywhere, ambient security systems create a linked mesh of sensory data aggregation connected to computer activity to create whole pictures of human activity for security (and surveillance) purposes. With the expanding struggle for freedom and control in cyberspace, Rebecca Mackinnon (author of Consent of the Networked) asks: How do we design the next phase of the Internet with accountability and freedom at its core, rather than control?

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WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE: EVIDENCE

“We built the commercial internet by mastering techniques of persuasion and surveillance that we’ve extended to billions of people, including essentially the entire population of the Western democracies. But admitting that this tool of social control might be conducive to authoritarianism is not something we’re ready to face. After all, we’re good people. We like freedom. How could we have built tools that subvert it? The economic basis of the Internet is surveillance. Every interaction with a computing device leaves a data trail, and whole industries exist to consume this data. ...It is a striking fact that mass surveillance has been driven almost entirely by private industry. While the Snowden revelations in 2012 made people anxious about government monitoring, that anxiety never seemed to carry over to the much more intrusive surveillance being conducted by the commercial Internet. Anyone who owns a smartphone carries a tracking device that knows (with great accuracy) where you’ve been, who you last spoke to and when, contains potentially decades-long archives of your private communications, a list of your closest contacts, your personal photos, and other very intimate information. Internet providers collect (and can sell) your aggregated browsing data to anyone they want. A wave of connected devices for the home is competing to bring internet surveillance into the most private spaces. Enormous ingenuity goes into tracking people across multiple devices, and circumventing any attempts to hide from the tracking. ...For many communities, Facebook is the tool of choice for political outreach and organizing, event planning, fundraising and communication. It is the primary source of news for a sizable fraction of Americans, and through its feed algorithm (which determines who sees what) has an unparalleled degree of editorial control over what that news looks like.”

Ceglowski, M. (2017, April 18). Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance. Retrieved from http://idlewords.com/ talks/build_a_better_monster.htm

“Augmented reality is a technology of surveillance, full stop,” says futurist and VR innovator Mark Pesce. “It has to be, that’s the way it works. Augmented reality has to be intensely aware of the space that you’re in, and the things that are in that space.” …“To be inside of a VR environment,” says Pesce, “Is to be continuously under surveillance by that environment, so that the environment can respond to you. There’s no particular malevolence around that, but we also know that data is being collected and added to your profile, and it is effectively being weaponized against you; that we actually have Evidence for.” …Increasingly capable of registering emotions, eye movements, and other rich data streams generated by our faces, this capability exists largely because it can feed into the sprawling infrastructure of commercial data collection. Sharing funny videos with goofy digital masks is secondary to the true value of facial tracking. So are virtual reality, augmented reality, and the various games, utilities, and social apps they enable. “This is going to be the next big battle after the smartphone, and part of it is going to be the battle for the devices, but more of it is going to be about who gets the data feed that’s coming off of all these devices,” Pesce says. “Is that going to be Facebook’s game? Or is it going to be Sony’s game, or Google’s game? Or is it going to be Tencent’s game? Because China is absolutely going to do their own thing … In All the President’s Men the line was ‘follow the money’, and now the line is ‘follow the data’.” None of this is to suggest that these companies maliciously seek to undermine civic or social life. They’re caught in their own feedback loops after all, of satisfying shareholders and capturing market share. But despite such familiar motives, these devices and platforms are increasingly capable of shaping social sentiments, with effects that are largely unpredictable but already tangible in our discourse and politics. And the step from corporations selling data for profit to governments weaponizing the same data to monitor and manage people is unnervingly short.”

Bierend, D. (2018, February 26). Augmented Reality’s True Purpose: Serving the Appetite for Big Data. Retrieved from https://medium.com/ vantage/augmented-realitys-true-purposeserving-the-appetite-for-big-data4d463ea45feb

“Just before Amazon was announcing its new Alexa lineup, the insurer John Hancock announced that it would cease to underwrite traditional life-insurance policies in favor of “interactive” ones based on tracking users’ fitness data through wearable devices. These trends have been on the horizon in insurance for some time—some health-care providers offer discounts for people who voluntarily use wearables to track health or exercise, and auto insurers offer breaks for people willing to install devices that monitor their driving habits. Critics rightly note that these devices don’t necessarily provide meaningful Indicators of risk, and that they amount to a tax on insurance for those unwilling to take a premium hit in exchange for increased privacy. But John Hancock’s move might be a sign of what’s to come. …People are worried about Alexa listening to their conversations, but what about what Amazon can do with the inferred meaning of all the small actions and instructions we freely and knowingly give Alexa?”

Bogost, I. (2018, September 21). Amazon Is Invading Your Home With Micro-Convenience. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/ technology/archive/2018/09/amazonis-invading-your-home-with-microconvenience/571015/

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Ünver, A. (2018). Politics of Digital Surveillance, National Security and Privacy. Retrieved from http://edam.org. tr/en/politics-of-digital-surveillancenational-security-and-privacy/

“The failure of surveillance transparency moves largely stem from this technological backwardness of safeguard and oversight mechanisms, as a result of the public devises its own mechanisms to circumvent, mask or monitor how states manage and process digital intelligence and citizen data. However, especially with the growing threat of terrorism, far-right radicalization and extremist groups emerging in western societies, surveillance is viewed not only politically necessary, but also electorally popular...Ultimately, democracies have to come up with the surveillance-privacy balance that conforms to the country’s political culture, but also to the universal human rights.”

De Filippi, P. (2014). Big data, big responsibilities. Internet Policy Review, 3(1). https://doi.org/DOI: 10.14763/2014.1.227

“For instance, by relying on advanced data-mining techniques and statistical correlation algorithms, credit card companies can identify customers who are having a love affair, recognise those who recently moved into a new house, or even predict an imminent divorce. Similarly, by combining a patient’s health records with the data collected by wearable devices or personal sensors, healthtracking services can identify underlying disorders and protect their patient from imminent diseases (Barrett & al., 2013). More generally, by analysing individual internet usage patterns (combining search and navigation history, with the schedule and speed of navigation, etc), it is possible to establish the mood and personality of users, determine their current state of mind, or even identify specific signs of depression. The question arises, therefore, as to whether - given their exclusive access to a huge volume of information about users - large online operators are under the moral responsibility (Han, 2013) to intervene ex-ante in order to promote or reprimand certain types of behaviours.”

Kahn, J. S. (2014, August 5). Who’s Looking at Your “Digital Dust” | Center for Advancing Health. Retrieved from http://www.cfah.org/blog/2014/ whos-looking-at-your-digital-dust

“Opportunities abound for sharing data “for good” – to turbocharge clinical trials, inform medical research, anticipate and better manage epidemics, and focus on individual health goals benchmarking oneself vs. peers. At the same time, third-party data brokers and those with marketing interests with whom consumers have no direct connection of knowledge are scraping together bits of personal information from internet clouds, social networks and retail data from which profits are made. And that value does not accrue to the very individuals whose data is being sold. …Deven McGraw of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, a legal privacy expert, warns in the report that ‘digital dust can have health implications even if the ‘dust’ is devoid of actual health information. FICO and other ‘scores’ could have significant implications for consumers – arguably as significant as a score generated using health data,’ she said. Examples of that ‘non-health’ data could be multiple late night check-ins on FourSquare from a bar combined with retail receipts from fast-food restaurants and line-items for over-the-counter sleeping pills and cans of Red Bull.”

Greg White. (2016, July 19). THE END OF PRIVACY: How quantum computing now threatens to turn the entire planet into a digital police state. Retrieved from https://www.glitch.news/2016-0719-the-end-of-privacy-how-quantumcomputing-now-threats-to-turn-theentire-planet-into-a-digital-police-state. html

Rainie, L., & Duggan, M. (2016, January 14). Americans’ opinions on privacy and information sharing. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http:// www.pewinternet.org/2016/01/14/ privacy-and-information-sharing/

“MIT researchers claim to have created the first five-atom quantum computer capable of cracking traditional encryption methods, potentially enabling the government to crack all encryption in seconds. …If quantum computers are realized, then it could have huge implications for encryption. With this technology, governments could crack all encryption, turning the entire planet into a police state. ‘Encryption is a basic prerequisite for privacy and free speech in the digital age. Banning encryption is like banning envelopes and curtains. It takes away a basic tool for keeping your private life private,’ noted Sherif Elsayed-Ali, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Global Issues.”

“Still, while many Americans are willing to share personal information in exchange for tangible benefits, they are often cautious about disclosing their information and frequently unhappy about what happens to that information once companies have collected it. For example, when presented with a scenario in which they might save money on their energy bill by installing a “smart thermostat” that would monitor their movements around the home, most adults consider this an unacceptable trade off (by a 55% to 27% margin). As one survey respondent explained: ‘There will be no ‘SMART’ anythings in this household. I have enough personal data being stolen by the government and sold [by companies] to spammers now.’”

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“Critics of China’s social credit system say it is an Orwellian tool of social monitoring and political repression; but the Chinese government says it is a way of boosting administrative efficiency and encouraging trust and moral behaviour by its citizens. People can be blacklisted for transgressions such as smoking on trains, using expired tickets or failing to pay fines, as well as spreading false information or causing trouble on flights, according to statements released by China’s National Development and Reform Commission in March. Citizens with high credit scores can access better hotels, rental homes and even schools; while those with low credit scores can be temporarily or permanently banned from taking planes or trains, as happened to 6.15 million people in 2017, on the government’s own figures. A pilot version of the scheme run this year in Hangzhou City reportedly saw citizens with high social credit ratings get free access to gym facilities and shorter public hospital waiting times. On the business side, the Brookings Institute has reported that businesses that pay tax on time and “abide by government demands” will get better loan conditions and easier access to public tenders; noncompliant businesses will face more difficult business conditions. But some researchers believe its power and reach may be overstated. Queensland University of Technology researcher Meg Jing Zeng has said that while the social credit system can be used to punish political dissenters such as journalist Liu Hu, it may have positive benefits for Chinese citizens because government officials can be blacklisted for corrupt behaviour. Over 1,100 officials were on restricted lists at December 2017, according to the state media organisation People’s Daily.” “China’s social credit system, a big-data system for monitoring and shaping business and citizens’ behaviour, is reaching beyond China’s borders to impact foreign companies, according to new research. The system, which has been compared to an Orwellian tool of mass surveillance, is an ambitious work in progress: a series of big data and AI-enabled processes that effectively grant subjects a social credit score based on their social, political and economic behaviour. People with low scores can be banned or blacklisted from accessing services including flights and train travel; while those with high scores can access privileges. The Chinese government aims to have all 1.35 billion of its citizens subject to the system by 2020. ...As of 1 January 2018, all companies with a Chinese business licence – a necessity for operating in the country – were brought into the social credit system through the new licence requirement to have an 18-digit “unified social credit code”. Through this business ID number, the Chinese government keeps track of all businesses, reporting transgressions on its National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, Hoffman said. The system extends to non-profits, NGOs, trade unions and social organisations after 30 June. “Companies don’t have a choice but to comply if they want to continue doing business in China,” Hoffman told the Guardian Australia.”

“Cook said that modern technology has led to the creation of a “data-industrial complex” in which private and everyday information is “weaponized against us with military efficiency.” He added that this mechanism doesn’t just affect individuals, but whole societies. “This crisis is real. It is not imagined, or exaggerated, or crazy.” “Platforms and algorithms that promised to improve our lives can actually magnify our worst human tendencies,” said Cook. “Rogue actors and even governments have taken advantage of user trust to deepen divisions, incite violence, and even undermine our shared sense of what is true and what is false. This crisis is real. It is not imagined, or exaggerated, or crazy.”

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

Munro, K. (2018, June 27). China’s social credit system ‘could interfere in other nations’ sovereignty’. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian. com/world/2018/jun/28/chinas-socialcredit-system-could-interfere-in-othernations-sovereignty

Vincent, J. (2018, October 24). Tim Cook warns of ‘data-industrial complex’ in call for comprehensive US privacy laws. Retrieved from https://www.theverge. com/2018/10/24/18017842/tim-cookdata-privacy-laws-us-speech-brussels


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JUST LIKE US

Indicator: Humachines Machines are getting better at mimicking the human cognitive functions of learning, problem solving, and representing knowledge. Some technology now so closely resembles our behaviour that it is indistinguishable. Although modeled on aspects of human reasoning, much research is now focused on computational pattern finding and analysis. Enabling broad and complex automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) powers a wide range of fields including medical diagnosis, aviation, robot control, law, remote sensing, agriculture, scientific discovery and toys. RELEVANCE: • Seamless interaction raises potential not to recognize machines as differentiated from humans and suggests concerns regarding influence in electoral process • Replacement of human workers as more activities are reliably automated • Future potential for direct biological verification of identity

Transhumanism takes that a step farther, integrating technology into cognitive and physiological processes to overcome human limitations. In essence the machine becomes the human. Human intelligence and physical and psychological capacities are being enhanced through science and technology interventions, such as gene therapy and increased cyborgization. Brain-to-computer communication and machine interfaces expand capabilities of disabled persons but point to the potential for thought influence as brain-tobrain connections become more fluid. Scientists are now able to insert, delete or repair DNA with CRISPR technology. With genetic editing, viruses can be removed and the expected intelligence of a child can be improved at the embryonic state. Using nanotechnology, bio-enhancement and advancing cognitive science to amplify capacity and overcome limitations such as aging, proponents often aim for some measure of immortality. Critics cite the inherent inequality of expensive enhancements that are only available to the privileged few.

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HUMACHINES: EVIDENCE “Companies like Amazon are presenting voice-activated devices as the ultimate easy-to-use technology. Just speak naturally to Alexa (or Apple’s Siri, or Google’s Assistant), and it will answer your questions and respond to your commands. What could be simpler? But every other supposedly obvious technical interface has proved to require some prior knowledge or familiarity. People had to be trained to operate a mouse, for example; direct control of a cursor was awkward until it became habitual. The touch screen built on the mouse, replacing the pointer with the finger. Its accompanying gestures— flicking through a feed or pinch-zooming a map or swiping right on a love interest—have come to feel like second nature. But none of them are actually natural. Voice assistants appear to bypass that legacy, offering hands-free operation for able-bodied folk and new accessibility for those with limited mobility or dexterity.”

Bogost, I. (2018, May). Alexa Is a Revelation for the Blind. Retrieved October 29, 2018, from https://www.theatlantic. com/magazine/archive/2018/05/ what-alexa-taught-my-father/556874/

“Is it necessary to add the complexity of AI systems that “think” for themselves and potentially make idiosyncratic decisions based on data not immediately obvious to the player? What will that add? You perhaps have to think about where games are going. Over the last five years we’ve seen a huge design shift away from linear narrative adventures and toward open-world games with procedurally generated landscapes and the capacity for emergent stories. In many ways what’s missing from the highly naturalistic worlds of Grand Theft Auto and Witcher is characters that have their own agendas and internal lives – that can provide on-the-fly challenges for the player, or just register your existence in the game world. In the action adventure title Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, critics and players reacted very positively to the game’s Nemesis system, which allowed computer-controlled enemies to remember fights they’d had with the player and bring these up in later encounters… …What mainstream game developers may need is a third-party AI engine that produces interesting characters for them, without all the expensive research and development. Those solutions are emerging. James Ryan is a PhD student at UC Santa Cruz, working in the Expressive Intelligence Studio. He and his team are working on Talk of the Town, an AI platform that creates interactive experiences featuring intelligent characters who have ongoing personalities encompassing emotions, beliefs, memories and relationships. “There are two core AI problems that Talk of the Town is tackling,” says Ryan. “How do you support autonomous characters who have ongoing subjective experience of the game world, and how do you support unconstrained conversational interaction between player and NPCs? We have systems that decide how people go about their daily routines, and how the various subjective phenomena should be triggered over the course of a character’s day – things like forming, propagating, misremembering knowledge or memories, and forming or evolving relationships.”

Stuart, K. (2016, October 12). Video games where people matter? The strange future of emotional AI. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian. com/technology/2016/oct/12/videogame-characters-emotional-ai-developers

“Duplex is part of a growing trend to offload basic human interaction to robots. More and more text messages are being automated: ride-sharing apps text you when your car is there; food-delivery apps text you when your order has arrived; airlines text you about delays; political campaigns send you reminders to vote. Smartphones predict the words you might want to complete your own texts; recently, Google’s Gmail has attempted to automate your side of the conversation in emails as well, with smart responses and suggested autocomplete. …Technologies like Duplex, Calo says, are “kind of the descendants of Microsoft’s Bob and Clippy. We are finally getting it right, and with that finally getting right, making it sound human with the pause and the ums, this does create these dangers. Because if you can take interpersonal interaction and you can scale it and exquisitely manipulate it, then the possibilities are legion.” All of which is to say, this kind of automated and realistic human impersonation raises both ethical issues of trust and philosophical questions like what does it mean to have relationships if those relationships are conducted mostly by machines. These are the same questions that have to be asked of driverless cars and facial recognition tech. There is no answer yet. A central issue for those grappling with the ethics of AI is who has the authority make decisions. “And,” says Liautaud, “how do we allocate that responsibility for the consequences for those decisions?” Even when it comes to more mundane, everyday life, such features could also introduce logistical challenges. If your phone is responding to emails and texts so you can focus on the more fun parts of life, how do you keep track of all the agreements your phone has made on your behalf? The integration with reminders and calendars will need to be robust and seamless, lest a phone intended to provide convenience ends up producing yet another a ream of data to parse and track.”

Dreyfuss, E. (2018, October 11). The Ick of AI That Impersonates Humans. Wired. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/ the-ick-of-ai-that-impersonates-humans/

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Gujrati, R. (2017, August 16). Citizenship in the age of Digital Transformation. Retrieved from https://hackernoon. com/citizenship-in-the-age-of-digitaltransformation-fa95f17ba989

“Digital plays a key role in all our lives with the rapid entry of disruptive technologies, multiple electronic devices and the internet and most of our time is spent accessing all these devices and technologies. Currently, our life comprises of two components: the real life, where we interact with physical elements — people around us, and the virtual universe with connected data and information encompassing the content that we share online and consume as well. Presently our virtual world and the real world are interconnected and overlapping at the same time, making it impossible to differentiate and segregate, and with every step, the virtual world is intercepting and substituting actions and elements in our real world. We are now digital citizens of a global digital country. It is a place where communities and networks are populated by virtual personalities sharing common interests and backgrounds. It is a place where nationalities, demographic identities cease to exist in certain cases and air up in others.”

Nicola, S. (2018, October 19). Biohackers Are Implanting Everything From Magnets to Sex Toys. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/ articles/2018-10-19/biohackers-areimplanting-everything-from-magnetsto-sex-toys

“Research house Gartner Inc. identified do-it-yourself biohacking as one of five technology trends—others include artificial intelligence and blockchain—with the potential to disrupt businesses. The human augmentation market, which includes implants as well as bionic limbs and fledgling computer-brain connections, will grow more than tenfold, to $2.3 billion, by 2025, as industries as diverse as health care, defense, sports, and manufacturing adopt such technologies, researcher OG Analysis predicts. “We’re only at the beginning of this trend,” says Oliver Bendel, a professor at the University of Applied Sciences & Arts Northwestern Switzerland who specializes in machine ethics. ...Biohacking raises a host of ethical issues, particularly about data protection and cybersecurity as virtually every tech gadget risks being hacked or manipulated. And implants can even become cyberweapons, with the potential to send malicious links to others. “You can switch off and put away an infected smartphone, but you can’t do that with an implant,” says Friedemann Ebelt, an activist with Digitalcourage, a German data privacy and internet rights group. … Biohacking advocates say 100,000 people have chips implanted under their skin, which they use to open doors, store passwords and personal data, and augment their art.”

Emerging Technology from the arXiv. (2018, September 29). The first “social network” of brains lets three people transmit thoughts to each other’s heads. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview. com/s/612212/the-first-social-networkof-brains-lets-three-people-transmitthoughts-to-each-others-heads/

“The ability to send thoughts directly to another person’s brain is the stuff of science fiction. At least, it used to be. In recent years, physicists and neuroscientists have developed an armory of tools that can sense certain kinds of thoughts and transmit information about them into other brains. That has made brain-to-brain communication a reality. These tools include electroencephalograms (EEGs) that record electrical activity in the brain and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which can transmit information into the brain. In 2015, Andrea Stocco and his colleagues at the University of Washington in Seattle used this gear to connect two people via a brain-to-brain interface. The people then played a 20 questions–type game. An obvious next step is to allow several people to join such a conversation, and today Stocco and his colleagues announced they have achieved this using a world-first brain-to-brain network. The network, which they call BrainNet, allows a small group to play a collaborative Tetris-like game. “Our results raise the possibility of future brain-to-brain interfaces that enable cooperative problem-solving by humans using a ‘social network’ of connected brains,” they say.”

Danigelis, A. (2016, August 12). Stretchy, Transparent Gaming Controller Acts Like a Second Skin. Live Science. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/55755stretchy-transparent-game-controlleracts-like-a-second-skin.html

“A stretchy, skin-like controller created by materials scientists at Seoul National University promises to turn a forearm into a touchpad for gaming, playing music, and scrawling notes that appear on a computer screen.…The team, led by researcher Chong-Chan Kim along with Jeong-Yun Sun, a professor of materials science and engineering, imagines a future where we ditch brittle electrodes for soft, biocompatible technology. No more stiff touch panels for humancomputer interactions. So they got to work on a transparent hydrogel one. They developed the panel using a hydrogel made from polyacrylamide, which is a water-soluble acrylic resin, and lithium chloride salts that act like a conductor. Electrodes on both ends of the panel create a uniform electrostatic field. Pressing on it closes the circuit, allowing the current to flow to the touch point.”

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“The human brain is the world’s most energy-efficient computer. It combines processing and memory together and can solve complex challenges using just 20 watts of energy. By mimicking the way biological neurons function, both energy and areal costs can be drastically decreased for complex computational tasks, such as pattern recognition, feature extraction and mining of data in noisy environments. Artificial neurons and synapses (the part of the nervous system that allows neurons to pass signals to one another) are computationally very powerful: already a single artificial neuron can be used to detect patterns and discover correlations in real-time streams of event-based data. For example, in the internet of things, sensors can collect and analyze large volumes of weather data collected at the edge for faster forecasts. Artificial neurons could also detect patterns in financial transactions to find discrepancies or use data from social media to discover emerging cultural trends in real time.”

“Cutting-edge biomedical technologies that could push the boundaries of human abilities may soon be available, making people’s minds sharper and their bodies stronger and healthier than ever before. But a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults shows that majorities greet the possibility of these breakthroughs with more wariness and worry than enthusiasm and hope…Majorities of U.S. adults say they would be “very” or “somewhat” worried about gene editing (68%), brain chips (69%) and synthetic blood (63%), while no more than half say they would be enthusiastic about each of these developments.”

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

Thomson, S. (2016, October 4). Scientists want to mimic the human brain. And they’ve made a breakthrough. World Economic Forum. Retrieved from https:// www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/10/ scientists-want-to-mimic-the-humanbrain-and-they-ve-made-a-breakthrough/

Funk, C., Kennedy, B., & Podrebarac Sciupac, E. (2016, July 26). U.S. Public Wary About Use of Biomedical Technology for Human Enhancement. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet. org/2016/07/26/u-s-public-wary-ofbiomedical-technologies-to-enhancehuman-abilities/


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ETHICAL TECH

Indicator: Confirmation Bias Technology is not neutral. Embodied in its decision-making processes are remnants of those who programmed and trained it to perform, whether consciously or carelessly. Can technology assume the human qualities of ethical behaviour? Faced with previously unimagined choices, society is poised to make critical decisions on challenging ethical fronts. Use of Artificial Intelligence; editing of the human genome; infiltration of the Internet of Things into our private lives; automation; each of these domains brings with it hard choices and potentially long-term consequences. Functionally, choice architecture that affects decision-making behaviours are built into the technology; options and attributes of a given programme can impact performance and influence outcomes.

RELEVANCE: • The urge to be current and responsive needs to be tempered with ethical frameworks, perhaps formed by third-party organizations with more comprehensive perspectives • Potential delay in introduction of new election technology

At a more systemic level, it may no longer be possible to hold back radical changes in capability augmentation and the balance of human well-being and planetary impacts must be brought into the conversation. And what happens when algorithms begin to take on a life of their own? They may learn and evolve in ways that are not human making it difficult for us to predict potential issues. We expect their mistakes to be recognizable to human eyes. If they are not, or if they occur in places and ways that are unthinkable for us, we are ill-prepared to react. Legislative processes do not keep pace with rapid innovation cycles. Consequences of technology can take much longer to understand than the immediate repercussions may suggest. It may not be possible to protect the public good without stagnating innovation. Unequal distribution of the benefits of new technology or unfair apportioning of harms must be considered. Cascading pressures will mount as demands from a STEM-oriented economy seeks immediate market access for products and services. Who should make these decisions? Scientists, industry, regulators and the public each have different stakes and competencies related to ethical considerations and inherent biases. Having both adequate knowledge and resources to investigate are necessary to be balanced and fair.

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CONFIRMATION BIAS: EVIDENCE

“In a recent talk, technologist Maciej Ceglowski argued that “[t]his year especially there’s an uncomfortable feeling in the tech industry that we did something wrong, that in following our credo of ‘move fast and break things,’ some of what we knocked down were the load-bearing walls of our democracy.” We also know that technology can be harmful to our democracy. Privacy invasions and algorithmic manipulation, for example, can limit the ability to research and formulate opinions, and then in turn affect how people express views— even via voting. When companies implement practices that are good for targeted advertising but bad for individuals’ democratic engagement (like, for example, the practices involved in the use of “dark posts” on Facebook, tied to the creation of psychological profiles for hundreds of millions of Facebook users in the U.S.), the benefits-versus-harms balance tilts pretty sharply.”

Raicu, I. (2017, May 26). Rethinking Ethics Training in Silicon Valley. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic. com/technology/archive/2017/05/ rethinking-ethics-training-in-siliconvalley/525456/

“As the race heats up among companies looking to be first-to-market with the next best product or service, considerations about the implications these systems and gadgets may have on society often are overlooked...Silicon Valley’s “build it first, ask for forgiveness later” mentality that has, in part, grown from pressure by CEOs, board members and other company stakeholders who want to be first-to-market with their products. This mindset is a prime example of why a code of ethics for software delivery is needed among tech companies to make sure their intentions are good willed when delivering products. While one standardized code of ethics (such as the Hippocratic Oath in the medical profession) could be a solution for the software industry, it is also important to teach delivery teams how to ask the right questions when considering the ramifications for emerging innovations.”

West, D. (2018, April 19). Why Tech Companies Need a Code of Ethics for Software Development. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/ article/311410

“This course will pursue a cross-disciplinary investigation of the development and deployment of the opaque complex adaptive systems that are increasingly in public and private use. We will explore the proliferation of algorithmic decision-making, autonomous systems, and machine learning and explanation; the search for balance between regulation and innovation; and the effects of AI on the dissemination of information, along with questions related to individual rights, discrimination, and architectures of control.”

Saltiel, N. (2017, November 16). The Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence. Retrieved from https://www. media.mit.edu/courses/the-ethics-andgovernance-of-artificial-intelligence/

“...the algorithm is irreducibly alien, a creature of linear algebra. We can spot some of the ways it will make mistakes, because we’re attuned to them. But other kinds of mistakes we won’t notice, either because they are subtle, or because they don’t resemble human error patterns at all. These failure modes become important when we start using machine learning to manipulate human beings. The learning algorithms have no ethics or boundaries. There’s no slot in the algorithm that says “insert moral compass here”, or any way to tell them that certain inferences are forbidden because they would be wrong. In applying them to human beings, we leave ourselves open to unpleasant surprises. The issue is not just intentional abuse (by trainers feeding skewed data into algorithms to affect the outcome), or unexamined bias that creeps in with in our training data, but the fundamental non-humanity of these algorithms.” …A question few are asking is whether the tools of mass surveillance and social control we spent the last decade building could have had anything to do with the debacle of the 2017 election, or whether destroying local journalism and making national journalism so dependent on our platforms was, in retrospect, a good idea.”

Ceglowski, M. (2017, April 18). Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance. Retrieved from http://idlewords.com/talks/build_a_ better_monster.htm

“One of the birthplaces of artificial intelligence, MIT, has announced a bold plan to reshape its academic program around the technology. With $1 billion in funding, MIT will create a new college that combines AI, machine learning, and data science with other academic disciplines. It is the largest financial investment in AI by any US academic institution to date. Data everywhere: Data and computing are already having a major impact on disciplines like the humanities, and machine learning and AI may have an even bigger one. Rafael Reif, the president of MIT, said in an announcement that the new approach was necessary because of the way computing, data, and AI are “reshaping the world,” and he added that students and researchers will be taught to use AI in their disciplines from first principles, instead of dividing their time between computer science and other departments. “Computing is no longer the domain of the experts alone,” Reif said. “It’s everywhere, and it needs to be understood and mastered by almost everyone.” Ethical concerns: One noteworthy function of the new college will be encouraging students and researchers to think about the potential impact of computing and AI. This could prove increasingly important as the technology spreads. Computing is already affecting many areas of work. Big data has proved a key factor in influencing political views. And machine learning is beginning to affect everything from hiring to sentencing.”

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

Knight, W. (2018, October 15). MIT has just announced a $1 billion plan to create a new college for AI. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/ the-download/612293/mit-has-justannounced-a-1-billion-plan-to-create-anew-college-for-ai/

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Katharine Schwab. (2018, September 20). The Future of Humanity Depends on Design Ethics, Says Tim Wu. Retrieved from https://medium.com/fast-company/ the-future-of-humanity-depends-ondesign-ethics-says-tim-wu-891982d8611d

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“How many nights have you stayed up too late because you were scrolling through Instagram or Facebook? It’s not just your lack of self-control: Social media sites are designed to keep you hooked for as long as possible. And according to media scholar Tim Wu, this toxic design conditions us to behave in ways that defy our best interests. “We crave some sense of closure, some sense of being done,” says Wu, a Columbia law professor and author of The Attention Merchants, a history of how companies through history have gathered and monetized attention, from the earliest newspapers to today’s tech platforms “Much of social media tries to prevent you from ever having that feeling.” …Social media sites, in particular, are designed to create what he calls “false loops,” where you never reach the end of what you can do on the platform. He thinks that goes against our way of making sense of the world: Humans have a natural predilection toward creating experiences and narratives that start and end, like the social ritual of eating dinner with a friend, or attending a concert, or even reading an article. But social media tends to disrupt these things–unlike a well-planned story or meal, Wu compares experiencing social media to a buffet, where nothing really goes together. Coincidentally, you also end up stuffing yourself and feeling ill. “Our brains like to close things out,” Wu says. “I think that a lot of design now is trying to turn all of us into obsessive-compulsives by making it so the loops are never closed.” ...To be clear, these false loops are an explicit business strategy. The more you can convince someone that they need to keep checking your site, the more time they’ll spend on your platform–and the more ads they’ll see. It’s the same philosophy that underpins incessant notifications and the infinite scroll you find on many media sites (including our own). “If you were to obey Facebook’s mandate–hey, this friend commented on this, you should comment back, oh, you need to like this–you’d spend 24 hours there and still you’d never close the loops,” Wu says.”

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POST-TRUTH

Indicator: Deep Fakes With more refined digital tools in the hands of everyone, it has become increasingly difficult to decipher verifiable information, erasing the line between reality and fabrication. Using Artificial Intelligence based human image synthesis techniques and advanced video editing, readily available apps created for the film industry can convincingly alter political messaging. Immersive reality (virtual and mixed) is progressing from consumer-focused virtual reality headsets for gaming into the opportunity for simulated workplaces, tourism, market research and even psychiatric treatments. However, researchers are wary that the “amplifying factor” of the technology may lead to real world consequences if used for violent or illegal purposes. Digital forensics, intended to identify counterfeits, struggle to keep up. Software security experts strive to create layered systems of trust to validate digital authenticity. Fingerprinting digital information becomes an element of consensus-driven data integrity such as blockchain. News media are under pressure to demonstrate credibility at a time when they are under attack from political operatives for generating “fake news”in order to boost circulation and attention. Separating “hacktivists” who seek to disrupt the status quo, from government sanctioned cyber warriors intent on influencing partisan behaviour becomes more difficult.

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

RELEVANCE: • Veracity of political messaging and campaigning comes into question • Role of elections management could expand to preserve public trust

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DEEP FAKES: EVIDENCE

Hale, T. (2018, June 7). “Deep Fake” Videos Created By AI Just Got Even More Terrifying. Retrieved from https:// www.iflscience.com/technology/deepfake-videos-created-by-ai-just-got-evenmore-terrifying/

“Now, researchers have developed a new approach that can make the videos even more convincing, which makes them all the more terrifying. Previously, this technique could only manipulate facial expressions. The results were pretty impressive, although not totally convincing. This new approach is the first successful attempt to transfer the full three-dimensional head position, head rotation, face expression, eye gaze, and eye blinking from a video of one face onto a video of another. Building on their previous deep-learning algorithms, the new technique offers more realism and subtlety, picking up on fine details such as the slight flick of a head or the wiggle of a shoulder. The new results also show way less glitchy distortions, also known as artifacts, which can make most forgeries easy to spot. The videos are so seamless that their experiments showed that people were unable to detect any video manipulation at all. As far as they could tell, the videos were real. The researchers believe that the technology could have some useful applications, such as post-production editing. For example, it could be used to superimpose the face of deceased actors into a new or unfinished film. It could also be used for dubbing, either in movies or for teleconferences. Nevertheless, the technology has raised its fair share of eyebrows. Politicians and computer scientists alike have also flagged up concerns that the tech could be abused to create the ultimate “fake news”, with some even warning that the technology has the power to shape global politics. “Unfortunately, besides the many positive use cases, such technology can also be misused. Currently, the modified videos still exhibit many artifacts, which makes most forgeries easy to spot,” the researchers write. “It is hard to predict at what point in time such ‘fake’ videos will be indistinguishable from real content for our human eyes.”

Farid, H. (2018). Digital forensics in a post-truth age. Forensic Science International, Volume 289, Pages 268-269. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. forsciint.2018.05.047

“All indications are that fake news is a serious threat to our society and democracy. We in the digital forensic community must continue to develop and refine techniques that will allow individuals, media outlets, and governments to quickly and accurately authenticate digital videos, images, and audios. This task has recently been made even more difficult by rapid advances in machine learning that have made it easier than ever to create sophisticated and compelling fakes. These technologies have removed many of the time and skill barriers previously required to create high-quality fakes. Not only can these automatic tools be used to create compelling fakes, they can be turned against our forensic techniques in the form of generative adversarial networks (GANs) that modify fake content to bypass forensic detection. While issues of digital authentication and verification have always been important, we have entered a new age in which the implications of digital fakery are impacting everything from our trust in news and democratic elections, to threatening the lives of our citizens. The responsibility for reining in these abuses falls on us as a scientific community, funding agencies, the social media giants, and legislative bodies. The past few years have given us a glimpse into the consequences of what happens when these issues are left unchecked and so it is with some urgency that we as a community and society should be addressing these pressing problems.”

Al-Rawi, A. (2018). Gatekeeping fake news discourses on mainstream media versus social media. Social Science Computer Review. https://doi. org/10.1177%2F0894439318795849

“This study analyzes mainstream media (MSM) coverage of fake news discourse and compares it with social networking sites (SNS) users who reference the term “fakenews” in their tweets. The study employs computational methods by analyzing over 8 million tweets and 1,350 news stories using topic modeling. Building on the theory of (networked) gatekeeping and Herman and Chomsky’s propaganda model, the results show that SNS users follow networked gatekeeping practices by mostly associating fake news references to the alleged bias of MSM. On the other hand, MSM coverage tends to link fake news to SNS’s negative role in spreading misinformation. I argue here that there is a networked flak activity on Twitter which is defined as a collective negative response to MSM in order to discipline it, change its tone and editorial stance, or undermine the public’s trust in it.”

Epstein, J. (2017). The CMO Primer For The Blockchain World, 68. Retrieved from https://www.neverstopmarketing. com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/CMOPrimer-For-The-Blockchain-WorldNSM.pdf

“The first and most obvious benefit is that blockchains will give you greater confidence in the integrity of the data you see. Immutable entries, consensus-driven timestamping, audit trails, and certainty about the origin of data (e.g. a sensor or a kiosk) are all areas where you will see improvement as blockchain technology becomes more mainstream. Beyond data integrity (which is a huge component), the shared data layer that blockchains will introduce creates an entirely new set of possibilities for marketing AI capabilities and insights. …We will see an expansion of the concept of “big bata,” as we move from proprietary data silos to blockchain-enabled shared data layers. In the first epoch of big data, power resided with those who owned the data. In the blockchain epoch of big data, power will reside with those who can access the most data (where public blockchains will ultimately defeat private blockchains) and who can gain the most insights most rapidly.” KerrSmith


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Part 2: Understanding the Context of Electoral Event Administration

SHIFT 2 CENTRALIZED AND DISTRIBUTED

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada


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Shift 2: Centralized and Distributed

Shift 2: Centralized and Distributed Moving from hierarchical and confined decision-making and power to more distributed models of shared information, participatory governance and meshed computational networks are driving deep change. This revolution in thinking and behaving is poorly tolerated by some who currently hold the controls and is embraced by others who see the opportunity to grow business and social benefit. Millennials are steeped in collaborative experience having learned their lessons since kindergarten in sharing, inclusion and working together. As they assume power, expectations are altered. Just as differences are being celebrated in some realms, more fragmented groups are forming. Concentration of wealth and power is unprecedented. The value of expertise, dismissed by the crowd in recent times, sees a resurgence.

Centralized to Distributed Indicators for this Shift: • I Belong • Connected Collaborators • New Tribalism Distributed to Centralized Indicators for this Shift: • Unequal and Excluded • For the People, without the People • Finding Balance

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Shift 2: Centralized and Distributed - Centralized to Distributed Indicators

RADICAL INCLUSION

Indicator: I Belong Who is from here and entitled to take part in electoral democracy is challenged while new demands for representation emerge. Regions compete globally for investment and talent, while highly skilled workers roam worldwide to fulfill contracts. Digital nomads choose to work remotely from co-working spaces, coffee shops, public libraries or even vehicles, seeking ideal locations wherever cheap cost of living, internet speed availability and favorable weather conditions prevail. Location independence for work may mean greater numbers of non-resident voters around the world seek to participate in both elections at home and, increasingly, to have a say in borderless concerns that affect people in multiple jurisdictions.

RELEVANCE: • ● Possibility that voting rights be extended to currently ineligible people/entities • ● Voter registration and validation become challenging • ● Change in understanding of whose rights must be entrenched in law • ● Potential to alter electoral system for a more representative model

At the same time, increasing forced displacement of people globally, through conflict or climate stress, creates a growing population with unclear national identities. With settlement tensions rising, do migrants understand themselves as being from one place or belonging to the new place? Inability to participate in local decision-making despite being affected by electoral outcomes becomes intolerable to many. Demands to extend governance rights and political opportunity increase as refugees experience extended generational cycles in camps, intended as temporary housing, that become de facto cities unto themselves. Even disadvantage is not equally distributed. Documentation that focuses on identity and residence continues to exclude those who those who do not conform and registration attempts can be seen as unfair. Indigenous Canadians who persistently suffer disproportionately in terms of income, access to education and housing may not have the required identification to allow participation. Ensuring secret ballots to persons with cognitive impairment, physical disability or social challenges requires continuous inclusive efforts and accommodation. Some constituencies extend rights to all living entities, conferring person status on rivers, mountains, wildlife and natural ecosystems. Countering the political influence and notion that corporations have long-held rights, they deliver the constitutional tools to participate in democracy through legal guardians by giving nature legislative seats worldwide to ensure fair treatment. Demand for proportional representation in governance grows, as more and, more Canadians feel disenfranchised with majoritarian rule. Belief that matching seats in parliament to number of votes each party receives stems from a desire for a fairer, more diversely representative government and in reaction to extreme gerrymandering efforts seen in other jurisdictions.

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

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I BELONG: EVIDENCE

Ohme, J. (2018). Updating citizenship? The effects of digital media use on citizenship understanding and political participation. Information, Communication & Society, 1–26.

“Is there a connection between increased use of digital media and changing patterns of political participation? This study tests how the use of online media for different purposes (social interaction, creative expression, online news use, social media news use) is related to three types of political participation. It examines whether mobilizing effects are partly indirect due to different understandings of citizenship (dutiful, optional, individual, collective) that may be fostered by digital media use. The study is based on a survey of a sample of the Danish population (n = 1322), including data from two online survey waves and a smartphone-based media diary that documents respondents’ social media use. Results indicate support for a new pathway to participation, but the relationship depends on whether citizens are socialized in a digital media environment.”

Institute for Canadian Citizenship. (2015). Ballots & Belonging: new Citizens on political participation. Retrieved from https://www.icc-icc.ca/site/pdfs/ BallotsAndBelongingFullReportEN.pdf

“A number of countries already give the right to vote at the local level to non-citizens, including a number in Europe (e.g., Belgium, Austria, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the UK), Chile, New Zealand, and Uruguay. These countries adopted this policy in response to the increasing numbers of immigrants arriving and the challenges they experienced integrating. New Zealand is one of the few countries to allow non-citizen voting at the national level. In Toronto, the Maytree Foundation and academic Myer Siemiatycki have led the charge. Proponents argue that non-citizens work and pay taxes – contributing to the city’s economic prosperity. They often have children in the school system and draw upon a host of municipal services that are in part paid for by their taxes. Yet they have no say in how their tax dollars are spent. Extending voting rights can also be a way of telling newcomers that they are welcome – and belong – in their new community. Arguments that depend on demonstrating loyalty to Canada based on getting citizenship hold less sway given the increasing length of time it takes to get citizenship, and the new reality that contemporary globalization and Migration Integration Policy Index counts non- citizen voting at the local level as an important integration policy…”

Dei, G., & Rummens, J. A. (2010). Including the Excluded: De-Marginalizing Immigrant/Refugee and Racialized Students. Education Canada, 50(5).

“Youth’s personal and social identities affect how our young people see themselves, how they are perceived by educators and school peers, how they engage with schooling, and how they produce knowledge about everyday experiences. Social exclusion based on shared identities disproportionately affects youth whose “otherness” is most apparent.”

Hewko, J. (2018, January 10). This is what millennials want in 2018. World Economic Forum. Retrieved from https:// www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/01/ this-is-what-millennials-want-in-2018/

“Firstly, the millennial generation views climate change and conflict as the most critical issues we face… In addition to these priorities, young people feel their voice is not being heard, as 55.9% of respondents to the survey disagreed with the statement: “In my country, young people’s views are considered before important decisions are taken”.”

The Rights of Nature. (2018, September 25). The rights of nature symposium. Retrieved from http://therightsofnature. org/the-rights-of-nature-symposium-isjust-two-days-away/

“Ecuador was the first country to recognize the Rights of Nature in its Constitution through the ratification of a referendum by the people in September 2008. As Natalia Greene, member of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, and President of CEDENMA states: ¨Ten years ago, Ecuador gave a bold and important step for humanity and the planet, finally recognizing that we are all part of nature, and that nature should be treated as a person we protect and not as an object we exploit.¨ Since then, at least seven countries have recognized the inherent rights of and legal standing for nature in their legal systems, including dozens of ordinances. This Symposium will commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Ecuadorian ratification, analyze the history and current status of the Rights of Nature movement globally, and determine the next steps for greater recognition of Nature’s inherent rights. As Fiona Wilton of the Gaia Foundation. Explains, “Earth centred values and practices, including customary laws and indigenous rights, are being undermined at an alarming rate. This International Symposium in Quito brings together global voices to celebrate the movement that nurtures the rights of all components of Nature - the right be, to right habitat, and the right to fulfil their role in the Ever - renewing processes of our Mother Earth.”

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“Building on the drive to recognize rights of nature, the “One Vote for Nature” Campaign seeks to give nature one seat in legislative bodies throughout the world; including city councils, state and national legislatures, and more. By having a voice in decision-making, nature can advocate for its health and very existence by voting on new laws, resolutions, and policies. This approach recognizes the fairness of giving nature a say in the decisions that will impact its well-being. This is fairer than humans making decisions for all of the Earth’s species and ecosystems. …So how does nature get a vote if it can’t speak, at least in the traditional sense? ELC proposes that the basic framework would work as follows: ● Nature is given one seat (to start) on every legislative body. This may require amending constitutions, charters, bylaws, etc. ● A body of experts and scientists represents nature from academia, civil society, indigenous groups, and/or other appropriate individuals. ● For each issue that comes to a vote, “nature” (as represented by the body of experts) casts its vote based on nature’s best interests. ● The body of experts also releases a short, science-based memorandum citing scientific, biocultural, and other support for its vote.”

“Canadians are ready for reform: almost 9 in 10 experts and average citizens who spoke to the special committee urged the government to adopt proportional representation and make every vote count. Furthermore, several recent public opinion polls show that a substantial majority of Canadians expect the government to make good on its promise of electoral reform.”

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

Lee, D. (2018, May 3). Earth Defenders Launch “One Vote for Nature” Campaign. Retrieved from https://www. earthlawcenter.org/blog-entries/2018/5/ earth-defenders-launch-one-vote-fornature-campaign

Scarpaleggia, F. (2016). Strengthening Democracy In Canada: Principles, Process And Public Engagement For Electoral Reform (p. 348). House of Commons Canada. Retrieved from http://www. legco.gov.hk/general/english/library/ stay_informed_overseas_policy_updates/ strengthening_democracy.pdf

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HACKING-A-THON

Indicator: Connected Collaborators The ability to work anywhere on anything using agreed upon approaches for concept generation and process aggregation advances with a reduced reliance on paid work by companies that seek to efficiently achieve their goals. Crowd sourced information collection and processing continually incorporates new information leading to rapid problem solving for complex problems as well as more mundane consensus building for decision-making when augmented by intelligent software.

RELEVANCE: • New methods of distributed security may be necessary to protect digital voting • Collaborative innovation has the potential to spark new thinking

By distributing opportunities, good ideas are liberated from unexpected sources and complex problems can be tackled in unconventional and incremental ways. Crossfertilization of competencies brings creative collaboration to new levels. Gamers participate in unlocking genetic sequencing in cancer research. MIT’s Climate CoLab seeks to bring people together to explore ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through building efficiencies. In Toronto, Sidewalk Labs launched Coord, a cloud based platform to integrate mobility services and apps. Ethical concerns have been raised about the labour rights of workers who participate in open-call micro-work. Often there are no contractual agreements and payment is below minimum wage. Young or precariously employed workers are at risk of abuse as they seek experience to launch themselves into the labour market and emerging economies may be disproportionately impacted as more companies seek cheaper labour. As information becomes ubiquitously available through technology, experts are discounted as holders of “true knowledge”. Everyone wants a say. Some skills are transferred to less qualified workers as fiscal restraint drives efficiency. The patronizing voice of those in positions of power whose legitimacy previously was bolstered through expertise is now being challenged. In the healthcare system, patients have the expectation of being treated as partners in their own wellbeing. A collaborative model of care is emerging, but old habits die hard. Services, such as the Kahn Academy that distributes free online educational modules, allow students at all levels to drive their own learning. Under severe economic pressure, universities renounce their competitive stance and forge more productive research bonds, encouraging citizen science and collaborative knowledge creation. In the political realm, disdain for expertise has reached a crescendo. Bitter dismissal that characterizes experts as elites has surged around the world, and in Canada at the federal, provincial and municipal level, with political hopefuls touting their “Common Man” credentials. Collaboration extends to dark deeds as well. Globally interconnected criminal forces work behind the scenes to infiltrate social media in attacks to spread distrust. Governments grappling with foreign interference and systems hacking seek distributed forms of cybersecurity such as blockchain to combat efforts to derail electoral processes and build resilience against further assaults. KerrSmith


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CONNECTED COLLABORATORS: EVIDENCE

“Billions of connected individuals can now actively participate in innovation, wealth creation, and social development in ways we once only dreamed of. And when these masses of people collaborate they collectively can advance the arts, culture, science, education, government, and the economy in surprising but ultimately profitable ways. Companies that engage with these exploding Web-enabled communities are already discovering the true dividends of collective capability and genius. To succeed, it will not be sufficient to simply intensify existing management strategies. Leaders must think differently about how to compete and be profitable, and embrace a new art and science of collaboration we call wikinomics. This is more than open source, social networking, so called crowdsourcing, smart mobs, crowd wisdom, or other ideas that touch upon the subject. Rather, we are talking about deep changes in the structure and modus operandi of the corporation and our economy, based on new competitive principles such as openness, peering, sharing, and acting globally.”

Tapscott, D., & Williams, A. D. (2008). Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything. Penguin.

“The study by BMO Wealth Management surveyed freelance, contract and other temporary workers about their experiences in those precarious jobs. Citing Statistics Canada, it estimates that 2.18 million Canadians are taking part in some form of temporary work – a number which has risen significantly since the 2008 recession. “The gig economy in Canada is growing at a phenomenal rate that shows no signs of slowing down,” the study reads. “An on-demand, freelance or contingent workforce is becoming the norm.” Canadian employers are expected to keep moving toward contract jobs and other temporary forms of employment, as doing so allows them to hire for immediate needs without having to be concerned about how the people they are hiring might fit into the organization long-term. This hiring will even extend to occupations typically considered to be permanent fits such as accounting, information technology and human resources, the study said. The benefit to workers is less clear, although the study suggests people might feel greater job satisfaction if they are able to choose when and where they work.”

CTVNews.ca staff. (2018, July 30). Canada’s gig economy “growing at a phenomenal rate”: BMO. Retrieved from https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/ canada-s-gig-economy-growing-at-aphenomenal-rate-bmo-1.4033565

Blockchain is being applied to voting now because it’s often considered inherently un-hackable, since its data is stored on multiple servers that all verify the authenticity of the blocks (in Voatz’ case, the votes) and copy them onto the chain of blocks that make up a blockchain. Those blocks (again, votes!) are supposed to be un-erasable—and unchangeable. Voatz insists that their technology has been been vetted by third-party auditors, including a public HackerOne program; a pen-testing system; and the software company Security Innovation. Unlike Moscow’s Active Citizen app, which, as CityLab reported in April, has the Moscow government serving as an “authority node” and could thus be considered a tool more of propaganda than empowerment, Voatz’ system is truly decentralized: The West Virginia government doesn’t have the power to alter votes, only count them. …But others have voiced concerns about the technology itself. According to a new paper from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy, blockchain’s vaunted security measures could kick in too late: “If malware on a voter’s device alters a vote before it ever reaches a blockchain, the immutability of the blockchain fails to provide the desired integrity, and the voter may never know of the alteration.” This was put a bit more simply by Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, who told CNN: “It’s internet voting on people’s horribly secured devices, over our horrible networks, to servers that are very difficult to secure without a physical paper record of the vote.”

Holder, S. (2018, September 11). Is This Experiment in Digital Democracy Too Crazy to Work? Retrieved from https:// www.citylab.com/life/2018/09/is-thiswest-virginia-experiment-in-digitaldemocracy-crazy/569542/

“The authorities of the city of Zug on Monday announced that the Alpine nation’s first local blockchain-based test vote had been successfully completed. The small scale consultative vote utilised the city’s eID system which was first set up in November of last year. “The premiere was a success”, said Dieter Müller, head of communications for the city of Zug to the Swiss News Agency. Voters were able to vote via their smartphones by downloading the already existing app to register. The technical details of the test will now be evaluated over the coming months, he said. The focus of the vote’s evaluation will be the protection of privacy, voting secrecy, as well as the ensuring that the Wey, A. (2018, July 2). Switzerland’s voting results can be verifiable, unchangeable and comprehensible. first municipal blockchain vote hailed The city of Zug has been issuing its residents with digital identities since winter 2017, and is currently examining a success. Retrieved from https://www. various possible applications of the blockchain technology. swissinfo.ch/eng/business/crypto-valley-_ In contrast to other e-voting systems, the voting process in the city of Zug did not take place via a single central switzerland-s-first-municipal-blockchainserver, but was distributed using blockchain across many computers.” vote-hailed-a-success/44230928 Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

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PwC. (n.d.). Building block(chain)s for a better planet. Retrieved October 29, 2018, from https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ sustainability/assets/blockchain-for-abetter-planet.pdf

“Responsible blockchain” approaches will need to be developed to realise these opportunities. For example, to manage security risks and adoption challenges, including blockchain’s own energy use. Supporting public-private collaborations and platforms will also need to be built. If we get all of that that, right, however, we live in exciting times: it is now possible to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems with emerging technologies, such as blockchain. It is time to put blockchain to work for people and the planet.”

Kar, I. (2016, June 15). How blockchain technology can prevent the next financial crisis, disrupt Uber, and give us control of our data. Retrieved from https:// qz.com/695892/how-blockchaintechnology-can-prevent-the-nextfinancial-crisis-disrupt-uber-and-give-uscontrol-of-our-data/

“When it comes to financial stability, if regulators like the Federal Reserve or the People’s Bank in China, could get a window into the dealings of large financial firms and see the same shared ledger that the banks did, they would know whether or not too much risk was being taken in the system, whether or not there were liquidity crunches in the system, whether or not there were troubled banks or shadow banks that needed support or a slap on the wrist. You’d be able to have more information and a much clearer picture to do your job better. That ties into financial stability. If you’re connected to the same records as everyone else, then you don’t need all of the resources to go into the individual banks and vet their siloed transaction records to determine whether or not they’re acting within the law.”

Berners-Lee, T. (2018, September 29). One Small Step for the Web…. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@ timberners_lee/one-small-step-for-theweb-87f92217d085

“I’ve always believed the web is for everyone. That’s why I and others fight fiercely to protect it. The changes we’ve managed to bring have created a better and more connected world. But for all the good we’ve achieved, the web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas. Today, I believe we’ve reached a critical tipping point, and that powerful change for the better is possible — and necessary. This is why I have, over recent years, been working with a few people at MIT and elsewhere to develop Solid, an open-source project to restore the power and agency of individuals on the web. Solid changes the current model where users have to hand over personal data to digital giants in exchange for perceived value. As we’ve all discovered, this hasn’t been in our best interests. Solid is how we evolve the web in order to restore balance — by giving every one of us complete control over data, personal or not, in a revolutionary way. Solid is a platform, built using the existing web. It gives every user a choice about where data is stored, which specific people and groups can access select elements, and which apps you use.”

Geller, E. (2018, July 18). States slow to prepare for hacking threats - POLITICO. Retrieved October 26, 2018, from https:// www.politico.com/story/2018/07/18/ hackers-states-elections-upgrades-729054

“In a sign of the growing urgency in Congress for states to improve election systems, Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), leaders of the Senate Armed Services cybersecurity subcommittee, on Tuesday became the latest co-sponsors of the Secure Elections Act. …So far, there’s been no indication hackers have tampered with voting machines or other systems in ways that have changed the outcome of an election. However, the Department of Homeland Security believes that Russians “scanned” all 50 states potentially looking for vulnerabilities in voter registration databases, senior DHS official Christopher Krebs said recently. In last week’s indictment, Mueller’s prosecutors charged Russian agents with hacking an election website in an unidentified state — believed to be Illinois — to steal sensitive information on about 500,000 American voters. Voter databases are among the most vulnerable elements of the U.S. election system because they are connected to the internet and are often maintained by inadequately staffed or poorly trained IT departments.”

Gutiérrez Amaya, C. (2018, April). Electoral processes could be influenced by a cyberattack in the future. Retrieved from https://www. welivesecurity.com/2018/04/18/ trends-2018-democracy-hack/

“The past two years have seen electoral contests taking place in several countries long regarded as key players on the global stage. However, the elections raised a whole host of questions, among which the most pressing was whether a cyberattack could influence an electoral process to the extent of causing a Shift in the political course of a nation? ...There is substantial Evidence that the implementation of electronic voting has yielded results that are far from secure. Moreover, there are two other crucial factors to which we must draw attention. Firstly, the influence of social networks on public opinion, especially in respect to pushing a political agenda, particularly the way in which they support hacktivism; and lastly, the need to include national cybersecurity issues as part of the political agenda. ...The preponderance of Evidence to date strongly suggests that we cannot rely solely on technology for something as significant to our lives as the electoral process; it must only be used as a complementary tool. If the idea is to mitigate any and all forms of fraud, thus boosting faith in both the results and our democracies, we must consider hybrid systems with both paper and electronic ballot records. ...There is no doubt that new risks come with every new advancement, but if we want to use technology to improve our lives, then we must prevent it from creating greater problems overall than benefits. All aspects of an electoral system must be regarded as part of every country’s critical infrastructure (and be safeguarded as such). KerrSmith


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THESE ARE MY PEOPLE

Indicator: New Tribalism Affiliation to smaller subsections of populations based on physical and cultural characteristics (ethnicity, religion, ability, language etc.) raises the specter of a fragmented society, or the potential to embrace differences. More granular distinctions are bolstered by digital tribalism with distinct populations able to find necessary supports and community through online channels. Hyper-personalization of media creates a tendency “to aggregate in communities of interest, which causes reinforcement and fosters confirmation bias, segregation, and polarization”; essentially creating an echo chamber. These conditions may hinder action and investment on federal and provincial agenda, for example, on economic development and climate change. Politics in the US, South America, Europe and the UK have grown divisive with far-reaching implications. The seeds for rejection of experimentation, pleasure and liberal inclusiveness are sown in turbulent circumstances, as people draw closer to their chosen community and risk-mitigation becomes paramount. While technology connects us, it also serves as a means of promoting xenophobia. There is a decline of the moderate and rise of homogeneity as online behaviour mimics real-life tendencies of people to align themselves socially, ideologically, geographically and economically with others sharing the same values and lifestyles. Tolerance is tested as violent outbursts promote fear. But an important counter-trend is also in play. There is a hopeful rise in awareness of previously marginalized groups such as transgender, disabled or indigenous peoples. Beyond a diverse society is one where equitable access to all opportunities and resources is assured for all populations. Inclusive behavior proactively promotes and supports all members of a community, valuing each for their unique contribution. More kinds of people with multiple backgrounds and experiences equates to more flexibility and adaptability within the economy. In many jurisdictions, there is evidence that differences in age, race, orientation, ethnicity, education, ability, and class serve as drivers of innovation and prosperity. Ecosystems with complex dynamics are more resilient to change and can withstand unexpected shocks or disruptions.

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

RELEVANCE: • Irrelevance of national elections to more tribally affiliated groups, localism soars • Greater levels of accommodation for voting needs of specialized groups

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NEW TRIBALISM: EVIDENCE

Fazal, T. M. (2018, June 14). Go Your Own Way: Why Rising Separatism Might Lead to More Conflict. Foreign Affairs. Retrieved from https://www. foreignaffairs.com/articles/2018-06-14/ go-your-own-way

“From the Mediterranean coast of northern Spain to the island states of the South Pacific, secessionism is on the rise. In 1915, there were eight movements seeking their own independent state. In 2015, there were 59. One explanation for the increase is that there are now more countries from which to secede. But even taking that into account, the rate of secessionism has more than doubled over the last century. Yet even though more groups are trying to break away, fewer are resorting to violence. Because secessionists wish to join the exclusive club of states, they pay close attention to Signals sent by major countries and organizations that indicate how they should behave. So far, those Signals have discouraged them from resorting to violence (and made them more careful to avoid civilian casualties if they do) or unilaterally declaring independence. Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria, for example, have largely avoided killing civilians and have offered assistance to Western powers fighting the Islamic State (or ISIS). Somaliland, which broke away from Somalia in the early 1990s, has worked quietly but effectively with countries trying to curb piracy in the Gulf of Aden. And in Catalonia and Scotland, independence movements have long opted for referendums and negotiations rather than unilateral declarations.”

Rastello, S., & Tomesco, F. (2018, September 21). Sorry Catalans, Even Quebec Is Sidestepping Separatism This Year. Retrieved from https:// www.bloomberg.com/news/ articles/2018-09-21/sorry-catalans-evenquebec-is-sidestepping-separatism-thisyear

“It no longer pays to talk about independence in Quebec. Just ask the Parti Quebecois. The political force behind two referendums on separating from Canada and some of the province’s signature laws is headed for the worst electoral result in its 50-year history, polls ahead of the Oct. 1 vote show. Traditionally the main alternative to the ruling Liberal Party, it has found itself pushed to third place by an untested front-runner, Coalition Avenir Quebec, that wants to reduce immigration. For the first time in decades, independence is barely being mentioned on the campaign trail. The province of 8.4 million people controls its immigration, collects its taxes, and has representatives abroad from Atlanta to Seoul. French is the official language in government and commerce, and access to education in English is restricted. What’s more, Quebec has recently been enjoying an economic renaissance, with near record-low unemployment and full-time jobs going unfilled. “For a nationalist movement to lead to secession, you need a real sense of outrage” said Daniel Salee, a political scientist at Concordia University in Montreal. “Unfortunately for the sovereigntists, that sense of outrage has been gone for quite some time.””

Ward, V. (2016, January 7). Facebook makes us more narrow-minded, study finds - Telegraph. Retrieved from https:// www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/ howaboutthat/12086281/Facebookmakes-us-more-narrow-minded-studyfinds.html

“The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analysed Facebook data about the topics people discussed on the social network in 2010 and 2014. It concluded: “Users tend to aggregate in communities of interest, which causes reinforcement and fosters confirmation bias, segregation and polarisation.”

Slaw. (2016, May 12). Hall-Coates on Digital Media and the Open Court Principle – Slaw. Retrieved from http:// www.slaw.ca/2016/05/12/thursdaythinkpiece-hall-coates-on-digital-mediaand-the-open-court-principle/

“This problem raises a secondary concern involving individuals’ online truth-seeking behaviour, or lack thereof. Simply put, as the Internet presents individuals with massive quantities of information, their filtering mechanisms—which are premised on their preconceptions, biases, and prejudices—can often become survivalist techniques. Geoffrey Leane explains: Given the sheer quantity of information available in complex modern societies and now relatively accessible in unprecedented quantities on the Internet, information seekers typically need a filtering process that renders incoming information reasonably manageable, comprehensible, and amenable to analysis. One can self-select filters to suit one’s own needs, interests and preferences. But therein lies the corollary problem of too much filtering.”

Reich, R. (2014, March 23). The New Tribalism and the Decline of the Nation State. Retrieved from http://robertreich. org/post/80522686347

“News and images move so easily across borders that attitudes and aspirations are no longer especially national. Cyberweapons, no longer the exclusive province of national governments, can originate in a hacker’s garage. Nations are becoming less relevant in a world where everyone and everything is interconnected. The connections that matter most are again becoming more personal. Religious beliefs and affiliations, the nuances of one’s own language and culture, the daily realities of class, and the extensions of one’s family and its values – all are providing people with ever greater senses of identity.”

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“When we think of tribalism, we tend to focus on the primal pull of race, religion, or ethnicity. But partisan political loyalties can become tribal too. When they do, they can be as destructive as any other allegiance. ...The causes of America’s resurgent tribalism are many. They include seismic demographic change, which has led to predictions that whites will lose their majority status within a few decades; declining social mobility and a growing class divide; and media that reward expressions of outrage. All of this has contributed to a climate in which every group in America—minorities and whites; conservatives and liberals; the working class and elites—feels under attack, pitted against the others not just for jobs and spoils, but for the right to define the nation’s identity. In these conditions, democracy devolves into a zero-sum competition, one in which parties succeed by stoking voters’ fears and appealing to their ugliest us-versus-them instincts. ...Many progressives, particularly young ones, have turned against what were once sacrosanct American principles. Freedom of speech is an instrument of the dehumanization of women and minorities. Religious liberty is an engine of discrimination. Property rights are a shield for structural injustice and white supremacy. In a recent poll, two-thirds of college-age Democrats said that “a diverse and inclusive society” is more important than “protecting free speech rights.” Only 30 percent of Americans born in the 1980s believe that living in a democracy is “essential,” compared with 72 percent of Americans born in the 1930s.”

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

Chua, A., & Rubenfeld, J. (2018, October). The Threat of Tribalism. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/ magazine/archive/2018/10/ the-threat-of-tribalism/568342/

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CONCENTRATION OF WEALTH AND POWER

Indicator: Unequal and Excluded In Canada, and around the world, economic and political power residing in fewer hands is troubling. Even within the super-rich, wealth concentration is staggering. Forget the 1%. Most recent estimates cited in January 2018’s Oxfam report indicate that the richest 42 people in the world hold as much wealth as the 3.7 billion who make up the poorest half of the world’s population. Perhaps an outgrowth of the view of wealth disparity spreading throughout the developing world, the perception of dangerous concentrations of influence is also mounting here. European, Latin and Central American, and Canadian politicians have all faced accusations that they are not working in the public interest as their hold on power expands, resulting in sharp political upheavals and rising populist parties. In Venezuela and Brazil, widespread criminal violence and persistent scarcity of the fundamentals of life have prompted ongoing civil unrest ending in multiple deaths. Vulnerable populations excluded from civic engagement seek services and a voice. RELEVANCE: • Potential concentration of difficult-to-regulate social media influence and legacy media • Impact on “third-party” campaign financing

Both the International Monetary Fund and The World Bank recently released studies on the negative impacts of unequal distribution of financial resources on economic growth and service delivery. The consequent impact on democracy is grave. On a global basis, the desire to mitigate unequal access to food, water, shelter, jobs, security, healthcare and education is the basis of migration worldwide, with conflict arising in areas of extreme privation. Business monopolies or oligopolies that have ceased to be responsive to client or market demand for fairer practices are facing complete disruption as cheaper and more effective alternatives are embraced, Using technology breakthroughs as a lever, consumers are abandoning powerful service providers post haste. Telecoms and banks in Canada are both susceptible to the advances of mobile internet technology that bypass the controls of concentrated businesses. VOIP and Bitcoin are just the beginning. Equally troubling concentrations of power are flowing to the hands of tech billionaires as they reap the rewards of tumultuous change. With staggering concentrations of wealth created through business acumen (and some luck), there is a temptation to apply the same skills to other areas. Snapped up media companies provide an influential platform for political voices and arm’s length financial campaign support seeks favourable outcomes.

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UNEQUAL AND EXCLUDED: EVIDENCE

“Last year saw the biggest increase in the number of billionaires in history, with one more billionaire every two days. There are now 2,043 dollar billionaires worldwide. Nine out of 10 are men. Billionaires also saw a huge increase in their wealth. This increase was enough to end extreme poverty seven times over. 82% of all the growth in global wealth in the last year went to the top 1%, whereas the bottom 50% saw no increase at all. Living wages and decent work for the world’s workers are fundamental to ending today’s inequality crisis. All over the world, our economy is built on the backs of low paid workers, often women, who are paid poverty wages and denied basic rights. …US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, “we can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” Our leaders know this, but rather than act to reduce wealth concentration and inequality, they are instead choosing to suppress democracy and the freedom to demand a fairer society.”

Pimentel, D. A. V., Aymar, I. M., & Lawson, M. (2018). Reward Work, Not Wealth: To end the inequality crisis, we must build an economy for ordinary working people, not the rich and powerful. Nairobi: Oxfam. DOI, 10(2017.1350).

“By 2050 the world urban population is expected to nearly double, making urbanization one of the 21st century’s most transformative trends. As the population, economic activities, social and cultural interactions, as well as environmental and humanitarian impacts, are increasingly concentrated in cities, this poses massive sustainability challenges in terms of housing, infrastructure, basic services, food security, health, education, decent jobs, safety, and natural resources, among others. … However, the persistence of multiple forms of poverty, growing inequalities, and environmental degradation, remain among the major obstacles to sustainable development worldwide, with social and economic exclusion and spatial segregation often an irrefutable reality in cities and human settlements. We are still far from adequately addressing these and other existing and emerging challenges; and there is a need to take advantage of the opportunities of urbanization as an engine of sustained and inclusive economic growth, social and cultural development, and environmental protection, and of its potential contributions to the achievement of transformative and sustainable development. By readdressing the way cities and human settlements are planned, designed, financed, developed, governed, and managed, the New Urban Agenda will help to end poverty and hunger in all its forms and dimensions, reduce inequalities, promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, in order to fully harness their vital contribution to sustainable development, improve human health and well-being, as well as foster resilience and protect the environment.”

HABITAT III. (2016, September 10). NEW URBAN AGENDA: Retrieved from http://habitat3.org/wp-content/ uploads/Habitat-III-New-UrbanAgenda-10-September-2016.pdf

“Rejecting the notion that democracy and markets are the same, young people are calling for an end to the poverty, grotesque levels of economic inequality, the suppression of dissent and the permanent war state. They refuse to be defined exclusively as consumers rather than as workers, and they reject the notion that the only interests that matter are monetary. They also oppose those market-driven values and practices aimed at both creating radically individualized subjects and undermining those public spheres that create bonds of solidarity that reinforce a commitment to the common good. And these movements all refuse the notion that financialization defines the only acceptable definition of exchange, one that is based exclusively on the reductionist notion of buying and selling.”

Giroux, H. A. (2013, July 22). Henry A. Giroux | The Violence of Organized Forgetting. Retrieved from https://truthout.org/articles/ the-violence-of-organized-forgetting/

“Mirroring trends noted across the globe, Canada, and Canadian cities, are becoming more unequal and more polarized. Inequality—and the related issues of poverty and regional and occupational polarization—is becoming ever more difficult to ignore. An important report published by the federal government’s Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Cities (Eggleton and Segal, 2009), not only highlights growing problems of poverty and homelessness, but calls for policy reforms for dealing with poverty, including reforms to employment insurance that increase eligibility for assistance, a federal minimum wage, and the extension of funding for social housing and affordable housing programs. Even the Conference Board of Canada has criticized Canada’s record on inequality, and called for increases to social assistance and more redistributive taxes (Conference Board of Canada, 2011). On the extent and rise of inequality in Canada as a whole, the Evidence is clear and telling. In its report titled Growing Unequal, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that Canada experienced the second-largest increase in inequality (as detected by the most common measure of inequality, the Gini coefficient, discussed in detail below) among all the countries under its umbrella between the mid-1990s and the mid2000s (OECD, 2008). Only Finland saw a (slightly) greater increase in inequality over this time, and yet Finland still finished the period with much lower inequality (Gini=0.27) than Canada (Gini=0.32).”

Walks, A., & Twigge-Molecey, A. (2014). Income inequality and polarization in Canada’s cities: An examination and new form of measurement. Cities Centre, University of Toronto.

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Mohammed, A. (2015). Deepening income inequality. World Economic Forum. Retrieved from http://wef. ch/1yt5TWg

“Inequality is one of the key challenges of our time. Income inequality specifically is one of the most visible aspects of a broader and more complex issue, one that entails inequality of opportunity and extends to gender, ethnicity, disability, and age, among others. Ranking second in last year’s Outlook, it was identified as the most significant trend of 2015 by our Network’s experts. This affects all countries around the world. In developed and developing countries alike, the poorest half of the population often controls less than 10% of its wealth. This is a universal challenge that the whole world must address. While it is true that around the world economic growth is picking up pace, deep challenges remain, including poverty, environmental degradation, persistent unemployment, political instability, violence and conflict. These problems, which are reflected in many parts of this report, are often closely related to inequality.The inherent dangers of neglecting inequality are obvious. People, especially young people, excluded from the mainstream end up feeling disenfranchised and become easy fodder of conflict. This, in turn, reduces the sustainability of economic growth, weakens social cohesion and security, encourages inequitable access to and use of global commons, undermines our democracies, and cripples our hopes for sustainable development and peaceful societies.”

Shiller, R. J. (2017, December 21). Today’s Inequality Could Easily Become Tomorrow’s Catastrophe. The New York Times. Retrieved from https:// www.nytimes.com/2016/08/28/upshot/ todays-inequality-could-easily-becometomorrows-catastrophe.html

“Economic inequality is already a concern, but it could become a nightmare in the decades ahead, and I fear that we are not well equipped to deal with it. Truly extreme gaps in income and wealth could arise from many causes. Consider just a few: Innovations in robotics and artificial intelligence, which are already making many jobs uncompetitive, could lead us into a world in which basic work with decent pay becomes impossible to find. An environmental disaster like global warming, pollution or disease could sharply reduce the ability of people of ordinary means to live in specific regions or entire countries. Future wars using ever more highly destructive technology, including chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons, could devastate vast populations. And it’s not out of the question that dire political changes, like the rise of racist or otherwise exclusionary social structures, could have terribly damaging consequences for less privileged people.”

Glaser, A., & Oremus, W. (2018, September 21). What Margaret Sullivan thinks about tech CEOs buying media companies. Retrieved from https://slate. com/technology/2018/09/what-margaretsullivan-thinks-about-tech-ceos-buyingmedia-companies.html

“The sale of Time magazine to Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, is only the latest example of prominent figures in the technology industry using their fortunes to buy legacy media companies. There was Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes’ 2012 purchase (and 2016 sale) of the New Republic, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ 2013 purchase of the Washington Post, Laurene Powell Jobs’ 2017 purchase of a majority stake in the Atlantic, and biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s 2018 purchase of the Los Angeles Times.”

Public Policy Forum. (2018, March). Transparent and Level: Modernizing Political Financing in Canada. Retrieved October 19, 2018, from https://www. ppforum.ca/publications/transparent-andlevel-modernizing-political-financingin-canada/

“On the topic of transparency, participants expressed the need for more light to be shone on the activities of third parties: individuals and groups that aim to influence voting while not being registered candidates or parties. Thirdparty participation in elections is a Charter-protected right, but Canadians need to be confident third-party activities are legitimate and transparent and do not undermine a relatively level playing field for all political entities. The fact that third-parties’ activities extend beyond elections makes it challenging to distinguish and track their spending and engagement in campaigns, as well as the contributions they receive from donors or by using their own funds. Moreover, there is a growing concern about potential involvement of foreign actors in Canadian democracy and elections, both in terms of untracked donations and other forms of interference in election outcomes. Drawing distinctions can sometimes prove difficult given the open nature of Canadian society and the international nature of corporations, trade unions and NGOs. Disclosure and transparency for all political entities could be improved in a number of ways, such as increased awareness around non-monetary contributions and more clearly tracking the contributions and spending of third parties.”

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PROSPERITY WITHOUT DEMOCRACY

Indicator: For the people, without the people Alternative models of concentrated power are seen by some as necessary to combat issues too large and critically important for liberal democracy to tackle. In a time of continuous planetary and economic threats, new approaches are sought. Beyond their definition as authoritarian regimes, some Asian models of centralized power include examples of highly motivated and competent public administration that return public value to the table rather than solely focusing on individual gain or benefit. In contrast to populist uprisings in other jurisdictions, the emphasis on planned prosperity and modernization are viewed as mechanisms to improve the daily lives of millions of people. Reaching high levels of economic development, educational attainment and broadly available healthcare, China offers a model to others. However, the spectre of misuse of power looms continuously. Curtailed freedoms, especially for dissent, and avoidance of legal restraints on authority ensure that “strongman” leaders protect their control and influence. Stifling all opposition requires continuous monitoring, diversion of a portion of the economy towards control (often military control) and constant messaging to ensure compliance.

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

RELEVANCE: • Diminishment of the role of electoral process in governance • Declining turnout and cynicism of electorate

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FOR THE PEOPLE, WITHOUT THE PEOPLE: EVIDENCE

Fish, E. (2015, October 28). Is the “China Model” Better Than Liberal Democracy? Retrieved October 30, 2018, from https:// www.theatlantic.com/international/ archive/2015/10/china-politicscommunism-democracy/412663/

“I disagree with the view that there’s only one morally legitimate way of selecting leaders: one person, one vote,” Bell said at a recent debate hosted by ChinaFile at Asia Society in New York. Bell is under no illusion that China has already perfected its political recipe, admitting that the ideal “China model” is still very theoretical. This involves a “vertical democratic meritocracy,” as he puts it, with open democratic elections at the local level, meritocratic assessment (like China’s civil-service exam) to choose top national leaders, and experimentation in the middle. In this system, local leaders—who handle relatively basic issues—are still accountable to voters. But national leaders, who must handle more complex issues and make tough decisions that may not be popular (like enacting serious climate-change measures), can be chosen based on experience and knowledge without Americanstyle political gridlock or susceptibility to populist approval. “This is the political ideal that has informed political reform in China over the past 30 years,” Bell said. “But there’s still a huge gap between the ideal and the practice. This ideal is reasonably good though, and can and should continue to inspire political reform in China in the future.”

Hilton, I. (2017, December 11). China: Contradictions in climate leadership. Lowy Institute. Retrieved from https:// www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/ china-contradictions-climate-leadership

“Xi’s backing for the Paris Agreement is not in doubt. China’s climate policy is closely aligned with its long-term industrial and economic strategy in support of a necessary transition from low added value, high emitting industry to a higher value, more efficient, cleaner and more advanced economic model. China has long identified low carbon technologies as the technologies of the future, and the development of its strengths in these areas figures largely in the 13th Five Year Plan. China’s ambition to dominate the global market in low carbon goods – renewable technologies for example – is well advanced. The battle for dominance in electric vehicles and in the next generation of batteries is underway. Unlike Donald Trump, China’s leaders see the energy transition as an important economic opportunity, and one in which they have invested considerable time, money and political muscle. ...China’s climate leadership takes other forms: in its ability, for example, to direct its capacity to manufacture at scale into low carbon technologies and to focus its research and development firepower on the urgent challenges of decarbonisation. China’s success in lowering the costs of renewable technologies has the capacity to enable other emerging economics to bypass the development of high emitting energy sources and go straight to renewables – potentially an enormous contribution to global mitigation. China could demonstrate leadership by promoting renewables over coal overseas, and by conditioning its overseas investment and lending on climate compliance.”

Lee, Y., & Chanjaroen, C. (2018, October 25). Why Fintech Startups Love Singapore’s Hawk-Eyed Central Banker. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg. com/news/articles/2018-10-25/fintechscan-play-in-singapore-s-sandbox-justdon-t-cross-ravi-menon

“The job of central bankers is to ensure the soundness of money and the financial system in their countries. So they often cast a wary eye at financial technology startups and the disruptive forces they can unleash. Not so for Ravi Menon. As head of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Menon manages the city-state’s monetary policy, but he’s also the top financial watchdog for banks, insurers, and asset managers. In 2016 and 2017, MAS shut down the local units of two Swiss banks and imposed more than S$29 million ($21 million) in fines on financial institutions for breaches of anti-money laundering requirements linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the scandal-tainted Malaysian fund that’s the subject of investigations in the U.S. and Switzerland. But when it comes to fintech—companies looking to provide services ranging from crowdfunding to roboadvisories—Menon is comfortable with a more relaxed approach. It’s part of the government’s goal of turning Singapore into a global fintech hub, as it seeks to offset predictions of lower growth and reduced employment in the wider banking industry. “There is an inherent tension in our policy objectives,” Menon says. “It is how the two— regulation and promotion—work in concert to create an environment that promotes innovation while ensuring safety and public confidence.”

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“Lee Kuan Yew was famous for his political philosophy, which viewed national government as a paternalistic and technocratic manager of all aspects of social and economic life. He saw individual liberties as secondary to communal prosperity and social discipline as a necessary condition for that prosperity. Over the years, Lee’s political opponents and other dissenters often found themselves in prison. While many experts credit his model with enabling Singapore’s incredible economic growth, Lee’s approach also earned him a reputation as a soft authoritarian. Singapore today is considerably freer than it was during Lee’s rule. Having witnessed the legacy of ethnic violence in Malaysia in the early 1960s, Lee understood the need for racial harmony in multi-ethnic Singapore. Accordingly, the government has, over the years, engineered a range of policies to promote social stability, including racial quotas in housing and racial representativeness requirements for election candidates. However, Singapore’s record on human rights has drawn criticism from nongovernmental organizations. The country’s use of capital and corporal punishment and its strict regulation of speech have drawn particular scrutiny. The 2018 World Press Freedom Index ranks Singapore 151st out of 180 countries, just below Ethiopia, citing the government’s liberal use of defamation suits against journalists. Public acts of protest are strongly proscribed.”

“For decades, scholarly inquiry into political trust has been motivated by concerns about declining levels of public trust in politics. Because political trust is considered a necessary precondition for democratic rule, a decline in trust is thought to fundamentally challenge the quality of representative democracy. Fundamentally, political trust can be understood as citizens’ support for political institutions such as government and parliament in the face of uncertainty about or vulnerability to the actions of these institutions. While political trust is conventionally treated as a pro-democratic value, its absence is not evidently detrimental to democracy.”

“Since taking power, Putin has cast himself as Yeltsin’s antithesis and Russia’s savior. He has consolidated power with a strategy based on hope, destruction and suspicion of perceived enemies, whether terrorists or democrats. In his first two terms, from 2000 to 2008, Putin inspired hope, with the first pillar of his rule, by reversing Russia’s decade-long slide into economic turmoil. Thanks to increasing energy prices, the economy grew by 83 percent and the purchasing power of Russia’s citizens more than doubled to US$21,600. Rising oil and gas revenues filled state coffers and allowed Putin to revive governmental spending on everything from social welfare to military modernization. Putin also stuck up for the everyday Russian, chasing and even jailing the so-called oligarchs, or at least those who refused to stay out of politics. Regional fiefdoms went back to bowing to Moscow. To maintain this image of security and prosperity, Putin has relied on a second pillar: destruction. Yeltsin’s Russia was never a hallmark of democracy. But over the past 18 years, Putin has worked to dismantle whatever inconvenient democratic institutions managed to take root. Free media outlets were shuttered. Civil society organizations were strangled. Electoral institutions were carefully manipulated to ensure Putin and the United Russia party backing him could not be beat. According to Freedom House, a nonprofit organization that rates countries based on political rights and civil liberties, Russia now ranks among the least democratic fifth of all countries in the world.”

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

Panda, A. (2018, June 26). Singapore: A Small Asian Heavyweight. Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved from https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/ singapore-small-asian-heavyweight

Van der Meer, T. W., & Thompson, W. R. (2017). Political Trust and the “Crisis of Democracy.” Oxford Research Encyclopedias.

Grodsky, B. (2018, May 22). Russia, Putin lead the way in exploiting democracy’s lost promise. The Conversation. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/russia-putinlead-the-way-in-exploiting-democracyslost-promise-94798

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PRESSURE TO INNOVATE

Indicator: Finding Balance Cutting edge modernization from third party suppliers offers tempting solutions to persistent administrative concerns. Despite pressures to innovate on a local basis, questions remain about the wisdom of moving to a decentralized electoral system, especially as cybersecurity threats remain unresolved. RELEVANCE: • Elections Canada could become a more emphatic model for elections management • Potential to automate some electoral administration activities, maintain other systems

E-voting has been adopted unevenly at the different levels of government with varying results. Distinct demographic realities are emerging between tech-enabled urban ridings and less well-serviced rural or more remote ones. The digital divide suggests that some Canadians would be left at a disadvantage should unequal implementation of new technological electoral management procedures be brought forward federally. Indigenous populations, especially in northern regions, are disproportionately affected. Retaining a level of care and scrutiny to provide free and fair elections continues to require professionalism and centralization. The massive workforce necessary to regulate and monitor the activities of elections in an independent and impartial manner pose a challenge. Some activities could lend themselves to automation, but changes to the electoral system require assessment of the administrative impact and consequences.

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FINDING BALANCE: EVIDENCE

“A dozen Ontario municipalities introduced remote electronic voting in 2003, and it’s only become more popular since then: in the province-wide municipal elections taking place later this month, 194 of 444 municipalities will allow voters to cast ballots remotely — and in 80 per cent of those municipalities, e-voting will be the only option available. The move toward e-voting is driven by convenience and accessibility, says Joan Thomson, city clerk for Stratford. The system means that residents “don’t have to drive or get a ride to a voting location,” — something that’s especially helpful for those with physical disabilities, she adds. “They can vote from the convenience of their own home, or wherever they are.” ...Although research in Canada and elsewhere has established that e-voting has a small positive effect on voter turnout, the Centre for e-Democracy survey suggests the method appeals to those with greater digital literacy, higher levels of education, and higher incomes than paper voters. “If [people] being dropped from the voting pool are poorer and less educated,”the researchers write, “and municipal policy preferences change to reflect these shifting characteristics, the elimination of paper ballots may provide a systematic, institutional advantage to politicians of a certain ideology.””

Baxter, M. (2018). How e-voting is taking over Ontario municipal elections. Retrieved from https://tvo.org/article/ current-affairs/how-e-voting-is-takingover-ontario-municipal-elections

“The bulk of today’s public discourse takes place online, so those who lack access to digital media are less likely to be civically engaged. The stakes are highest for Indigenous Peoples, whose deprivation limits their political participation – voter turnout on reserves has historically been notably lower than elsewhere. Their assimilation, should they continue to abandon reserves, also jeopardizes Canada’s diverse character. Canadians are thus obliged to recognize that fortifying our democratic society, and reconciling with Indigenous Peoples in a tangible manner, requires us to remedy the digital disparity that exists here. In 2015, 96 percent of Canadians had access to broadband internet with a download speed of at least 5 Megabits per second (Mbps) – a laudable improvement from even just a few years earlier. Still, the penetration rate drops to 79 percent for those living in the North, and in any case, access is not the same as affordability: the least expensive broadband service available in Nunavut is far costlier than the cheapest on offer in any province. The 96-percent figure is as pernicious as it is impressive, moreover, because it will foster public complacency at the expense of those final few. There are people across the country who lack a utility that is vital for 21st century life. Many of them live in Indigenous communities, where gaining reliable and affordable broadband access is a matter of cultural survival.”

Stollery, B. (2018). Canada’s Digital Divide: Preserving Indigenous Communities Means Bringing Them Online. Retrieved from https://www. friends.ca/DCA/2018/BradStollery

“When considered as a form of tech, paper has a killer feature set: it’s intuitive, it doesn’t crash, and it doesn’t need a power source. You can talley ballots rapidly using low-tech scanners, and if it’s necessary to double-check the results, (as was the case with several down-ticket contests in Virginia), you can do a manual recount. Paper isn’t perfect, but it’s better than the alternative. This is why going lo-fi has become a hot new megatrend in voting. Twelve years ago, according to Lawrence Norden, a deputy director at the Brennan Center for Justice, two thirds of the country voted on digital machines. Today, twothirds do it on paper. It’s a neatly counterintuitive tale. And there may be a lesson here for the software industry: Sometimes, when you have a wicked problem, it’s worth resisting the allure of the latest tech.”

Thompson, C. (2018). Paper and the Case for Going Low-Tech in the Voting Booth. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/ story/elections-paper-ballots-low-techvoting-booth/

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Norris, P. (2018). Why American Elections are Flawed (And How to Fix Them), HKS Working Paper (RWP16038). Retrieved from https://papers.ssrn. com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2844793

“To analyze electoral problems, and gather systematic evidence about their quality in America and around the world, the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) was founded in 2012 with a research team based at Harvard and Sydney Universities. According to expert estimates developed by EIP, the 2012 and 2014 elections in the United States displayed the worst performance among all Western democracies. Without urgent reform, these problems risk damaging the legitimacy of American elections—further weakening public confidence in the major political parties,Congress, and the US government, depressing voter turnout, and exacerbating the risks of contentious outcomes fought through court appeals and public protests. America is far from alone in its problems at the ballot box; numerous types of flaws and failures undermine elections in developing democracies around the globe. In some, opponents are disqualified. District boundaries are gerrymandered. Campaigns provide a skewed playing field for parties. Independent media are muzzled. Citizens are ill-informed about choices. Balloting is disrupted by bloodshed. Ballot boxes are stuffed. Vote counts are fiddled. Opposition parties withdraw. Contenders refuse to accept the people’s choice. Protests disrupt polling. Officials abuse state resources. Electoral registers are out-of-date. Candidates distribute largesse. Votes are bought. Airwaves favor incumbents. Campaigns are awash with hidden cash. Political finance rules are lax. Incompetent local officials trigger riots. Women candidates face discrimination. Ethnic minorities are persecuted. Voting machines jam. Lines lengthen. Ballot box seals break. Citizens cast more than one ballot. Legal requirements serve to suppress voting rights. Polling stations are inaccessible. Software crashes. “Secure” ink washes off fingers. Courts fail to resolve complaints impartially. Each of these problems can generate contentious elections characterized by lengthy court challenges, opposition boycotts, and public demonstrations. In fragile states with a recent history of conflict, electoral failures can trigger further outbreaks of deadly violence and undermine regime legitimacy. …Finally, the issues we have seen during the 2016 US campaign are likely to exacerbate and compound the longstanding lack of professionalization of electoral administration which has long characterized American contests. Compared with equivalent Western democracies, rather than regulating uniform standards across all polling places, and establishing independent and non-partisan authorities, American elections have allow exceptionally partisan control and highly decentralized administrative arrangements. The 2014 report of the bipartisan US Presidential Commission on Election Administration has documented a long series of vulnerabilities in American elections. Procedures have been under close scrutiny by the news media ever since the notoriously flawed ballot design in Florida in 2000. Since then, the Commission reported common problems such as wait times in excess of six hours to cast a ballot in Ohio, inaccurate state and local voter registers, insufficiently trained local poll workers, and the breakdown of voting machines in New York have continued to put the quality of American elections in the headlines.37 Standards remain uneven across the country; the Pew Center’s 2014 Election Performance Index estimates that states such as North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin performed relatively well against a range of quality indicators combing voting convenience and electoral integrity, but others, including California, Oklahoma, and Mississippi demonstrated noticeable short-falls. ”

Adebayo, A. (2010). Effects of Centralization and Decentralization of Electoral Administration of the Conduct of Credible General Elections: A Comparative Analysis of the Nigerian and US Electoral Processes (Masters). University of Lagos.

“At the foundation of thee problems were the insufficiencies in: state and federal funding, effective supervision and regulation and manpower capacity. The transfer of virtually all aspects of the electoral administration to poorly funded local authorities and the tolerance for administrative diversities even at the level of electoral management meant, according to Guess and Gueorguieva, “instead of a single election for president, 13,000 counties and local governments which range widely in effectiveness and capacity, conduct elections with different standards, ballots and machines.” In the 2000 elections, 100 million people voted in 200,000 polling districts. 1.4 million election workers were required (the majority with little training) to run the election, supervised by 20,000 election administrators. Varioations in professionalism were almost inevitable. Unlike other public service areas, for all US elections, responsibility fo electoral governance is not linked to liscal and management authority or accountability for professional capacity. Effective planning and execution of elections is an institutional issue. The performance of local elections depends on three elements: a) clear legal and regulatory norms and rules, b) clear intergovernmental division of election management authority and responsibility, and c) sufficient election financing and staff capacity-building.”

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Part 2: Understanding the Context of Electoral Event Administration

SHIFT 3 SIMPLE AND CHAOTIC

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Shift 3: Simple and Chaotic

Shift 3: Simple and Chaotic Major concurrent disruptions in technological, economic and environmental circumstances test the resilience of Canada’s social fabric. Risks mount as intersecting catastrophic events push people to respond judiciously, but urgently, to the emergencies. Many people, overwhelmed by the enormous of scale of change and the relentless barrage of bad news seek simpler, more immediate solutions. Extreme political responses, unthinkable at the turn of the millennium, become common. Some choose to hide away from it all. Simple and Chaotic Indicators for this Shift: • Network Failure • Changing Nature of Work • Volatile Economy Chaotic and Simple Indicators for this Shift: • Keep It Simple • Tune It Out • Off the Grid

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CLIMATE CHAOS

Indicator: Network Failure Connected, digital, and cloud-based technologies give rise to fragility and vulnerability due to potential network outages and cybersecurity breaches. Swelling population concentrations in urban areas heighten the risks while frequent weather events damage infrastructure. Climate change is increasing the odds of extreme weather conditions and creating a greater risk for electricity grid failures. Large-scale technological failures could be potentially dangerous as automation and digitization scale up, replacing crucial operations with vulnerable machines across various industries. These collective physical assets are expensive to replace if needed and risks are severe. The potential cost of collapse is measured both in replacement expense and operational opportunity cost. Accurate assessments of requirements for technical support and financing of resilient systems are urgently required. At the same time, cyber threats pose potential risks to both government and corporate entities with hackers infiltrating systems left vulnerable by repeated assaults to the infrastructure by heat, flooding, ice storms and tornadoes. With so much to monitor, it becomes possible for stealth attacks to slip through. Costs for cybersecurity protection may be unsustainable.

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

RELEVANCE: • Increased risk of concurrent catastrophic climate disruptions that impact elections • Reduction of trust in digital systems could lead to regressive policy or rejection of advanced technology solutions for healthcare, transportation, finance and electoral processes • Funding strains may encourage increased private partnerships in build out of infrastructure causing questions of ownership to arise • Potential to expose system to threats

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NETWORK FAILURE: EVIDENCE

de Silva, E. (Ed.). (2015). National security and counterintelligence in the era of cyber espionage. IGI Global.

“The third issue that should be taken into consideration is the inclement weather. The weather issues directly correlate with climate change. The unstable nature of the weather will pose immense issues to the electrical grid in comparison to cyber-attacks, since cyber-attacks can be detected and deterred before they disrupt the system, whereas the weather can be unpredictable and cannot be stopped. In fact, the DOE had reported that “the number of outages caused by severe weather is expected to rise as climate change frequency and intensity of hurricanes, blizzards, floods and other extreme weather events” Therefore, to improve the grid, efforts must span beyond the protection against cyber-attacks and must be linked to informing the nation of the effects of climate change. However to resolve the issues with the grid, one must also take into consideration that “for-profit utility companies” privately own a majority of the grid. Since the investor owned utilities serve a majority of citizens, issues arise about the extent to which these utility owners will take the necessary steps to protect the grid if it is in conflict with their political or economic pursuits.”

Davis, M., & Clemmer, S. (2014). Power failure: How climate change puts our electricity at risk—and what we can do. Union Concerned Sci.

“Not only is our electricity system already vulnerable to extreme weather, but those risks will grow in the future. Rising levels of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere have already caused average global temperatures to increase at least since the 1880s, when scientists began gathering reliable data. Higher temperatures add moisture to the atmosphere, intensify storms, and raise sea levels. Scientists expect the severity of several types of extreme weather—including coastal flooding, wildfires, drought, the heaviest precipitation events, and heat waves—to increase as a result of continued climate change (IPCC 2012; UCS 2012). Of course, the scale and magnitude of these trends will vary greatly by region. And the link between climate change and other types of extreme weather, including hail and tornadoes, is less clear. However, if global warming emissions continue unabated, coastal flooding, wildfires, droughts, and heat waves are likely to become worse, raising the threat to our already vulnerable power grid.”

Kilcarr, S. (2015, September 14). Gauging the growing cyber threat to trucking: Cyber risks are on the rise for all industries, transportation included. Retrieved from http://cantruck.ca/ cyber-risks-on-the-rise-for-transportation/

“As recently as 15 years ago, cyber-attacks were fairly rudimentary and typically the work of hacktivists, but with increasing interconnectivity, globalization and the commercialization of cyber-crime, there has been an explosion in both frequency and severity of cyber-attacks,” said Chris Fischer Hirs, AGCS’s CEO, in a statement. The transportation industry, especially trucking, is directly in the crosshairs, as many carriers continue rely on a “patchwork” of different information technology (IT) systems to conduct business electronically, Matt Foroughi, VP of information security for the Descartes Systems Group, tells Fleet Owner. “In particular, they may have many different legacy systems spread across a wide geography. Patching and staying up to date is essential. They should also be sure to use secure communication protocols when communicating with third parties.” The value of data and the need to offer greater protection for it is also going to drive the cost of cyber-specific insurance policies higher, noted AGCS in its report. Premiums for cyber insurance are projected to grow globally from $2 billion per annum today to over $20 billion over the next decade; a compound annual growth rate of over 20%.”

Lau, L. (2018, February 22). Cybercrime “pandemic” may have cost the world $600 billion last year. Retrieved from https:// www.cnbc.com/2018/02/22/cybercrimepandemic-may-have-cost-the-world-600billion-last-year.html

“The global cost of cybercrime has now reached as much as $600 billion — about 0.8 percent of global GDP — according to a new report. More worrying than that figure may be the massive growth from 2014, when the same analysis showed the cost was only as much as $445 billion. That rapid increase is largely due to the lower cost of entry and advancements in technology such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, according to Ian Yip, the Asia Pacific chief technology officer at cybersecurity firm McAfee. Speaking with CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Thursday, he explained how conducting criminal activity in cyberspace has gotten easier. Cybercrime is the only criminal enterprise that has “a help desk,” he said, adding that would-be criminals “don’t need to be technologically advanced” anymore to conduct a cyberattack. The analysis comes as McAfee and American think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies releases a study entitled “The Economic Impact of Cybercrime—No Slowing Down,” which assesses the gravity of what Yip called a cybercrime “pandemic.”

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“The transformations and job displacements associated with technological progress are happening faster, and may even be more dramatic in their impact than anything we’ve experienced before, and the task of providing a meaningful, substantial role for everyone is going to be hugely important. But I believe that this presents us with a huge opportunity to take advantage of current low costs of borrowing and under-utilized labour resources, and embark on large-scale projects to build and repair essential infrastructure in our developed and emerging economies. If we look at the data on workers aged 25 to 54 – the group we think of as a backbone of the workforce – the percentage of those who are not working has risen by a factor of more than three over the course of my lifetime, and that trend seems inexorably upward. If current trends continue, it could well be that a generation from now a quarter of the middle-aged demographic will be out of work at any given moment. Even China, which has enjoyed unprecedented growth in competitiveness and exports, has seen manufacturing employment decline over the last 20 years, thanks to its rapid industrialization and use technology and automation. This is a long-term trend and we are likely to observe these phenomena across the world, even among emerging economies as they travel the well-trodden path of industrialization. The robotics and 3D printing revolutions could accelerate this trend still further, as the comparatively low entry cost for these disruptive technologies makes them widely accessible to everyone, including developing economies.”

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

Summers, L. (2015). Persistent jobless growth. World Economic Forum. Retrieved from http://wef.ch/1wvMyVd

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GIG ECONOMY

Indicator: Changing Nature of Work Stable, full-time engagement with one employer over an extended period is no longer the norm in the current economy. Businesses are looking for the efficiencies of a just-in-time contingent workforce and the reduced cost of benefits incurred for full time, long-term employees. The advantages of a fluid workforce allow companies to adapt to changing economic disruptions. However, precarity of employment is on the upswing, especially for younger workers and those without technically desirable skills. Unions lose their collective clout, including their ability to negotiate benefits and wage increases, and job security is a notion of the past.

RELEVANCE: • Role as a large-scale temporary employer could change if automation is deployed • Electoral process may be under threat if more autocratic rule emerges

When considering automation in the workplace, the benefits of safety (such as automated hospital pharmaceutical dispensing) or the reduction of demanding physical labor (such as robotic assembly lines) or the convenience of on-demand services (such as automated banking) are highlighted. What is routinely under-acknowledge is that repeatable cognitive work is also undergoing rapid automation. Law, accounting, financial advising and education have all seen a relentless expansion of computerized functions replacing humans. Data analytics are proving to be as useful in qualitative user experience design as it is in healthcare and traffic control. Artificial Intelligence and natural language processing are no longer science fiction, but rather reliable and fully integrated components of many technology-based offerings. Efforts to compensate for job losses, such as Universal Basic Income, are only sporadically tested and social safety nets are insufficient. Much like after the industrial revolution, a full-on reorientation of societal structure is still possible, as institutions that were conceived to function in a radically different circumstance no longer function effectively. In a new techno-economy, where bringing back legacy jobs is unrealistic, government may play an enhanced role as re-distributor of income and benefits. Or more dire outcomes like crushing totalitarian responses to demands for equality and support.

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CHANGING NATURE OF WORK: EVIDENCE

“For a long time the common understanding was that technology was destroying jobs but also creating new and better ones. … Now the Evidence is that technology is destroying jobs and indeed creating new and better ones but also fewer ones. It is something we as technologists need to start thinking about.”

Rotman, D. (2015, June 16). Will Advances in Technology Create a Jobless Future? Retrieved from https:// www.technologyreview.com/s/538401/ who-will-own-the-robots/

“Research from Oxford University predicts 47 percent of jobs are likely to be automated within a decade or two, and a study by the McKinsey Global Institute finds that 46 percent of time spent on existing work activities will become automated. However, when asked about the threat of losing jobs to automation, Secretary Treasury Steve Mnuchin said the issue is “not even on our radar screen… I’m not worried at all.” Not everyone agrees. Larry Summers, who originally argued that automation would help the economy by creating new jobs has since stepped back from this position, warning “This isn’t some future possibility… This is something that’s emerging before us right now.” MIT economist Erik Brynjolfsson concurs: “This is the biggest challenge for our society for the next decade.” …The consequences of failing to incorporate automation into our political dialogue are potentially high. In the Midwest, manufacturing job loss bred feelings of economic frustration that led many to favor a populist candidate who gave them something to blame, which exemplifies the frustrations likely to take hold as the threat of technological unemployment mounts. Additionally, many of the jobs expected to disappear as a result of automation are held by white males without college educations, a group Trump won handily. Without efforts to ensure workers without a college degree can participate in the economy of the automated era, the growing education divide producing the kind of populist backlash here and across the west is likely to deepen.”

Hendrickson, C., & Galston, W. A. (2017, May 18). Automation presents a political challenge, but also an opportunity. Retrieved from https://www. brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2017/05/18/ automation-presents-a-politicalchallenge-but-also-an-opportunity/

“As machines evolve and acquire more advanced performance capabilities that match or exceed human capabilities, the adoption of automation will pick up. However, the technical feasibility to automate does not automatically translate into the deployment of automation in the workplace and the automation of jobs. Technical potential is only the first of several elements that must be considered. A second element is the cost of developing and deploying both the hardware and the software for automation. The supply-and-demand dynamics of labor are a third factor: if workers with sufficient skills for the given occupation are in abundant supply and significantly less expensive than automation, this could slow the rate of adoption. A fourth to be considered are the benefits of automation beyond labor substitution— including higher levels of output, better quality and fewer errors, and capabilities that surpass human ability. Finally, regulatory and social issues, such as the degree to which machines are acceptable in any particular setting, must also be weighed. It is for these various reasons that go beyond purely technical feasibility of automation that our estimates for “whole-job” automation are lower than other estimates. Our scenarios suggest that it may take at least two decades before automation reaches 50 percent of all of today’s work activities, taking into account regions where wages are relatively low.”

Manyika, J. (2017, May). Technology, jobs, and the future of work. McKinsey Global Institute. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/featuredinsights/employment-and-growth/ technology-jobs-and-the-future-of-work

“One cause of the program’s especial popularity in Northern California is also a reason for the urgency of its appeal: it is a futurist reply to the darker side of technological efficiency. Robots, we are told, will drive us from our jobs. The more this happens, the more existing workforce safety nets will be strained. In “Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream” (2016), the labor leader Andy Stern nominates U.B.I. as the right response to technological unemployment. Stern, a lifetime labor guy, is a former president of the two-million-member Service Employees International Union. But he thinks that the rise of robots and the general gig-ification of jobs will “marginalize the role of collective bargaining,” so he has made a strategic turn to prepare for a disempowered working class. “You go into an Apple store and you see the future,” he quotes an economist saying. “The future of the labor force is all in those smart college-educated people with the T-shirts whose job is to be a retail clerk.” By Lowrey’s assessment, the existing system “would falter and fail if confronted with vast inequality and tidal waves of joblessness.” But is a U.B.I. fiscally sustainable? It’s unclear. Lowrey runs many numbers but declines to pin most of them down. She thinks a U.B.I. in the United States should be a thousand dollars monthly. This means $3.9 trillion a year, close to the current expenditure of the entire federal government. To pay, Lowrey proposes new taxes on income, carbon, estates, pollution, and the like. But she is also curiously sanguine about costs, on the premise that few major initiatives balance out on the federal books: “The Bush tax cuts were not ‘paid for.’ The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not ‘paid for.’ ” When the country wants to launch a big project, she insists, the double joints and stretchy tendons of a giant, globalized economy come into play.”

Heller, N. (2018, July). Who Really Stands to Win from Universal Basic Income? The New Yorker. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/ magazine/2018/07/09/who-really-standsto-win-from-universal-basic-income

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Ford, M. (2018). Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. Financial Times. Retrieved from https://www.ft.com/content/21fea1aef3e7-11e4-a9f3-00144feab7de

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“Ford’s contention is that our current technological revolution is different from earlier ones. Most economists would disagree. Their view is that today’s displacement is similar to the Shift from agriculture to industry. Roughly half of Americans were employed on farms in 1900. Today they account for just 2 percent of the workforce. Just as ex-farm labourers found work in the factories, so laid-off manufacturing workers were re-employed in the service industries. The IT revolution will be no different, economists say. It is all part of the natural cycle of creative destruction. Ford finds two big holes in this Panglossian outlook. In contrast to earlier disruptions, which affected particular sectors of the economy, the effects of today’s revolution are “general-purpose”. From janitors to surgeons, virtually no jobs will be immune. Whether you are training to be an airline pilot, a retail assistant, a lawyer or a financial trader, labour-saving techno­logy is whittling your numbers — in some cases drastically so. In 2000, financial services employed 150,000 people in New York. By 2013 that had dropped to 100,000. Over the same time, Wall Street’s profits have soared. Up to 70 percent of all equity trades are now executed by algorithms. ...But it is Ford’s second point that is the clincher. By skewing the gains of the new economy to a few, robots weaken the chief engine of growth — middle-class demand. As labour becomes uneconomic relative to machines, purchasing power diminishes. The US economy produces more than a third more today than it did in 1998 with the same-sized labour force and a significantly larger population. It still makes sense for people to obtain degrees. Graduates earn more than those who have completed only high school. But their returns are falling. The median pay for US entry-level graduates has fallen from $52,000 in 2000 to $46,000 today. It has stagnated for postgraduates. Education is by no means a catch-all solution, says Ford. Not everyone can get a Ph.D. Assuming that highly skilled jobs can take up the slack is “ana­logous to believing that, in the wake of the mechanisation of agriculture, the majority of displaced farm workers would be able to find jobs driving tractors,” he says. ...Ford does not believe technological progress can be stopped, nor that it would it be desirable to try. Yet the robot economy is inexorably squeezing our rewards in the jobs market. Ford’s answer is to pay every adult a minimum basic income — or a “citizen’s dividend”. There is logic to his remedy but not much realism.”

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FISCAL AND MONETARY UNCERTAINTY

Indicator: Volatile Economy Record high levels of personal debt in Canada, largely held in mortgages, are impacted by rising interest rates. Governments and regulators have failed to adequately implement the necessary reforms and rigorous oversight to protect the global economic system. Risk grows. With less co-operative international policy, ever greater levels of debt and fewer remaining economic tools in place to react with, the potential for severe consequences is high. Over-reliance on big-data modelling puts financial markets at increasing risk. Trade war disruptions, especially between the US and China, have major long term impacts on the global economy. Canadian diversification of commercial relations towards Asia are promising but not without impacts. Despite policy driven economic slowdown and a reorientation to the service sector, China’s influence continues to be felt elsewhere in the world, especially in Africa and Asia. As Canada’s second largest trading partner, lower levels in commodity demand for a slowing manufacturing sector may impact GDP.

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RELEVANCE: • Costs of electoral management may be curtailed in severe economic circumstances, threatening innovation • Political turbulence after recession

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VOLATILE ECONOMY: EVIDENCE

Poloz, S. (2018). Canada’s Economy and Household Debt: How Big Is the Problem?. Speech, Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce.

The amount of debt held by Canadian households has been rising for about 30 years, not just in absolute terms but also relative to the size of the economy. At the end of last year, Canadian households owed just over $2 trillion. Mortgages make up almost three-quarters of this debt. ...Two trillion dollars of debt is a big number. Let us try to put some context around it. A common way to measure household debt is to compare it with the amount of disposable income people have. In Canada’s case, household debt is around 170 per cent of disposable income. In other words, the average Canadian owes about $1.70 for every dollar of income he or she earns per year, after taxes. ...At the Bank of Canada, we have been watching these debt levels closely because of the growing risks they pose to financial stability and the economy. We know that a portion of Canadian households are carrying large debts, and the concern will become larger for them as interest rates rise. Of course, higher interest rates would likely reflect an economy that is on even more solid ground and less prone to a major economic setback. Furthermore, our financial system is resilient, and the new mortgage rules mean that it is becoming progressively more so. Even so, our economy is at risk should there be an unexpected increase in bond yields or a global slowdown, because both effects would be magnified by their interaction with high household debt.

Parsons, A. (2018, September 15). Next financial crisis “has begun and will be worse than 2008 crash,” economists warn. Sky News. Retrieved from https://news. sky.com/story/next-financial-crisis-hasbegun-and-will-be-worse-than-2008crash-economists-warn-11497433

“Ann Pettifor predicted that crisis in 2006, more than two years before it actually struck. Now she thinks the global economy is in danger once more thanks to huge corporate debt, and the prospect of rising interest rates in the United States. She told Sky News that global debt was now more than three times the level of global GDP. “So naturally it is not going to be repaid, and naturally there is going to come a point when that debt triggers the next crisis. And, for me, that trigger is going to be high rates of interest,” she said. “We’re seeing that companies who borrowed too much money at very low rates of interest are now finding the value of their collateral falling. Their debt is rising and the interest on that debt is rising too.” What’s more, she thinks the process has already started. She said the US Federal Reserve’s decision to wind back its support for the economy, and reverse its programme of quantitative easing, has already laid the ground for the next crisis. “In Argentina and Turkey, they are already facing a crisis as a result of the Fed’s decision to diffuse the bomb that is QE, and to increase interest rates,” she said. “Those decisions have both served to strengthen the dollar, which has hurt their economies.” She said: “I think it will be worse than the last crisis because we don’t have the tools. It will be really difficult to start pumping out quantitative easing, buying back all those assets. “Already the new crisis has begun to roll.””

“Headline economic indicators suggest the world is finally getting back on track after the global crisis that erupted 10 years ago. A broad-based pickup in GDP growth rates is under way, stock markets have never been higher and the world’s major central banks are cautiously preparing to unwind the exceptional policies of the post-crisis period. However, this relatively upbeat picture masks numerous concerns. This has been the weakest post-recession recovery on record. Productivity growth remains puzzlingly weak. Investment growth has been subdued, and in developing economies it has slowed sharply since 2010.1 And in many countries the social and political fabric has been badly frayed by many years of stagnating real incomes. The reassuring headline indicators mean that economic and financial risks are becoming a blind spot: business leaders and policy-makers are less prepared than they might be for serious economic or financial turmoil. The risks can be divided into two categories: (1) familiar vulnerabilities that have grown, mutated or relocated over time; and (2) newer fragilities that have emerged in recent years. ...If there were to be a sharp market correction, the impact on the real economy would arguably be greatest in countries most heavily exposed to sectors and markets in which bubbles have formed—for example, a country economically reliant on exports of a commodity that plunges in value. The impact of confidence and wealth effects means that real-economy impacts would also be felt strongly in countries—notably the United States and the United Kingdom—in which the ownership of financial assets is most widespread. ...How much room for manoeuvre policy-makers retain is open to question. Put simply, is there enough fiscal and monetary policy firepower left to deal with another crisis? In theory, the major Western economies that were at the centre of the global crisis could respond with another wave of major policy interventions reflecting the synergies

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that are currently at play between monetary and fiscal policies, with central bank asset purchases helping to alleviate governments’ fiscal pressures by keeping down debt-servicing costs.18 However, this scenario places a lot of faith in the effectiveness of unconventional monetary policies such as asset purchases, particularly when deployed as the primary line of defence rather than alongside a sharp interest-rate stimulus. Facing a recession—let alone a crisis—with very limited scope to cut interest rates would be unprecedented. ...Last year’s Global Risks Report discussed the spillover of economic risks into various recent episodes of political disruption across the world.27 The directionality can run both ways, as discussed in the chapter on Geopolitical Power Shifts: populist and identity politics can amplify risks of economic and financial disorder by upending previously stable economic principles and practices, particularly those relating to trade. The two countries that experienced the most disruptive political results in 2016—the United Kingdom and the United States—have both entered a period of uncertainty and volatility in their external economic relations. The United Kingdom is in the process of leaving the European Union, while the United States has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and is seeking a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).”

World Economic Forum. (2018). The Global Risks Report 2018: Economic Storm Clouds. Retrieved from http://www3. weforum.org/docs/WEF_GRR18_ Report.pdf

““The global financial crisis is fading into history. But the roots of the next one might already be taking hold. Financial crises strike rich countries every 28 years on average. Often, the break between busts is much shorter. Fast-growing pockets of debt, as in the last time around, look like potential sources of problems. They’re nowhere near as big as the mortgage bubble, and no blow-ups appear imminent.” “But what we saw last time around is that things can creep up on you,” said Wesley Phoa, a bond-fund manager at the Capital Group. “You can turn around and in three years’ time you can go from not much of a problem to a pretty big problem.””

Phillips, M., & Russell, K. (2018, September 12). The Next Financial Calamity Is Coming. Here’s What to Watch. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/ interactive/2018/09/12/business/the-nextrecession-financial-crisis.html

“Ten years on from the financial crisis, stock markets are regularly reaching new highs and volatility levels new lows. The financial industry has enthusiastically and profitably embraced big data and computational algorithms, emboldened by the many triumphs of machine learning. However, it is imperative we question the confidence placed in the new generation of quantitative models, innovations which could, as William Dudley warned, “lead to excess and put the [financial] system at risk.” ...Like today, finance in the 1990s and early 2000s attracted many of the sharpest quantitative minds, who produced remarkable theoretical and methodological advances. Like today, financial engineering around the millennium brought great commercial success: the mathematical tools developed by derivative desks built businesses, boosted profits and delivered superior investment returns. I lived that era in New York, part of a dynamic, entrepreneurial world of advanced probabilistic modeling and unprecedented computational power. We were taming financial uncertainty, or so we believed. The financial crisis exposed that mindset as a “quant delusion,” an episode which we may now be at risk of repeating. Many modeling assumptions, such as correlations between asset prices, were shown to be badly flawed. Furthermore, foundational underpinnings of quantitative finance — for example, elementary logical bounds on the prices of securities — broke down. It also became clear that quants had grossly mis-specified the set of possible outcomes, and had calculated conditional probabilities of events, subject to the world staying more or less as they had known it. They made decisions that were exposed as nonsensical once apparently impossible events occurred.”

Blyth, S. (2018, September 18). Big Data and Machine Learning Won’t Save Us from Another Financial Crisis. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https:// hbr.org/2018/09/big-data-and-machinelearning-wont-save-us-from-anotherfinancial-crisis

“Partisan conflict and policy uncertainty are frequently invoked as factors contributing to slow post-crisis recoveries. Recent events in Europe provide ample evidence that the political aftershocks of financial crises can be severe. In this paper we study the political fall-out from systemic financial crises over the past 140 years. We construct a new long-run dataset covering 20 advanced economies and more than 800 general elections. Our key finding is that policy uncertainty rises strongly after financial crises as government majorities shrink and polarization rises. After a crisis, voters seem to be particularly attracted to the political rhetoric of the extreme right, which often attributes blame to minorities or foreigners. On average, extreme right-wing parties increase their vote share by 30% after a financial crisis. Importantly, we do not observe similar political dynamics in normal recessions or after severe macroeconomic shocks that are not financial in nature.”

Funke, M., Schularick, M., & Trebesch, C. (2015). Politics in the Slump: Polarization and Extremism after Financial Crises, 1870-2014. Unpublished, Free University of Berlin. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/ events/2015/20151001_post_crisis_ slump/documents/c._trebesch.pdf

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Jack, S. (2018, September 13). Gordon Brown warns about next crisis. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/ business-45504521

“The world is not ready to deal with another financial crisis, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told the BBC. A breakdown in international co-operation means nations would be unable to act in a concerted way to tackle future threats - which are many. “I feel we’re sleepwalking into the next crisis”, said Mr Brown, speaking on the 10th anniversary of the start of the previous crisis. He added that some of the bankers involved should have gone to jail. Mr Brown, speaking from his living room, said: “This is a leaderless world and I think when the next crisis comes, and there will be a future crisis, we’ll find that we neither have the fiscal or monetary room for manoeuvre or the willingness to take that action. “But perhaps most worrying of all, we will not have the international co-operation necessary to get us out of a worldwide crisis.””

The U.S.-China Trade War And Global Economic Dominance. (2018, September 11). Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ yuwahedrickwong/2018/09/11/the-u-schina-trade-war-and-global-economicdominance/#3354925e256a

“Why is U.S. President Donald Trump willing to negotiate and compromise with Mexico and the EU on trade, and not China? The answer, in short, is that Trump’s dispute with China is more than just America’s trade deficit. It is a head-to-head struggle between an incumbent superpower and a rising challenger, fueled by a deep conviction among the White House’s economic policy team that America’s problem with China is not just the trade deficit, but China’s very economic structure itself, which disadvantages foreigners not only in trade, but also in investing and operating in China, and distorting business competition in favor of Chinese companies. In Trump’s crosshairs is the Made in China 2025 initiative, announced in 2015 aiming to upgrade comprehensively within a decade China’s industrial production, especially in manufacturing, to be among the best in the world. It is therefore being seen increasingly in the U.S. as a direct challenge to its global economic dominance. In fact, the Council on Foreign Relations, a U.S. policy think tank, stated in 2018 that “[Made in China 2025] is a real existential threat to U.S. technological leadership.” China is indeed snapping at the heels of the U.S. in closing the technology gap. According to the UNIDO Competitive Industrial Performance Database, the share of exports that can be considered medium/high tech in 2016 is 63% for the U.S. and 58% for China. This is getting uncomfortably close for the U.S. China clearly has come a long way from the days of exporting low-tech, labor-intensive exports like garments and shoes. ...However, the tactics with which the Trump trade war is being fought to block China’s technological advances will fail. Trump and his economic advisers are stuck in the old paradigm of industrial production where trade and industry secrets are recorded in design blue prints, instructions and protocols that are locked up in a safe. In today’s modern economic production, the more complicated and high value-added the task, the more important is tacit knowledge, or knowhow, which resides only in people’s brains, especially in knowledge and capital intensive industries like banking and finance, biotechnology, aerospace, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.”

Ciuriak, D. (2018). Canada and the TransPacific Partnership: Recap and Scoresheet. Retrieved from https://www.asiapacific. ca/canada-asia-agenda/canada-and-transpacific-partnership-recap-and-scoresheet

“For Canada, the bottom line is that the CPTPP resets our commercial relations in the Asia Pacific on a positive note. While it promises relatively modest gains, it improves upon the TPP by suspending its controversial elements – less is more in this case. Coming at a time when the open trading system and access to the US market on which Canada depends are at risk, it could not be more timely.”

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“Slower rates and shifting sources of economic growth, increasing income inequality, and the perception of “losing out” to global competition will spark public demands to improve and protect living standards. This frustration with “globalization” is likely to build, as many of the factors causing wage growth to slow are also making it harder for governments to provide broad-based prosperity, such as intensifying competition among low-cost producers of low value-added manufactures, the emergence of technologies that disrupt and transform industries and sectors vital to many countries’ economies, and swings in global financial and commodity markets. Absent different policy choices, this volatility is likely to widen inequality between winners and losers—individual workers and countries alike—by contributing to a “winner take all” dynamic in many sectors, and further sharpen clashes over the role of the state in ensuring living standards and promoting prosperity. Some governments investing in human capital and infrastructure to promote growth may find they are forced to impose fiscal austerity measures because they are saddled with additional debt until the initiatives bear fruit. Economic instability will erode governments’ ability to deliver on promises of social welfare. In the developed world—where populations are expected to age and life expectancies will increase—we can anticipate a rise in health care costs while business profits and tax revenues shrink and government debt levels remain high. Public anger over the government’s inability to protect constituents’ interests probably will be aggravated as wealth, technology and social networks enable affluent citizens to opt out of many public goods, such as education and health care, undermining a sense of shared fortunes. Similarly, perceptions of injustice stemming from mismanagement and sclerotic bureaucracies will fuel societies’ search for alternatives to the status quo. Corruption and impunity remain predominant concerns across the world; according to Transparency International, 68 percent of countries worldwide—including some G20 states—have serious corruption problems. The view that established political actors fail to coordinate to resolve political and social concerns sharpens the perception that the existing forms of governance are inadequate. Academic studies suggest this coordination failure can aggravate persistent governance challenges. A review of local institutions in Afghanistan showed that a multiplicity of institutions with no clear hierarchy fueled competition among elites and hampered the quality of governance.”

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National Intelligence Council (U.S.). (2017). Global trends: paradox of progress. Retrieved from https://www.dni.gov/ files/images/globalTrends/documents/ GT-Full-Report.pdf

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POPULISM RISING

Indicator: Keep It Simple Growing resentment tied to social shifts, financial inequality, globalism and distrust of ineffectual governing bodies has fuelled the rise of polarized populist movements around the world. The challenge to liberal democracy is bundled into autocratic promises of reform and a return to simpler times. It is not absent in Canada.

RELEVANCE: • Consolidation of power may be reflected in greater interference in electoral processes • Declining trust in electoral outcomes, particularly if party leaders participate in discourse • Potential for violent outcomes • Role of Elections Canada may include the requirement to protect the flourishing of liberal democracy

Increasingly homogenous identity-based political affiliation emerges, even here. Danger is perceived from the rising success and influence of a multi-dimensional population; “the other“ is seen as threatening. Not only racial, religious, gender-based and class differences are in play. Rural, suburban and urban citizens experience vastly divergent issues of concern and importance. With economic, environmental and security stresses mounting, protective localism and individualism take precedence over sacrifices for the greater public good. Regional differences are amplified with direct challenges between federal, provincial or municipal competitors. Demands for simplistic solutions to complex threats mount. Compounding crises, such as job elimination in a tech-enabled world, devastating impacts of climate change and a return to nuclear proliferation keep people up at night. In an era of backlash against elites and the experience of severe structural inequity, there is little basis for cooperation on issues of such critical societal importance. In jurisdictions with a history of political entitlement and suspicions of corruption, even outrageous populists seem to offer a path to clarity. Defiant oppositional language becomes standardized. Violent eruptions are more commonplace across the border where extreme polarization becomes intractable. Soaked in a contagious deluge of angry American rhetoric, Canadians are affected. As hate crimes increase, checks on individual liberties are instituted with broad acceptance. Tampering with institutions of democratic empowerment is tolerated (or at least unchallenged) as freedom and independence of the judiciary, the media, and the electoral process itself are restrained in the name of protective action. The withering of civil society is seen as a fair exchange and insurance in a time of extreme risk and deteriorating social trust.

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KEEP IT SIMPLE: EVIDENCE

“The United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union all failed to deal with waves of immigration in ways that commanded public support. Not only did immigrants compete with longtime inhabitants for jobs and social services, they were also seen as threatening established cultural norms and public safety. Postelection analyses show that concerns about immigration largely drove the Brexit referendum, the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and the gains of far-right parties across Europe. In government, the media, and major metropolitan areas, technological change has spurred the growth and consolidation of an education-based meritocracy, giving rise to new class divisions. For citizens with less formal education, particularly those in rural areas and smaller towns, the dominance of this new elite has led to feelings of marginalization. Too often, individuals who have prospered in this meritocracy are seen as harboring a sense of superiority to their fellow citizens. Denying the equal dignity and worth of others is self-defeating: Insult does even more than injury to fuel resentment, one of the most dangerous of all political passions. With these developments, divisions among citizens based on geography, formal-education levels, and value systems are growing sharper. Supporters of dynamism and diversity increasingly clash with proponents of stability and homogeneity, beneficiaries of technological change with those harmed by the resulting economic shifts. As the British analyst David Goodhart vividly puts it, democratic citizenries are being divided into “Anywheres” (individuals whose identities are professional and who can use their skills in many places, at home and abroad) and “Somewheres” (individuals whose identities are tightly bound to particular places). A college degree, it turns out, not only expands economic opportunities but also reshapes an individual’s entire outlook.”

Galston, W. A. (2018, April 17). The populist challenge to liberal democracy. BROOKINGS. Retrieved from https:// www.brookings.edu/research/the-populistchallenge-to-liberal-democracy/

“Like the triumph of Brexit in the UK, the election of Trump was an angry verdict on decades of rising inequality and a version of globalization that benefits those at the top but leaves ordinary people feeling disempowered. It was also a rebuke for a technocratic approach to politics that is tone deaf to the resentments of people who feel the economy and the culture have left them behind. Some denounce the upsurge of populism as little more than a racist, xenophobic reaction against immigrants and multiculturalism. Others see it mainly in economic terms, as a protest against the job losses brought about by global trade and new technologies. But it is a mistake to see only the bigotry in populist protest or to view it only as an economic complaint. To do so misses the fact that the upheavals we are witnessing are a political response to a political failure of historic proportions. Here are four themes that progressive parties need to grapple with if they hope to address the anger and resentments that roil politics today: income inequality; meritocratic hubris; the dignity of work; patriotism and national community.”

Sandel, M. J. (2018, May). Populism, Trump, and the future of democracy. Retrieved from https://www. opendemocracy.net/michael-j-sandel/ populism-trump-and-future-of-democracy

“In What is Populism?, Jan-Werner Müller, a professor of political science at Princeton, argues that populists have a unique way of describing the political world, setting a “morally pure and fully unified” people against elites “who are deemed corrupt or in some other way morally inferior.” Anyone who has followed the recent politics of the United States and Europe will recognize both the populists’ claim to represent the silent majority of “real” Americans (or Germans, or Turks) and their attacks on elites as corrupt traitors—as globalists, who, in the contemporary American parlance, inhabit a swamp the populist hero promises to drain. While most politicians claim to speak for the people, or seek to remedy the injustices of the status quo, populists alone claim that they have what Müller calls a “moral monopoly of representation.” According to Müller, it is this posture that makes populists inherently dangerous. Because they see themselves as the only legitimate political actors, they seek to take over the judiciary, to gain control of the media, and to co-opt other institutions. And while other political forces might, to varying degrees, engage in similar practices, only populists can “undertake such colonization openly.” The openness of the populists’ challenge to pluralism makes them much more dangerous than more covert enemies of democracy. When Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, started to colonize the state, his opponents warned that he was trying to undermine the independence of key state institutions. But instead of acknowledging the danger he posed, Orban’s supporters celebrated his policies as a sign that he was truly determined to put the “real people” in the driver’s seat. For this very reason, Müller points out, it is naïve to assume that populists lack the discipline to govern. Far from leading a chaotic or inept government, Orban successfully went about the business of destroying Hungarian democracy. Since then, governments from Poland to Serbia have followed suit—and populist leaders from Spain to Sweden are now waiting in the wings to reenact his script.”

Mounk, Y. (2017, July 19). European Disunion: What the rise of populist movements means for democracy. The New Republic. Retrieved from https:// newrepublic.com/article/143604/ european-disunion-rise-populistmovements-means-democracy

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Mueller, J.-W. (2018, March 6). The People vs. Democracy? Project Syndicate. Retrieved from https://www.projectsyndicate.org/commentary/structuralcauses-of-populist-success-by-jan-wernermueller-2018-03

“In the US, polarization is not an objective reflection of given cultural differences; it has at least partly been a conscious elite project to divide the country for political advantage and sometimes even personal profit. After all, polarization is also big business, as a quick look at the earnings of major figures on Fox News and talk radio can confirm. …As in the US, the imperative is not to lament people’s authoritarian tendencies, but to tackle the structural problems that have enabled populists to do well. For example, not everything populists say about those “left behind” is wrong; nor is it always a mistake to suspect that parts of the state have been captured by special interests. But these ground-level grievances always need to be articulated and represented with the help of media and political parties. It is media and party systems that are visibly failing in many countries and require systematic re-building. To be sure, more and better civic education also would help. Such education has been declining for decades, because it does not easily fit curricula that rely heavily on standardized testing. If done properly, it is also very time-consuming and thus detracts from subjects that appear more useful in the short run, in the sense that they are supposed to contribute more directly to economic success. Civic education can be crucial in helping young people to manage disagreements and recognize other citizens as legitimate opponents in democratic conflicts. Cultural differences will not and should not disappear, but if the people themselves have learned to live with them, populists will not succeed in using them as political weapons.”

Marche, S. (2018, October 22). America’s Next Civil War. The Walrus. Retrieved from https://thewalrus.ca/ americas-next-civil-war/

“Steven Webster is a leading US scholar of “affective polarization,” the underlying trend that explains the partisan hatred tearing his country apart. …Webster describes a terrible spiralling effect in action in the US. Anger and distrust make it very difficult to go about the business of governing, which leads to ineffective government, which reinforces the anger and distrust. …Such explicit calls for violence are being driven by a dynamic of othering that, once started, might not be easily stopped—except by disaster. “I don’t see an optimistic scenario here,” Webster acknowledges. All right, you say, there are conditions that lead to civil war: hyperpartisanship, the reduction of politics to a zero-sum game, the devastation of law and national institutions in the context of environmentally caused mass migration, and the relative decline of a privileged group. …To sum up: the US Congress is too paralyzed by anger to carry out even the most basic tasks of government. America’s legal system grows less legitimate by the day. Trust in government is in free fall. The president discredits the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the judicial system on a regular basis. Border guards place children in detention centres at the border. Antigovernment groups, some of which are armed militias, stand ready and prepared for a government collapse. All of this has already happened. Breakdown of the American order has defined Canada at every stage of its history, contributing far more to the formation of Canada’s national identity than any internal logic or sense of shared purpose.”

Groenendyk, E. (2018). Competing Motives in a Polarized Electorate: Political Responsiveness, Identity Defensiveness, and the Rise of Partisan Antipathy. Advances In Political Psychology, 39(1). doi: 10.1111/pops.12481

“Polarization has changed all of this. Politicians can no longer credibly claim to be all things to all people. Party leaders force them to toe the party line, and average citizens have a much clearer understanding of where that line is drawn. Although some citizens may realize that they could be better represented by the other party and sort themselves accordingly, party identification change is rare and psychologically costly. Thus, some will discover that their party represents them poorly, but they will refuse to change their loyalty. For these individuals, the increased clarity provided by polarized politics will make continued party allegiance more of a psychological struggle. Still others may already identify with the “correct” party, but as party positions become less ambiguous, they will discover that their party does not represent their preferences as perfectly as they once thought. Polarization even changes things for those who evaluate parties based on performance rather than policies. It is difficult to obscure blame and credit when nothing gets done. In an environment where gridlock is the norm, partisan elites can attempt to blame the other side, but such arguments wear thin over time. Many partisans will decide that both parties deserve at least some of the blame. Thus, in addition to amplifying partisans’ competing motivations, polarization makes it more difficult for partisans to avoid confronting conflict between their evaluations of their party and their allegiance to that party.”

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“The nationalistic, xenophobic, misogynistic, and explicitly anti-human rights agenda of many populist political leaders requires human rights proponents to rethink many long standing assumptions. There is a need to re-evaluate strategies and broaden outreach, while reaffirming the basic principles on which the human rights movement is founded. Amongst the challenges are the need to achieve more effective synergies between international and local human rights movements and to embrace and assert economic and social rights as human rights rather than as welfare or development objectives. It will be crucial to engage with issues of resources and redistribution, including budgets, tax policy, and fiscal policies. There is a need for collaboration with a broader range of actors, to be more persuasive and less didactic, and to be prepared to break with some of the old certainties.”

Alston, P. (2017). The populist challenge to human rights. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 9(1), 1–15. https://doi. org/10.1093/jhuman/hux007

“President Donald Trump is changing not just American politics. Canadians are increasingly concerned that the president’s nativist and anti-Muslim rhetoric is emboldening hate groups in a Canada, which has long prided itself on multiculturalism and tolerance. This weekend, far-right activists rallied against asylum seekers on the border between Quebec and New York as riot police and counter protesters gathered nearby. Members of the Three Percent — a militia founded in the United States that has recently spread to every Canadian province — were at the event. It’s just one of the many far-right groups that have started chapters in the Great White North in the months since Trump’s election. …Trump’s rhetoric has “galvanized Canadian-based white supremacist ideologies, identities, movements and practices,” Scrivens and three fellow researchers argue in a forthcoming article in the Journal of Hate Studies. Canada now has as many as 130 active right-wing extremist groups, according to researchers ― about a 30 percent increase since the last assessment in 2015.”

Robins-Early, N. (2018, May 23). Trump And The American Far Right Stoke Hate In Canada | HuffPost Canada. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/ entry/canada-far-right-extremism-trump_ us_5b057d63e4b07c4ea103fa86

“For decades, scholarly inquiry into political trust has been motivated by concerns about declining levels of public trust in politics. Because political trust is considered a necessary precondition for democratic rule, a decline in trust is thought to fundamentally challenge the quality of representative democracy. Fundamentally, political trust can be understood as citizens’ support for political institutions such as government and parliament in the face of uncertainty about or vulnerability to the actions of these institutions. While political trust is conventionally treated as a pro-democratic value, its absence is not evidently detrimental to democracy.”

Van der Meer, T. W., & Thompson, W. R. (2017). Political Trust and the “Crisis of Democracy.” Oxford Research Encyclopedias.

“There is nothing inevitable about democracy. For all the success that democracies have had over the past century or more, they are blips in history. Monarchies, oligarchies, and other forms of authoritarian rule have been far more common modes of human governance. The emergence of liberal democracies is associated with ideals of liberty and equality that may seem self-evident and irreversible. But these ideals are far more fragile than we believe. Their success in the 20th century depended on unique technological conditions that may prove ephemeral. ...In the second decade of the 21st century, liberalism has begun to lose credibility. Questions about the ability of liberal democracy to provide for the middle class have grown louder; politics have grown more tribal; and in more and more countries, leaders are showing a penchant for demagoguery and autocracy. The causes of this political shift are complex, but they appear to be intertwined with current technological developments. The technology that favored democracy is changing, and as artificial intelligence develops, it might change further.”

Harari, Y. N. (2018, October). Why Technology Favors Tyranny. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic. com/magazine/archive/2018/10/yuvalnoah-harari-technology-tyranny/568330/

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NUMB

Indicator: Tune It Out Environmental disasters. Violent attacks on innocent victims. Images of starvation and desperate migrants. Continuous negative political posturing. In an effort to shut out the relentless barrage of increasingly depressing news and chronic threats, many seek methods to numb themselves…or worse.

RELEVANCE: • Youth participation in electoral events, and continued future interest in voting could be challenged if anxiety and mental health concerns are overwhelming • Will tests for intoxication become a prerequisite for voting?

Environmental melancholia has been designated as a depressive response to the impacts of climate change that seem too systemic and complex for any one person to fix. The rapid deterioration of adequate climate predictors in the face of rampant and repeated catastrophic events increases threats across the board. General anxiety levels mount as people react to the unrelenting onslaught of devastating news. Continuous vigilance is wearying for a population already on edge. Despair can lead to inaction, denial or worse; self-destructive behaviour. Social resilience is also required to ensure bonds are adequate and people are able to act in the face of potential dangers. Young people especially seek counseling as their perception of the future dims and they fear missing out of what everyone else already has. Millennials are experiencing disproportionate stress as they move into an adult world with fewer economic or employment advantages. Insufficient care is available. In 2018 Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health reports that Canada has the 3rd highest youth suicide rate in the industrialized world. Addictive behaviour can become a coping mechanism for chronic stress, especially for those with poor strategies to manage the effects of anxiety and depression. “Cumulative disadvantage” or the aggregating impact of economic and social exclusion disproportionately affects younger people. Overuse of drugs, alcohol, food, social media, sex, and gaming have been identified as addictions used to soothe psychological distress.

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TUNE IT OUT: EVIDENCE

“We’re seeing more ‘disaster fatigue,’” says Dr. Mary McNaughton-Cassill, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio who has studied the connection between media consumption and stress. “In the digital age where studies show some three out of four people check their smartphone before going to bed and shortly after waking up in the morning, it’s getting harder not to feel overwhelmed.” I’ve been calling it “the bad news blues,” which is just a general feeling of “how much more of this can we all take” whenever I see a stream of tragic news alerts hit my smartphone or social media feeds. Sure, it makes me want to help, but it also makes me sad. And overwhelmed. Dr. McNaughton-Cassill says that’s a normal reaction when bad things are happening away from our own community, where we can do little to aid those in need. She said people might also experience an increase in stress, depression, exhaustion, sleep problems, anger and growing cynicism. For some people already prone to anxiety or clinical depression the toll can be even worse. “There are clear increases in anxiety disorders, including cutting and self-harm, and suicide rates,” says Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. “The barrage of ever-present ‘bad news’ — and, for young people, the barrage of social-media-related permanent records of negative social interchanges — is a factor.”

Jolly, J. (2017, October 13). Earthquakes! Fires! Shootings! Storms! How Tech Can Help Ease ‘Disaster Fatigue’ - The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www. nytimes.com/2017/10/13/well/mind/ earthquakes-fires-shootings-stormshow-tech-can-help-ease-disaster-fatigue. html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

“Over the coming decades, rising temperatures will fuel natural disasters that are more deadly than any seen in human history, destabilizing nations and sending millions to their death. Experts say that we need to prepare for a hotter, less hospitable world by building sea walls, erecting desalination plants and engineering crops that can withstand punishing heat and drought, but few have considered the defenses we need to erect in our minds. Some, like Shapira, have called for more talking, more counseling to process our grief. But will that be enough? Climate change will do untold violence to life on this planet, and we have remarkably few tools to deal with its emotional cost. …Mental health professionals are just beginning to grapple with this fact. Renee Lertzman, a psychologist who studies the mental and emotional dimensions of climate change, believes few people have managed to process their grief about the slow decay of life on Earth. She said that many people are caught in “a state of arrested mourning,” what she calls “environmental melancholia.” “The reason why, I think, we have a pervasive environmental melancholia is directly related to the fact that we’re not really talking about this,” Lertzman said. While psychologists have developed ways of grappling with the death of family member or the loss of job, experts are still learning how to dislodge anxieties about climate change. Like Schapira, Lertzman recommends talking. …Like other studies on climate change and mental health, the report warns of anxiety, depression, violence, suicide and drug abuse in the face of increasingly perilous storms, heat waves, floods and drought. As the authors noted, “The American mental health community, counselors, trauma specialists and first responders are not even close to being prepared to handle the scale and intensity of impacts that will arise from the harsher conditions and disasters that global warming will unleash.””

Deaton, J. (2018, June 14). Experts are starting to tackle dealing with climate change anxiety. ThinkProgress. Retrieved from https://thinkprogress.org/ uncovering-the-mental-health-crisis-ofclimate-change-dab21697ea49/

“The opioid crisis may be causing a drop in Canadians’ life expectancy, according to a report released Tuesday by Canada’s chief public health officer. In her annual report on the state of public health in Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam said that for many years, life expectancy has been “steadily increasing,” as it is in other high-income countries. But the opioid crisis is expected to stop that progress in its tracks. “This is the most significant public health crisis that we’ve seen for many decades,” Tam told CBC News. Overdose deaths have been climbing, killing nearly 4,000 Canadians in 2017 alone. Canada hasn’t seen deaths that could impact life expectancy like this since the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s — or the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, Tam said. …The increase in deaths in the last few years seems to be driven by illegal fentanyl, as well as overdoses resulting from using other drugs — including alcohol, benzodiazepenes, cocaine or methamphetamines — in combination with opioids, the report said.”

Ireland, N. (2018, October 23). Opioid crisis blamed for possible decline in Canadians’ life expectancy | CBC News. CBC. Retrieved from https://www.cbc. ca/news/health/life-expectancy-canadadecrease-opioid-crisis-1.4874651

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Statistics Canada. (2018, August 9). National Cannabis Survey, second quarter 2018. Retrieved from https://www150. statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/180809/ dq180809a-eng.htm

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“Canadians who currently use cannabis more likely to report increased use with legalization. Canadians were asked if they thought they would change their behaviour once the non-medical use of cannabis is legalized for adults. Overall, more than 8 out of 10 (82%) said they would be unlikely to try cannabis or to increase their consumption with legalization, relatively unchanged from the first quarter result (79%). However, intention to use cannabis in the future and once legal largely depended on whether the person reported current use. Among current users, 28% indicated that they would be likely to increase their use, more than four times the percentage (6%) of those not currently using.”

Da Silva, M. (2017, May 5). Despite funding boost, advocates say Canada has a mental health crisis. NOW Magazine. Retrieved from https://nowtoronto.com/ news/despite-funding-boost-advocatessay-canada-has-mental-health-crisis/

“The most pressing concern, according to Van Nie, is the lack of money being spent on mental health services in the country. Even though the federal government has pledged a $5 billion increase to support programs and initiatives over the next 10 years, with $1.92 billion going to services in Ontario, that only amounts to roughly $14 per person per year. “Canada is behind most other Western countries, including the UK and Australia, when it comes to spending public health care dollars on mental health,” Van Nie says. “Services are just not there, and it’s very frustrating.” The services that do exist are disjointed. A patient may have to consult a family doctor or visit a drop-in clinic first to get a referral to a specialist. Navigating treatment options including psychiatry and psychotherapy can feel like wandering a maze, and costs, many of which aren’t covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), vary. Wait times can run up to 18 months, and in non-urban areas resources are even scarcer.”

Bethune, S., & Lewan, E. (2017, February 15). Many Americans Stressed about Future of Our Nation, New APA Stress in AmericaTM Survey Reveals. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/news/press/ releases/2017/02/stressed-nation.aspx

““The stress we’re seeing around political issues is deeply concerning, because it’s hard for Americans to get away from it,” said Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, APA’s executive director for professional practice . “We’re surrounded by conversations, news and social media that constantly remind us of the issues that are stressing us the most.” Nordal also noted that while APA is seeing continued stress around politics, the survey also showed an increased number of people reporting that acts of terrorism, police violence toward minorities and personal safety are adding to their stress levels. These results come on the heels of APA survey results released last fall that found 52 percent of Americans reported that the presidential election was a significant source of stress. That survey was conducted online in August 2016 among 3,511 adults 18+ living in the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of the APA. To better understand these political stressors and assess potential long-term effects, APA commissioned an additional survey, conducted online by Harris Poll in early January 2017, among 1,019 adults ages 18+ who reside in the U.S. , asking adults once again to rate the sources of their stress, including the political climate, the future of our nation and the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Between August 2016 and January 2017, the overall average reported stress level of Americans rose from 4.8 to 5.1, on a scale where 1 means little or no stress and 10 means a great deal of stress, according to the APA survey. This represents the first significant increase in the 10 years since the Stress in America survey began. At the same time, more Americans said that they experienced physical and emotional symptoms of stress in the prior month, health symptoms that the APA warns could have long-term consequences. APA’s January survey showed the percentage of Americans reporting acts of terrorism as a very or somewhat significant source of stress increased from 51 percent to 59 percent from August 2016 to January 2017. Additionally, the percentage reporting police violence toward minorities as a very or somewhat significant source of stress increased from 36 percent to 44 percent during the same period. Since August, the percentage of Americans saying personal safety is a very or somewhat significant source of stress increased from 29 percent to 34 percent—the highest percentage noted since the question was first asked in 2008.”

Heshmat, S. (2017, May 10). Stress and Addiction: Chronic stress can increase vulnerability to addiction. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday. com/blog/science-choice/201705/ stress-and-addiction

“Stress is a key risk factor in addiction initiation, maintenance, relapse, and thus treatment failure. Stressful life events combined with poor coping skills may impact risk of addiction through increasing impulsive responding and selfmedication. While it may not be possible to eliminate stress, we need to find ways to manage it. ...There is solid evidence for the link between chronic stress and the motivation to abuse addictive substances.”

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“And the presidency seems to be affecting people across the political spectrum. This includes Trump supporters who feel isolated from friends and family for their affiliations. American Psychological Association has recorded a rise in anxiety since the 2016 election. According to the APA, a person’s political affiliation can affect their risk of anxiety. The APA also found a connection between stress levels and electronic news consumption. Current news stories such as the separation of migrant families, retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Trump’s issues with world leaders, and his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Although “Trump Anxiety Disorder” is not an official diagnosis, the symptoms include a lack of sleep, a feeling of losing of control and helplessness in an unpredictable sociopolitical climate, along with endless negative headlines, and excessive time spent on social media. This has also been theorized in a 2017 essay written by clinical psychologist Jennifer Panning for a book co-edited by Harvard and Yale psychologists.”

Zogbi, E. (2018, July 28). Therapists Coin New Term: Trump Anxiety Disorder. Newsweek. Retrieved from https://www. newsweek.com/therapists-report-riseanxiety-trump-was-elected-1046687

“…As newspapers have increasingly gone online, they have added forums for people to leave comments. Increasingly, public discourse on these forums has taken on a tone of hostility, negativity, and incivility. Comments are often found to be angry, vitriolic, disrespectful, and even vulgar or hateful. Some comments are openly racist or sexist. While such expressions of opinions may not be illegal in most instances, these comments are often profoundly hurtful to the author or other commentators. It is time that civility returned to public discourse in these places. A while ago the public editor of the Globe and Mail asked the question whether the newspaper should “fix or ban online comments”? On one hand, there are ways to encourage a more civil dialogue on newspapers forums. On the other hand, some outlets such as Popular Science magazine have banned online comments altogether as this could tarnish the magazine’s scientific credibility. Academic research has looked at one possible culprit for the increasing lack of civility on newspaper comment boards: anonymity. Hiding in anonymity, people express views without fear of any repercussions. That is both good and bad. On the upside, anonymity serves to protect individuals from retaliation and their ideas from suppression—in particular in societies that are intolerant or undemocratic. On the downside, anonymity protects uncivil speech.”

Antweiller, W. (2018, January 1). Free speech and civility in public discourse. Retrieved from https://wernerantweiler. ca/blog.php?item=2018-01-01

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UNDER THE RADAR, OPTING OUT

Indicator: Off the Grid Retreat from the invasive reality of always-on technology and the normalized blurring of work and life becomes more common. The desire to evade continuous surveillance and regain a measure of privacy prompts the broad adoption of self-erasing communications or interactions that leave no trace as a backlash.

RELEVANCE: • Maintaining voter registration becomes difficult • Potential to move away from partisan federal politics

Those who object to the rampant acquisition of identity information begin to push back. Outraged or suspicious citizens seek to shield themselves from the continuous glare of info gathering. The notion of avatars gains prominence as people develop online personalities to manage the vast requirement of information distribution in the public realm. People go to extreme lengths to hide in plain sight: artists and activists create camouflage against automatic facial detection that disrupts the algorithmic functioning of continuous monitoring. Efforts to “go invisible” increase, with active use of encryption and scrambling methods, but new quantum computing platforms make short work of such security. The exchange of privacy for the empowerment of the individual becomes a new currency. Some retreat from the grid completely, seeking more simple and fulfilling lives away from the stress of fast, noisy, urban living and a 24 hour news cycle. Enabled by improved alternative living tools such as tiny houses, affordable solar power, and effective smallspace food production, the urge to transition to more localized sustainable living is strong.

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“The right to be forgotten — or, more accurately, the ‘right to delist’ — was established by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2014. It allows Europeans to ask search engines to delist certain links from the set of search results generated by a search query for their name. At the moment, if someone submits a URL for delisting via our webform and we determine that their request meets the criteria set by the Court (the information to be delisted must be inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant or excessive, and not in the public interest), then we will delist the URL from the search results generated in response to a search for their name. Our current practice is to delist from all European versions of Google Search (like google.de, google.fr, google.co.uk, etc) simultaneously. Starting next week, in addition to our existing practice, we will also use geolocation signals (like IP addresses) to restrict access to the delisted URL on all Google Search domains, including google.com, when accessed from the country of the person requesting the removal. We’ll apply the change retrospectively, to all delistings that we have already done under the European Court ruling.”

“Quantum computers will be able to instantly break the encryption of sensitive data protected by today’s strongest security, warns the head of IBM Research.” This could happen in a little more than five years because of advances in quantum computer technologies. “Anyone that wants to make sure that their data is protected for longer than 10 years should move to alternate forms of encryption now,” said Arvind Krishna, director of IBM Research. ...Quantum computers can solve some types of problems near-instantaneously compared with billions of years of processing using conventional computers. Moler said people might feel safe because they have done everything they are supposed to do to secure their existing data -- but quantum computing will break it. “I do think that’s scary,” she said.”

“Companies urgently need to find a way to balance the benefits with privacy protection. Consumer advocates are raising alarm bells about invasive digital practices...We’re starting to see signs of a widespread “techlash,” which could have profound implications for firms that use consumers’ data. People are bad at making decisions about their private data. They misunderstand both costs and benefits. Moreover, natural human biases interfere with their judgment. And whether by design or accident, major platform companies and data aggregators have structured their products and services to exploit those biases, often in subtle ways. Algorithms and processing power now make it possible to build behavioral profiles of users without ever having to ask for their data.”

“We attempt to conceal ourselves… but the truth is we do not entirely want to be concealed. We want to be found… within perfect walls, there is nothing worth protecting.… And so we exchange privacy for intimacy…” Coming from a work of fiction entitled Lexicon (Barry, 2014) about a dystopian world in which a class of people can access and manipulate individuals’ minds, these remarks resonate with a common conundrum for the contemporary individual: balancing connectivity and accessibility with privacy. This meta‐analysis focused on studies that investigate how individuals balance need for privacy with openness. Specifically, informed by the theoretical framework provided by the Communication Privacy Management (CPM) theory, we focused on the concept of privacy paradox—the argument that individuals’ concerns about privacy do not translate into their privacy‐management behavior. ...Generally, our findings suggest that contrary to the premise of the concept of “privacy paradox,” privacy concerns predict the extent to which individuals use online services and engage in privacy management (i.e., information sharing and use of privacy protective measures), albeit with typically small or moderate effect sizes. One behavior for which privacy paradox was observed was Social Networking Site (SNS) use: For both the intentions outcome and the behavioral outcome, privacy concerns were not significantly correlated with SNS use. A potential reason why SNS use exhibits this discrepancy between concerns and behavior may relate to CPM theory’s predictions (Petronio, 2002) regarding user motivations and the associated risk–benefit analysis. To the extent that SNSs serve more expressive needs of users than other forms of online services such as online shopping sites, many users may continue using SNSs despite their privacy concerns. In addition to the CPM theory, this finding also lends support to functional models social media (e.g., Bazarova & Choi, 2014; Chen & Kim, 2013), which underline the need to consider user motivations, gratifications, and media affordances to understand how individuals navigate between accessibility and retreat.”

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Fleischer, P. (2016, March 4). Adapting our approach to the European right to be forgotten. Retrieved from https://www.blog.google/ around-the-globe/google-europe/ adapting-our-approach-to-european-rig/

Foremski, T. (2018, May 18). IBM warns of instant breaking of encryption by quantum computers: “Move your data today.” Retrieved from https://www. zdnet.com/article/ibm-warns-of-instantbreaking-of-encryption-by-quantumcomputers-move-your-data-today/

John, L. K. (2018, September 18). Uninformed Consent. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr. org/2018/09/uninformed-consent

Baruh, L., Secinti, E., & Cemalcilar, Z. (2017). Online privacy concerns and privacy management: a meta-analytical review. Journal of Communication, 67(1), 26–53.

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Spector, N. (2017). ‘Headline stress disorder’: How to cope with the anxiety caused by the 24/7 news cycle. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/better/ health/what-headline-stress-disorder-doyou-have-it-ncna830141

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“The last few days I’ve had [sessions] with people struggling with what is going on in our country,” Barthels tells NBC News BETTER. “It’s a combination of terror that this happening and the feeling of powerlessness, which I think is the hardest part in all this.” Though it can feel like we’re giving up on a moral cause to come up for air, it’s critical that we take breaks from the bombardment of news, for the sake of our sanity. “I’m encouraging those distressed about this to limit how much social media and news media they’re watching right now as a way to dial down the distress.” A study by the American Psychological Association released last year found that two-thirds of Americans are stressed out over the future of the country, and the constant consumption of news cycle was pinned as a major contributor. Dr. Steven Stosny, a therapist coined the term “headline stress disorder” in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. “Being tuned in to the 24 hour news cycle may fuel a lot of negative feelings like anxiety, sadness and hopelessness,” says Dr. Jana Scrivani, a clinical psychologist. “Subjecting ourselves to an endless barrage of tragedies and trauma can foster a real sense of being out of control. ...If you’re really feeling overwhelmed by the news, you may want to disconnect completely from all news outlets for a period of time. Barthels recommends appointing a trusted friend to notify you if something is going on that you need to know about. “‘Need to know’” is defined as any event or occurrence that the client needs to know professionally, an event they can respond to in a meaningful way, or an event that brings immediate physical risk to the client,” says Barthels. “This approach has been successful with many of my clients.”

The New Sublimity. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.lsnglobal.com/ trend-tracker-3/article/16653/ the-new-sublimity-1

“Fed up with materialism, let down by capitalism, disconnected and discombobulated in theri digital lives, consumers are seeking escape from their busy lifestyles and aspiring to a new set of values. Where once always-on culture was all-pervading, consumers are seeking digital invisibility. Constant conversation and dialogue is losing its appeal, and in its place, people are yearning for contemplation. From hotels to airports, consumers are looking beyond aesthetics and seeking the sublime.”

Tonkinwise, C. (2015). Urgently Designing Cosmopolitan Localism in the Era of Xenophobia. Speech, Nordes 2015 at Konstfack in Stockholm, Sweden.

“Let me give a final example: one of the most obvious actions toward enhanced sustainability you can undertake is “living local.” The environmental value of local is smallness (less carbon intensity associated with transport and infrastructure) and bio-regional appropriateness. Both involve sacrifices such as accepting the seasonality of local produce for instance. The resilience value of local should also come from small-ness (depending on systems small enough to be relatively quick and not-too-expert to repair). But resilience requires a competing factor - connectedness: to be local is to be more or less bioregionally self-sufficient, but also to be able to rely on neighboring systems if calamities disrupt the local ones - and obviously not only major calamities, but also the temporary hardships associated with seasons (locales in warmer climes shipping food to those in colder climes during their non-growing seasons for example). To maintain localization, those connections should be intermittent and as-needed, otherwise they may become channels for re-colonization by unsustainable globalization. There is connectivity, but only occasionally at-will. In some ways, what is then most politically radical about localism is that it entails removing a place from the metanarrative of global progress. In the twentieth century, small towns participated in the overall project of modernization by housing certain types of manufacturing (including of storable, transportable food), literally making the components for an ever-expanding uniform civilization. Localism, in addition to its ecological sustainability, involves a withdrawal from that greater project, a return to more subsistence-based economies. The reason for a town to exist becomes merely to sustain the population who live there - a truly ecological polis. To advocate for local is therefore to preach an importantly anti-progress worldview.”

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PART 3 Understanding the Potential Futures of Electoral Event Administration

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Part 3: Understanding the Potential Futures of Electoral Event Administration

THE FUTURE OF ELECTORAL ADMINISTRATION IN CANADA

Overview of Future Narratives This section presents four distinct and thoughtprovoking futures with twenty-two year timelines to help us think outside the box about a wide range of possibilities in economic, environmental and societal changes. These distinct futures were developed to help assess the resiliency of the electoral system to predictable changes. These narratives in describing the futures are not the views of the Elections Canada. Each future narrative has 3 components: 1. “Overview of Narrative Characteristics” defines the underlying structure of this future narrative and distinguish it from each of the others in the suite of future narratives. 2. “Timeline” from the present to around 2040, outlines the key events and developments that define how this particular world evolved over the years. 3. “A Day in the Life” of a Canadian resident and their close social circle, providing finer details and a feel of life in that world.

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4 Scenarios What follows are four scenarios about the future. Each one presents a very different exploration of what the future might hold, emphasizing contrasting conditions. For example, a well recognized technology or behaviour may be explored in one scenario and yet omitted in another. These distinctly different stories of what might be are designed to be read as a set. It is not sufficient to explore one vision of the future. To build resiliency within an organization, it is important to develop a deep understanding of the implications of change across a broad range of plausible events and circumstances. Scenario 1 (Growth): CEO Knows Best A future where green technological innovation drives the economy, corporate influence is felt at every step and e-voting is safe. Scenario 2 (Transformation): Liquid Gold A future where algorithms and universal basic income ensure everyone can manage, and liquid democracy practiced. Scenario 3 (Discipline): Less is More A future where climate change has been managed through restrictions and close monitoring, and paper voting prevails. Scenario 4 (Collapse): Ice Breaker A future where environmental and economic stress is out of control and the electoral schedule has been impacted.

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

VOTE 2040


ELECTIONS IN CANADA

SPIRIT

SOCIETY

WORK

TECHNOLOGY

ENVIRONMENT

ENERGY

ECONOMY

e-voting is embraced

Liquid democracy prevails

work with others

Corporate influence strongly felt,

Collaborative and trusting – fulfilling

competitive and self-preserving

seeking

Independent and striving - highly

Inclusive – radically open and truth

educated wealthy and rest, divided

income assured

few, contingent for the rest

Unequal – high disparity between tech

Automated – minimum guaranteed

Automated - highly technical for lucky

green technologies and entertainment

Accelerated – emphasis on clean/

Ethical – transparency ensures trust

for mitigation

captured and converted, warming

curtailed

Managed – planet-wide cooperation

Mastered – greenhouse gasses

fuels

oversight

Mandatory voting, high electoral

excess

Dutiful and cautious – shaming of

Controlled – behaviour is monitored

Directed – agricultural work prevails

Distrusted – used for surveillance

Elections postponed, monitored

resentful, regionally focussed

Self-protective – self-interested and

public coffers

limited due to environment’s drain on

Stressed – social services severely

opportunities

Opportunistic – reliance on contingent

infrastructure

Compromised - dependent on faulty

devastating effects, extreme weather

Disaster – global warming has

renewable resources

over consumption Managed – through extreme measures

Unreliable – greater reliance on non-

Conserved – with penalties for carbon

Clean – international targets met

tech eliminates dependence on fossil

Abundant – disruptive clean/green

Protectionist – controlled trade

market thrives

wealth distribution

citizens to leave ravaged areas

Relocated – climate impacts force

Connected – heavy taxation with equal

Localized – agriculture-based, black

Controlled – insular, grim

of volatile climate and economy

Reactive – responding to the impacts

Ice Breaker

Future 4 (Collapse)

environment is highly competitive

Stable – fluid sense of belonging

Local – rules-based, conformist

Less is More

Future 3 (Discipline)

Thriving – Canada’s business

in-migration

Growing – high levels of economic

driven decision making

public policy development

POPULATION

Algorithmic and supranational – data-

Corporate – corporations influence

Liquid Gold

CEO Knows Best

GOVERNANCE

Future 2 (Transformation)

Elements

Future 1 (Growth)

Overview of Narrative Characteristics

FUTURE NARRATIVES

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FUTURE 1 CEO KNOWS BEST

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Future Narratives 1: CEO Knows Best

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Future 1 (Growth) CEO Knows Best GOVERNANCE

Corporate – corporations influence public policy development

POPULATION

Growing – high levels of economic in-migration

ECONOMY

Thriving – Canada’s business environment is highly competitive

ENERGY

Abundant – disruptive clean/green tech eliminates dependence on fossil fuels

ENVIRONMENT

Mastered – greenhouse gasses captured and converted, warming curtailed

TECHNOLOGY

Accelerated – emphasis on clean/green technologies and entertainment

WORK

Automated - highly technical for lucky few, contingent for the rest

SOCIETY

Unequal – high disparity between tech educated wealthy and rest, divided

SPIRIT

Independent and striving - highly competitive and self-preserving

ELECTIONS IN CANADA

Corporate influence strongly felt, e-voting is embraced

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TIMELINE

CEO Knows Best 2018

2019

California Statewide Climate Assessment projects increasingly severe drought, wildfires, coastal flooding negatively affecting health, agriculture and tourism. Research validating an affordable atmospheric CO2 extraction method is presented by BC’s Carbon Engineering scientists. Google unveils “Bristlecone” quantum computing chip with 72 quantum bits paving the road for exponentially more powerful (but noisier) computers and enabling the company’s pivot away from ad revenue. Severe air pollution in Delhi prompts WHO to recommend urgent coordinated regulatory action and those who are able start to flee to healthier places. Liberalized provincial campaign finance laws in Ontario allow candidates to attend fundraising events again.

2020

Microsoft’s new expanded Toronto HQ accounts for 60,000 direct and indirect jobs. Tribal political divisions in US persist beyond the election, reinforcing immigration resistance and trade protectionism.

2021

Despite early concerns about lack of privacy protection, Sidewalk Labs’ Quayside development blazes a trail for integration of corporate objectives into the public realm reinforcing company diversification into city building innovation. Federal advisory panels increase direct policy recommendations to government.

2022

After years of persistent lobbying against taxation without representation, municipalities across the country extend the right to vote to permanent residents. Highly competitive corporate taxation policies are instituted in an effort to attract more business investment. Voice activated anticipatory search replaces screen based advertising.

2023

American “Left Coasters” are drawn north to Canada’s natural beauty and expanding cultural sectors. International tech companies relocate to Vancouver and into the Waterloo corridor, enticed by Canada’s business resettlement program. Job seeking Indian engineers turn to Canada’s growing tech market as US H1 B visa tightens eligibility requirements.

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

Google’s Bristlecone quantum computing chip is introduced

Air pollution level increases in Delhi due to local factories

The Waterloo Corridor is a new global centre of talent, growth, and innovation


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2024

Canadian medicinal cannabis industry leads the world, bringing new life science research to pain and mood management. Opioid addiction plummets. Broadcast industry deregulated to allow greater influx of investment and new content creation opportunities. Impact of foreign influence on information sharing is downplayed.

2025

Digital census, records and document management provided to government by full-service private sector integrated software and hardware contractors. Higher level of service efficiency, cost effectiveness and customized solutions are enabled for those who voluntarily consent to provision of data. Multi-channel approaches are preferred.

2026

Corporate concentration squeezes out smaller and medium sized businesses in cultural and entertainment production, cannabis and green energy technology in order to improve their operational productivity and international market shares. Precarious employment is exacerbated by the efficiencies of automation.

2027

Vancouver housing market becomes most expensive in the world due to influx of highly paid workers and desirable locational amenities. Toronto and Calgary are close behind. Gated communities on the rise as crime rates escalate. Urban labour shortages increase as younger low wage service workers, living paycheque to paycheque, move further afield to lower cost cities, shifting population distribution across the country.

2028

New cannabis strain proves to be highly effective in reducing nausea symptoms of Virtual Reality Sickness. Use of immersive entertainment skyrockets as stress-relieving numbing strategies allow large body of under-employed public to cope. Voter apathy rises, but protests decline.

2030

Under pressure from increasingly powerful companies, federal campaign finance rules shift. US style “Super PACs*� are leveraged in new Canadian online political commentary.

Canadian cannabis companies take global market share.

* Super PACs – Political Action Committees

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CEO KNOWS BEST TIMELINE

2031

Efficiency minded new government alters Canada Elections Act to conduct events every 7 years as a money saving strategy and to enable more effective policy implementation timelines. Economic immigrants that have achieved permanent residency become eligible to vote federally.

2032

Recognizing the risks of widespread lack of meaningful jobs, corporate entities agree to fund broader universal services to residents through directed taxation, including distribution of basic food boxes to every family. Relieved of the anxiety of scrabbling together adequate funds for basic needs, Canada experiences a flourishing of creative activities and exploratory science. The shame of not working is tempered somewhat.

2033

Robust, verifiable, post-quantum based transparency allows for fully detectable influence mapping for e-voting, ensuring fair and private elections online.

2034

After expanding to China, the US and India, BC’s carbon extraction mechanisms begin to reverse impacts of climate change. Canadian companies are at the forefront as staggering shift in global wealth flows from oil rich nations to green tech patent holders.

2037

First fully online federal election in Canada runs successfully, returning the governing party for another 7 years in hopes of continued growth and prosperity. Convenience pushes participation rates higher than in the past 20 years.

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2040: A DAY IN THE LIFE

CEO Knows Best A future where green technological innovation drives the economy, corporate influence is felt at every step and e-voting is safe. Hopping into his fully charged Tesla, Rachanjeet sets out for a weekend at Ben’s new place in Kelowna. The friends don’t spend nearly as much time together as they used to; distance will do that. Ben still picks up occasional work in game development, but it’s not enough to live the Van Life any more. More often he’s working on his digital painting art projects and looking for a sponsor since his cannabis side hustle has gone Big Pharma. Rachanjeet still can’t believe his luck. Leaving the toxic cloud of Delhi and scoring a top position in the machine learning labs at Ener-mazon is like a dream come true. His smile still looks like the one that used to adorn their boxes when their prime business was retail. Good for business, good for the planet – what could be better? The expanded zinc-air flow battery facility north of Vancouver has definitely solidified the move to renewable energy production and emerging tech in Canada. Way better storage capacity for all the wind whipping up the coast. Sidestepping the human and material costs of cobalt based lithium also proved to be a critical step in shifting the playing field. Offering better opportunities to well connected international entrepreneurs looking for new high yield vehicles was such an effective policy at just the right time. All the house-hunting for those escaping the hellfires and landslides now wrecking barely livable California is keeping the pockets of real estate agents well lined. As corporations began to build their presence on the mainland, attracting enough workers from around the world was a priority. Tech firms heavily lobbied the Feds to extend the vote to all residents, regardless of citizenship status, as an enticement. Pulling in highly skilled workers and investors in a competitive market means more than tax incentives in today’s world. People want a place to belong. Despite initial objections and grave warnings from cybersecurity experts, e-voting was deemed secure enough to make the switch during the last election. Some believed it was a necessary change to entice younger voters and boost participation again. With technological solutions so integrated into every aspect of life, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that this would crack through, too. Corporations generally seem more politically engaged these days. When the financing guidelines changed, first in Ontario and then spreading across the country, business influence started to grow. More and more advisory panels grew into policy development teams. And, really, it seems way more efficient with private sector approaches in place across the board – from transportation to healthcare to prisons.

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All major infrastructure projects are supported by P3 development guidelines, using the best and brightest from business to deliver streamlined solutions for complex problems.

GLOSSARY: 1. The Century Initiative – focused on responsibly and thoughtfully growing the population of Canada to 100 million by 2100.

Rachanjeet’s employer is sponsoring his parents to move here next year as part of the Century Initiative1 to proactively build Canada’s population. It can’t be soon enough. Now that he’s married, he feels like he is really starting to fit into the Sikh community that has welcomed him like family. His wife’s carbon engineering position at the growing Squamish direct air capture plant pays remarkably well and seems pretty secure. They are both careful not to boast about their good fortune, though. Not everyone has a regular income or can afford to live in their secure gated compound. Despite the introduction of Good Living Gifts for all non-working residents, there is lingering resentment in some quarters. He’s seen the effects of joblessness up close. Not all Rachanjeet’s friends are part of the worker class and not all of them are happy about it. At Ben’s house party, he watches intently. Players pop a rapid release CBD gelcap, slip on their fitted headsets and launch multi-player mode full immersion games with sensory augmentation. The effect is almost like a drug and seems to consume them. Ben nearly forgets he’s in a power exoskeleton left over from his gig at the pick and pack warehouse. (careful!) He wore it to vote, too, which was much better than trying to maneuver his wheelchair around the accessibility platforms. It’s nearly time to check in on the results. Rachanjeet wants to see if Ener-mazon made any headway with the new green guide he helped propose. Everyone switches their device to “Canada Votes”, the augmented reality programme that delivers assured poll counts within 15 minutes of final vote casting. The night will be short this time.

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FUTURE 2 LIQUID GOLD

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Future Narratives 2: Liquid Gold

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Future 2 (Transformation) Liquid Gold GOVERNANCE

Algorithmic and supranational – data-driven decision making

POPULATION

Stable – fluid sense of belonging

ECONOMY

Connected – heavy taxation with equal wealth distribution

ENERGY

Clean – international targets met

ENVIRONMENT

Managed – planet-wide cooperation for mitigation

TECHNOLOGY

Ethical – transparency ensures trust

WORK

Automated – minimum guaranteed income assured

SOCIETY

Inclusive – radically open and truth seeking

SPIRIT

Collaborative and trusting – fulfilling work with others

ELECTIONS IN CANADA

Liquid democracy prevails

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TIMELINE

Liquid Gold 2018

Voatz blockchain enabled election for absentee ballots in West Virginia goes off without a hitch. Extensive data breeches at Marriot, Quora, and Facebook affect hundreds of millions of users, initiating public discourse regarding the illusion of privacy and security online.

2019

Facebook acknowledges that privacy is moot after released email trail confirms they have been selling data access for years. Minority government elected after nasty ideological political campaign over energy and trade with votes split amongst 6 major parties. Lingering resentment causes regional rifts. 360 robotic janitors deployed in Walmart stores to augment existing automated out-of-stock shelf scanning.

2020

5G Network rolls out across Canadian urban centers enabling more complete smart city data collection, IoT functionality and autonomous vehicles. 50% of Canada’s workforce is contingent, without full time benefits or job security. Regulations to increase inclusive service delivery are strengthened for both public and private sector.

2021

Second minority parliament elected after exposure of major influence scandal brings down the government. Amazon’s algorithmic fridges begin ordering groceries automatically according to input health prescriptions from medical teams.

2022

Google offers to lay high speed fiber optic cable at no cost throughout rural and northern Canada at a rate 5x faster than telecoms in order to gain access to search data. After successful US trials, Conversus’ EyeDetect, the fast and automatic eye-scanning polygraph test using infrared cameras is installed at all border crossings, police stations and banks.

2023

Third election in five years. Landslide majority elected with strong mandate to deal with growing workforce uncertainty. After several false starts, Fairdeal Canada is introduced across the country as a universal basic income scheme, to be funded in part by significant automation capital taxes for businesses replacing workers.

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

360 Robotic janitors

Autonomous vehicles

Automatic eye-scanning polygraph camera


Future Narratives 2: Liquid Gold

2024

Government overhauls Telecommunications Act, allowing foreign investment to benefit market and provide lower consumer costs. China Mobile invests in Bell. Ethical technology practices are mandated now that it is clear inherent human programming biases are built into the machine learning behavior algorithms.

2025

AI hacker alert provides more open checks and balances keeping data accumulators more honest. Digital nomadism enabled by relaxed working visitor visa rules.

2028

Cryptographically secure Universal IDs are issued to all Canadians to enable digitized government transactions, replacing Social Security numbers. Biometric markers including iris scans are set up as unique identifiers.

2030

Half of all Canadian jobs are impacted by automation. Educational retraining programmes focus on machine-human collaboration and sensor implants augment both physical and cognitive capabilities.

2033

Transparency Trust Index for public officials, professionals and corporate leaders comes online, compiling both qualitative reviews and quantitative data regarding financial transactions, communication records, allowing any citizen to access a score for any decision maker.

2036

Liquid democracy implemented. Role of public servants shifts to providing direct information to Canadians in compiled daily reports through on-demand services. Nominations procedures for Vote Carrier positions are scrutinized to determine if official authorization is warranted.

2038

International algorithmic decision making for major environmental policy is complete. All energy use directives are based on predictive analytics and computational impact assessments. Trade tracking and management program will come onboard in the new year.

2040

Elected officials now provide ethical oversight and regulation of AI systems – shifting away from strategic guidance. Party allegiance is supplanted and all candidates must prove independent judicial competency and robust verifiable track records.

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Automated Job Robots

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2040: A DAY IN THE LIFE

Liquid Gold A future where algorithms and universal basic income ensure everyone can manage, and liquid democracy practiced. Mihko wakes up and flips through this morning’s list of choices to be made before the timed deferral to AI kicks in. Increase to the toll rate for Highway 401? Agree. Not everything feels like a topic zie really understands, though. PanPacific Trade Agreement re-ratification. Delegate, for sure. Framing decision-making boundaries by regional, federal and international issues helps. Who needs political parties? Increase Canadian funding for African rhino poaching protection? Agree. And presetting core issue alignment keeps all meaningful concerns on the front burner. Cultural program to celebrate the history of indigenous trans people. 100% agree! Now that centralized universal policy briefing notes are sent direct-to-device in the evenings to every registered citizen, people have a chance to catch up and make better choices about the things they really care about. Still, it’s good to know that you can always hand over the decisions to a more expert vote carrier if one is unsure (or just too busy). The new Transparency Trust Index(TTI) has really improved things. With a clearer understanding of who is exercising their power, and how, it’s easier to see any influence peddling across all media. The Ethical Tech movement has also brought much needed perspective to the creation of bias neutral data platforms. All in all, it feels like technology can finally be trusted to provide the service needed. It’s still hard for Mihko to understand the stubborn attachment to privacy that lingered for so long and kept liquid democracy1 at bay even after all the technology checks were developed to make it work. Blockchain enabled verification stumbled a bit at the beginning but finally it’s reliable and pretty universal. Then again, change receptivity is in hir blood. Now that there’s no longer paper mail service from the government, digital services are so much better. Changing hir name on their Universal ID online was easier, more secure and mostly applied across all hir files; no gender designation required. And it’s no small thing that access to services have finally been delivered to every corner of Canada. 5G infrastructure in cities, better broadband everywhere else. That’s a real improvement for hir family back at Lac La Ronge, where the local services have been kind of spotty for so long. The side impact of so much data accumulation is that it helps the Algorithm generate better predictive analytics. In sensor laden smart cities, IoT connectivity is almost immediate. Everything that moves, measures or gets made is automated and generating information, so it’s possible to find effective insights and determine optimal approaches based on facts.

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GENDER NEUTRAL PRONOUNS: • Subject of a verb (she, he, they) – zie • Object of a verb (her, him, them) – hir • Possessive case (hers, his, theirs) – hir • Possessive pronoun (hers, his, theirs) – hirs • Reflective case (herself, himself, themselves) – hirself


Future Narratives 2: Liquid Gold

GLOSSARY: 1. Liquid democracy – Voters can either vote directly or delegate their vote to other participants; voters may select a different delegate for different issues 2. Deadname – a person’s name before transition

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Once automation glided into so many aspects of work, the writing was really on the wall. Permanent jobs were pretty rare, and pretty precarious even when you had one. Fairdeal, funded by the robot tax, gives everyone enough base income to keep things going and any extra from international gigs keeps hir travel fund topped up. Sometimes it’s hard to meet new people, but Mihko keeps connected and is so used to virtual collaboration it’s just part of who hir is now. Toronto was as good a place as anywhere to set up officially. Mihko chose the designated address feature when registering to ground hir local decisions while zie works digitally and travels around the world as an immersive storyteller. That time zone thing can really hurt your sleep cycle, but it’s better than numbing out at home in gamerland. Next year, though, fewer trips and more AR/VR encounters – the flight tax is a killer. Zie is happy to vote on issues in the privacy of hir home (wherever that happens to be this week!), and especially happy that proving identity is automatic using biometric authentication. No questions asked and so much easier than when the elders had to do it; thumb touch, eye scan, done. No need to out yourself in the poll when your deadname2 pops up on the list. Holdouts say it means the government has your number, but really, didn’t they always?

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FUTURE 3 LESS IS MORE

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Future Narratives 3: Less is More

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Future 3 (Discipline) Less is More GOVERNANCE

Local – rules-based, conformist

POPULATION

Controlled – insular, grim

ECONOMY

Localized – agriculture-based, black market thrives

ENERGY

Conserved – with penalties for carbon over consumption

ENVIRONMENT

Managed – through extreme measures

TECHNOLOGY

Distrusted – used for surveillance

WORK

Directed – agricultural work prevails

SOCIETY

Controlled – behaviour is monitored

SPIRIT

Dutiful and cautious – shaming of excess

ELECTIONS IN CANADA

Mandatory voting, high electoral oversight

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TIMELINE

Less is More 2018

Tech giant Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arrested in Vancouver under allegations of violating trade sanctions and suspicion of economic espionage. IPCC report and US National Climate Assessment warn that radical action is required to avoid worst consequences of climate change. Queen Elizabeth bans plastic straws and bottles from royal estates.

2019

US anti-trust sentiment gains traction, while Canadian businesses push back against unchecked tech monopolies. UN Climate Summit mobilizes political and economic action for change. Five Eyes governments require tech and telecoms companies to provide backdoor encryption data to authorities.

2020

Deep fake of a candidate manipulating messages is exposed during the highly polarized US election. FAANG* corporations hacked, and infected with a virus, bringing transactions to a standstill for 72 hours. Trust in technology drops to all time low, causing people to reconsider their dependence on insufficiently regulated enterprises. Amish families spread east and west from Ontario to establish simple horse powered farms.

2021

2022

2023

Memphis Meats brings mushroom based vegan lab-grown meat alternatives to market at an affordable price. Federal Center for Cyber Security establishes tighter controls on corporate use of data as a protective measure, building on EU General Data Protection Regulation. Green energy economic incentives implemented for home use and industry to comply with new binding global targets. After low voter turnout in last provincial election, Quebec moves to e-voting to boost participation. Major cyber attack forces complete annulment and rescheduling of paper based election. Category 5 hurricanes stack up in an unprecedented season as three storms pound the east coast causing flooding and power outages across Atlantic Canada. Demanding climate mitigation strategies pushed forward. Physicians regularly issue behavioral social prescriptions to improve mental and physical health as trust in pharmaceutical companies declines.

Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada

* FAANG – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google

Plant based lab-grown meat alternatives

Solar-powered houses

Damage caused by climate change


Future Narratives 3: Less is More

2024

Vulnerable populations, including the old and infirm, increasingly feel the health effects of extreme weather events and put pressure on the health system. National energy rationing program instituted to push carbon emissions even lower. Tax evasion scrutiny is augmented. Threshold for regulated reporting of suspicious financial transactions lowered to $5,000.

2025

International climate treaty obligations become onerous, impacting day to day life for all Canadians. After coordinated anti-restriction street protests rolling out across urban centers turn violent, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Systems are installed in multiple municipalities to monitor civil disobedience.

2026

Major money laundering scandal rocks banking sector following deeper probe by Fintrac. Senior Minister resigns in disgrace after evidence points to illegal campaign contributions have been funneled through to him.

2027

Fed up with corruption and political stalemates, Canadian electoral turnout drops to lowest level ever, threatening legitimacy of results. China’s mandated environmental strategy draws praise for effective and broadly applied measures.

2028

Canada closes border to international climate refugees from countries that did not ratify international treaty. Desperate migrants cross into the country illegally. Banks required to disclose all digital financial transactions on demand.

2030

In an effort to increase participation, compulsory voting is instituted, with penalties established for non-compliance. Rural population grows for the first time in generations as Canadians seek simpler, safer, self-reliant lives outside big cities.

2031

Hard line eco-justice platform prevails after 90% of eligible voters cast ballots across the country. Election management is stretched. Voluntary one child per family approach becomes policy after impact assessment shows Canada’s per capita CO2 emissions remain excessive.

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Canadians living in big cities are frustrated

Canadian carbon emissions remain high

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Future Narratives 3: Less is More

LESS IS MORE TIMELINE

2033

Physical money eliminated – all transactions now occur digitally, leaving a traceable trail measuring associated carbon implications. Global economy is disrupted with transition to carbon neutral activity. Carbon footprint labeling on all food and products is legislated with oversight by the Canadian Carbon Inspection Agency.

2034

Social Credit System implemented to monitor compliance with strict environmental regulations. Exceeding emissions quotas reduces access to government services. Waste reduction, building codes energy use targeted. Beef and dairy lobby protest restrictions on production. Alberta severely impacted.

2035

Canadian economy shrinks and shifts from extraction to increased agricultural production and trade as growing conditions are stressed worldwide. Service industry grows, including public sector involved in monitoring and managing safety, security and health.

2036

Vegan diet is mandated. Strengthened localized economy builds community infrastructure and orientation. Covert bartering and black market activity increases however, as some residents work around stark restrictions and tracking.

2038

Community awards for most reduced CO2 impact are announced, reinforcing cultural and behavioral shifts. Carbon bubble bursts with fossil fuel investment assets stranded, allowing first movers to reap huge economic rewards and slashing profits of remaining dirty fuel companies.

2040

Global climate actions prove effective in halting worst impacts of CO2, although significant changes are unlikely to be reversed. Canada becomes a model of integrated policy reform.

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2040: A DAY IN THE LIFE

Less is More A future where climate change has been managed through restrictions and close monitoring, and paper voting prevails. Émilie rustles to find little Michel’s rainboots. Ouf! That hole in the bottom needs a quick repair before they head out. What’s the old phrase? Make do and mend. Sometimes there’s more mend than new. She was an early adopter, but now everyone does it so she doesn’t feel so alone.

GLOSSARY: 1. Social credit system – a national reputation system based on carbon use.

It’s a miserable day for voting but, in a way, she’s thankful that fall still happens every year, even if it is shorter. The brilliant red maple leaves, digging out the patched wool sweaters, even the pesky squirrels fluffing out their winter coats and burying acorns in her back vegetable garden – it all could have been so much worse. Holding back the effects of climate change took real discipline. And to be honest, it never would have happened without the strict regulations – too many people, too caught up in their high carbon life. It’s not all bad. More small animal powered farms mean jobs for vets again and non-robotic ag-jobs have been a boost in a slower local economy. Solar panels on the roof make hot water and enough power to charge her phone more cheaply than when she was connected to the grid. When the dollar stores disappeared after the drop in offshore imports and the cost of plastics skyrocketed, the “buy once for life” movement really took hold. Now, having fewer things at home keeps her small space easier to clean and she can always borrow from the town lending library if she really needs something. They even have no-waste meds exchange these days; something she never imagined sharing. Every once in a while, though, she still secretly imagines the smell of a nice roast beef; going vegan has been the hardest step of all. Not everyone is happy about the painful choices they’ve had to make. No more wood burning stoves means the smell of the countryside has changed. One kid per family can be lonely. Car manufacturing jobs have disappeared. Fuel rationing is tough and the controlled use of energy for food production means Émilie’s beloved cabane à sucre is just a memory. Granpapa always said it’s hard to be a farmer. The social credit system1 to promote more appropriate behavior really felt like such an intrusion at first, even if it has helped to change things ultimately. The constant presence of the watchers gets to her sometimes. Émilie knows they’re needed to keep the truth alive. Back when all anyone heard was how power hungry and dishonest politicians, journalists, and CEOs were, it felt almost impossible to imagine that you could believe in anything again. Compliance needs to be monitored – that’s the cost of a democracy they say. She mostly believes it. When the scale of campaign corruption was revealed it was really the last straw. After the bank scandals and major data breeches it was just all too much. If you have nothing to hide, who cares if someone is watching? Still… KerrSmith


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She’s not like her friends the Ramins, who live a completely “off grid” life, shielding their identities whenever they can. After life under a much stricter surveillance regime before they fled to Canada, they still have a reflex for caution. To be fair, it’s tough living as a refugee since they tightened the borders. Staying in the shadows means not being part of important elements of today’s world, but they are completely self-sufficient and stay off the radar of officials. Émilie makes note of her carbon transactions for the day on her tracking device and gets ready to pack her supplies. She tucks a tin of aquafaba meringue cookies into her backpack. It’s her turn to volunteer and she’s happy to be introducing her son to see the election for the first time with neighbours and friends all around. Good thing there’s a playspace onsite and the post election party atmosphere is always fun. Compulsory voting means a much bigger turnout in the county and having a roster to assist the officials helps things go more smoothly. Today she’ll be stacking all the paper ballots and keeping the door clear as people start to line up. It’ll be wet with Hurricane Owen plowing up the east coast. Second cat-5 this month. Émilie hauls out the cargo bike and snaps on the canopy to keep the rain off Michel. She clips on his helmet sensors and heads out. With all the walking and biking everywhere she feels fitter than when she was 20. And happier, in a way. Giving up some freedoms to ensure a future for her son is a compromise she can live with.

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FUTURE 4 ICE BREAKER

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Future Narratives 4: Ice Breaker

Future 4 (Collapse) Ice Breaker GOVERNANCE

Reactive – responding to the impacts of volatile climate and economy

POPULATION

Relocated – climate impacts force citizens to leave ravaged areas

ECONOMY

Protectionist – controlled trade

ENERGY

Unreliable – greater reliance on non-renewable resources

ENVIRONMENT

Disaster – global warming has devastating effects, extreme weather

TECHNOLOGY

Compromised - dependent on faulty infrastructure

WORK

Opportunistic – reliance on contingent opportunities

SOCIETY

Stressed – social services severely limited due to environment’s drain on public coffers

SPIRIT

Self-protective – self-interested and resentful, regionally focussed

ELECTIONS IN CANADA

Elections postponed, monitored

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TIMELINE

Ice Breaker 2018

Hints of coming economic downturn are fanned by the media as growing consumer debt, a cooling housing market and threats of a trade war mount. Jittery markets cause stocks to dive and rebound repeatedly. Initially spurred by increased fuel taxes to support a green climate fund, the French “yellow vest� movement spreads to Belgium, Sweden and Iraq. Lack of jobs, inequality and anti-immigration sentiment underlie growing protests.

2019

Brazil’s newly inaugurated president Bolsonaro moves quickly to merge Agriculture and Environment Ministries in order to exploit the Amazon basin, relaxing enviro-regulation, opening indigenous reserves to mining, expanding energy production, and then backs out of Paris Climate Accord. Protectionist trade policies mushroom around the world.

2020

Low unemployment numbers mask reality of minimum wage temporary positions and low participation rates for less skilled workers who have given up finding jobs. General insurance costs dramatically escalate as increase in environmental disasters causes the sector to register significant losses. US plunges into recession as full impact of trade wars heavily disrupts manufacturing industry, shipping and logistics companies. Already stressed retailers struggle to survive.

2021

As a bright spot, recessionary effects reducing production, transportation and consumption actually lower greenhouse gas emissions temporarily. However, use of cheap dirty energy ramps up again as companies seek ways to cut costs. More pipelines authorized in western and northern Canada as additional oil reserves become accessible. Pinched consumers hang on to energy inefficient vehicles and appliances as a frugal measure. All federal Departments and Agencies mandated to find savings. Innovation budgets slashed.

2022

After a brief economic rebound, a double dip recession sets in. With strained international relations, coordinated strategies for recovery are difficult to put in force this time.

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The Yellow Vest movement comes to Canada

More pipelines are built


Future Narratives 4: Ice Breaker

2023

Federal elections suspended until January due to simultaneous extreme climate conditions across the country: damaging hurricane sweeps across Atlantic provinces and associated catastrophic flooding closes major roadways in much of southern Ontario; record late season wildfires blanket BC and western Alberta in dangerous smoke, threatening complete destruction of towns from Cranbrook to Lethbridge.

2024

In the aftermath, the Opposition protests that the Governing party has taken advantage of the crisis to bolster their campaign through heavy circulation of behavioral propaganda - “Roll up your Sleeves – it’s Grim” advertorials.

2026

Reserve levels in the Ogallala aquifer under the High Plains of Kansas and Nebraska drop dangerously low, threatening farmland irrigation through the US. Food costs soar. Styled after the “yellow vests”, Deep Resistance(DR) adherents don green hats and begin organizing protests around the country to prevent further exploitation of natural resources. Their refusal to stand down flies in the face of extreme force used by military dispatched to keep the peace. International support for the cause is amplified.

2027

US-CDA relations strained as severe droughts in US force the country to draw increasing amounts of water from the Great Lakes. Freshwater becomes a critical asset requiring alert protection.

2028

After years of tension, US and China reach the brink of war, with escalating conflict in Nigeria over critical raw materials and energy. Canada seeks to pull back from entanglement to maintain relations with both sides in the face of shifting global allegiances. Impact of cutting down much of the Amazonian “lungs of the planet” is felt around the world. Inevitability of climate collapse feels real.

2030

Enviro-Health Canada issues an air quality warning across the country – filtering masks are required for exposure to outdoor air over 50 minutes per day. DR adopts sophisticated industrial sabotage as a more effective protest tactic, hacking into computerized pipeline control systems to shut down flow. Head offices of Suncor and Enbridge bombed.

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Vehicles struggle to make their way through flooding

Filtering masks are required for exposure to outdoor air

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ICE BREAKER TIMELINE

2032

Emergencies Act invoked for 90 days to deal with mounting crisis. Preelection communications are curtailed as government seeks to limit opportunities for interference from foreign groups seeking to subvert democracy.

2034

Major internal migration from most heavily impacted provinces alters power structure of the country. Atlantic provinces empty out due to rising seawaters. Churchill Manitoba’s port starts to see more regular traffic as Arctic Ocean opens up. Southern prairies experience draught that affects wheat crop.

2035

Churchill, Manitoba

Regular drone based patrols are increasingly deployed to protect southern borders and daily gunboat forays are launched along all three coasts.

2036

International observers arrive to monitor election due to integrity issues raised in response to repeatedly interrupted electoral procedures. As strong-arm leaders continue to exercise power globally, Canada resists the transition to populist politics, but just barely. Exhausted and depressed, from constant vigilance, electors tune out the rhetoric as candidates promote increasingly farfetched climate responses.

2037

Voting age dropped to 17 to try to boost greater participation. Friction across the country is at an all time high due to unequal climate impacts and resource distribution. Regional coalitions demand more autonomy from Ottawa as federation is strained.

2039

Canada’s population is surging. More climate refugees seek asylum, but strict immigration policies admit fewer desperate people than in previous years. Primarily the most skilled or economically advantaged are granted entry to help build the future economy.

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Drone system offers fully automated border patrols


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2040: A DAY IN THE LIFE

Ice Breaker A future where environmental and economic stress is out of control and the electoral schedule has been impacted. With less ice, Hudson Bay is full of fish this year and the whale pods are greedily chasing them nearly to the shore. Churchill used to be known as the polar bear capital but that hardly seems appropriate now that there are so few of them around. Paul is happy at least to see this much activity as he walks along the rocks with Yura to the new community centre where the polling stations are set up. He’s careful where he steps so as not to sink into the tundra where the permafrost used to be. When the multi-disciplinary Churchill Marine Observatory was completed it drew international researchers to study the rapidly changing Arctic. The expansion of the port along with increased mineral exploration and the establishment of a military sea patrol base have all drawn adventurers and their innovation plans up north. Now that transportation is regular by both rail and water, it’s not as expensive to fill your grocery cart and there’s been a mini-population boom. Nearly six thousand people are here year-round and the numbers keep expanding in the eco-tourist season and to see the northern lights. All the noise about regional reorganization is just a big distraction. Everyone angry; no wanting to share. That’s what happens when there isn’t really enough to go around. Some provinces are threating to leave – where would they go? Alberta is nearly burned to a crisp. Saskatchewan is parched. PEI is nearly underwater. He’s glad he’s here rather than In Winnipeg. Working as a remote medical diagnostician with the Regional Health Authority he already spends enough of the day on screens connected to the central provincial data hub down there. It sounds like things are even more chaotic in the big city with the influx of so many despairing people trying to find cooler weather. Everything is pushing right to the edge of what is manageable. He knows how it is, though. Run from danger. He escaped up here to get away from the never-ending protests after his parole was completed. Getting caught up in the DR movement felt right at the time, but he sees it now as just another counterproductive stunt. He never wanted to hurt anyone. He still worries that there will be a resurgence of the rebellious old guard and all civil liberties will be revoked by the government. Everyone’s patience seems to be wearing thin.

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Marrying into an Inuit family was the best thing that ever happened to him. Paul has made friends in the local community and feels he’s contributing something. Social services are hard to come by but everyone pitches in if you need the help. He really belongs here, more than he ever did down south. Even if he can’t stop the encroaching sea-melt, at least it will be good for a while. Paul calls to check on his Mom at the Assiniboine Homesharing Center. He knows she’ll be anxious to get out to vote and hopes she can manage in the unseasonable heat. At 80, she’s just as feisty as ever, but getting her to the poll safely is a concern. Still, she sees it as her duty and never misses. He passes his speaker pod to Yura so she can connect with her step-grandmother. They launch into an impassioned debate about the candidates’ positions and compare detailed notes on how compromised their messaging may have been. Are they the last two people who think this is going to make a difference?

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THE FUTURE OF ELECTORAL ADMINISTRATION IN CANADA Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of Electoral Administration in Canada


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Strategic Implications Based on the assessment of the broad range of inputs into this process and commentary from participating stakeholders, four key areas of potential implications will require attention as Elections Canada moves into the future. In order to build resilience, however, the full range of possible futures should be considered in more detail with particular attention paid to previously identified high risk and transformational concerns. In the more immediate future, the following key issues are assessed with respect to their potential impact on Elections Canada as an organization, on Elections Canada staff, on Canadian electors and political candidates and on the electoral process generally. 1. Evolving Technology Context 2. New Communications Platforms 3. Climate Change 4. Changing Views of Civic Responsibility

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Key Issue 1 Evolving Technology Context Transformative advances in technology are an ever-accelerating reality in Canada and around the world. Individuals expect to reap the benefits that increased connectivity, improved accessibility, and widespread efficiencies promise, especially through digital innovation. However, notions pertaining to surveillance, cyber-security, dark money and digital interference reflect some of the negative premonitions extracted from scenarios and reflect increasing turbulence in a changing world. How will this issue impact Electoral Administration? For Elections Canada as an organization: Elections will undeniably be influenced by the widespread adoption of new and increasingly adaptive technologies. As Artificial Intelligence is applied to facial and voice recognition, eye-tracking and fingerprint interfaces, these humanistic experiences are breaking down barriers to computational devices. As Canadians establish deeper trust in digital transactions of all types, such as online banking, digital health monitoring and diagnostics, and household management, the push for online voting as a potentially inevitable evolution may mount. Opposing challenges arise as new technologies enter the democratic process. The question of data sovereignty and who retains rights to voting data may need to be determined. Equally, requirements to uphold privacy may be seen to inhibit innovation in some cases. Overall, secure protections against cyber-intrusions into the electoral process are necessary if electoral integrity is to be preserved. Despite Canada’s smaller size and influence globally, there remains potential for vulnerability to attack that should be analyzed.

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For Elections Canada staff: More technical competency will be required in existing jobs, and more dedicated technical positions will be necessary. Continuous training may be advantageous. As advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics continue, the potential to radically alter the landscape will grow. This will require regular updates in internal competency to ensure appropriate responses, monitoring and anticipation from Elections Canada. Some levels of automation of processes may be necessary as capacity is challenged. Maintaining high caliber talent attraction will be critical, however there will be ongoing competition from the private sector for key employees.

For Electors and Candidates: Younger electors may have a different understanding of their online and offline personas and have less inclination to define community through geography. This may impact their engagement with the democratic process in a local sense. Similarly, younger voters accustomed to the agency provided by direct online access to brands and issues may perceive political representation through distant candidates to be unnecessary. Perspectives on the value of digitally provided electoral processes may be unevenly appreciated throughout the Canadian population. Differences in access to technology (both through infrastructure and education) may unequally impact potential voters depending on where they live, their economic circumstances and their technical fluency. Some voters may seek more convenient and digitally normative approaches to casting their ballots, as a reflection of their day-to-day immersion in algorithmic living, while others may see online voting as a threat to reliable outcomes. How to maintain trust in the system, while meeting the needs of opposing populations will be an issue to resolve. The potential for greater inclusion through digital access will also require navigation. Language barriers can be effectively reduced, people with physical disabilities can be accommodated more respectfully and those who are institutionalized could have greater possibilities for electoral participation if more widespread digital access is provided. It may be easier to encourage direct donations from individuals to campaigns, which has the potential to promote unscrupulous fundraising promises. Candidates could benefit from covert financial contributions through international support of local organizations, advocacy groups and think tanks.

For the Electoral Process generally: The core presumption of free, fair and secret electoral opportunities may be challenged as new voting methods emerge. Evolving notions of the value of (or true possibility of) privacy and protection of personal information in a time of widespread and continuous data capture may challenge deeply held beliefs for some electors. It could be potentially beneficial to designate an independent and unbiased body to scrutinize, oversee, certify and validate new elections technology. This body could be formulated of academic experts, public servants, public interest experts and potentially non-competitive private sector experts in adjacent industries.  

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Key Issue 2 New Communications Platforms The specific technologies of digital communications have radically altered means of communication over the last 15 years, and emerging 5G networks will change them even more. How interactions and information sharing transpires was investigated in each scenario and much of the Horizon Scan research uncovered important directional shifts. Workshop participants also pointed to significant issues that will be cause for concern or enable new relationships between parties and voters. How will this impact Electoral Administration? For Elections Canada as an organization: Anticipatory planning for the possibility of interference through vote hacking, misinformation spreading, or other means requires a level of transparency to build public confidence. Elections Canada could publicize their approach and mitigation strategy for such an occurrence. Real-time reporting on issues has become expected in a rapid response environment. Timely responses to regulatory transgressions are necessary in an environment where instantaneous news is normalized. For example, there may be increased pressure to report political finance data in a shorter timeframe if those transactions are digitally recorded.

For Elections Canada staff: In the digital age, precise strategic approaches to tracking communications platforms are required to ensure adherence to protocol by political entities. Some monitoring may require algorithmic automation to support human judgment and to sufficiently scan the landscape. Competency related to emerging communications technology, including new and sophisticated methods of falsification of information (deep fakes) will be a requirement. It is possible that increased collaboration with external industry or cross governmental experts will be required.

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For Electors and Candidates: Electors seeking information about political parties or candidates may find it easier to access both legitimate and illegitimate communications. Emerging platforms for direct communications with voters may offer candidates and political organizations, or third parties that represent their interests, to circumvent current constraints on advertising. Both content limitations and funding rules may not be adequate to ensure fair exposure to electors. With the current conditions of continuous online platform activity, the boundaries of campaign periods are more permeable. Email sharing, persistent messaging online (such as historic Twitter, Facebook, and You-tube feeds), and e-blasts may be available and accessed outside the regulated 36 day period of official campaigning. Politicians may be perceived as always campaigning and enforcement of strict campaign periods may become more difficult moving forward.

For the Electoral Process generally: Regulations framed in an era of collective public media from the past still shape political communications and reflect the previous “one-to-many� context, where designated content providers broadcast to wide populations through scrutinized channels. The current landscape holds the possibility of one-to-one communication through social media and data enriched targeted profiling. These conversations can be more private and less under scrutiny of regulatory oversight, with the potential to contravene guidelines. Elections Canada will need to find means to balance freedom of expression with oversight of improper abuses.

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Key Issue 3 Climate Change Different degrees of climate impact were explored in the various scenarios with a range of social and environmental outcomes, pointing to a highly complex interrelationship between circumstances, behaviours and manifestations of power. When participants processed the research, there was deep concern, broadly felt, about the future impact of climate related conditions and Elections Canada’s contributions to potentially damaging effects. How could this issue impact Electoral Administration? For Elections Canada as an organization: An overall assessment of the current carbon footprint of conducting elections in Canada may point to more efficient approaches and uncover opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation, waste production, communications approaches and material usage in the delivery of events could be assessed. Procurement guidelines could be evaluated to ensure sustainability and centralized production of election apparatus, tools and materials could be reconsidered. Continuous monitoring of weather and contingency planning, although already critical for EC, may require intensification depending on the location and severity of climate incidents. Some infrastructure such as roads and the power grid may become increasingly inaccessible, and staffing confirmation may be unreliable.

For Elections Canada staff: Day-to-day operational work may require more consideration with respect to impacts. Greater sustainability efforts in terms of supplies used, office temperatures, use of transportation modes and frequency, office lighting levels and choice of hospitality offerings can be measured. Beyond the necessity to develop appropriate climate resilient policies, building responsible and ethical practices with respect to environmental impact is an important consideration in recruitment of a younger workforce. Commitment to conscientious work habits should be broadcast.

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For Electors and Candidates: Changes may be required in electoral districts most affected by population movement (both as voluntary global or national in-migration where people seek better circumstances, or involuntary out-migration due to unlivable conditions). The location, size and shape of ridings may transform as population concentrations modify. Should increased numbers of climate refugees arrive in Canada, how will they be incorporated into Canadian society and, by extension, into electoral events? Questions about eligibility for voting rights may increase if/as immigration pressures mount. This could impact who is perceived to be a legitimate voter, how they are informed about Canadian electoral procedures and how they are registered. For candidates, the ability to campaign, especially in person across large districts, may be constrained if more weather events are concurrent with elections. Voters may find it difficult to access polling stations depending on locations and conditions, putting pressure on local resources.

For the Electoral Process generally: Catastrophic weather related disasters may become more common and have the potential to interrupt smooth electoral operations while taxing the capacity to deliver electoral events equally across the country. For example, in northern communities, the impact of the disappearance of ice-bridge roads could be felt as early as this October as access routes to polling stations are interrupted. Sufficient contingency planning for co-incidental and regionally differentiated emergency conditions will be required moving forward, including the possibility of non-concurrent elections. Careful consideration of the carbon impact of paper based voting may suggest alternative voting methods should be deployed. Full evaluation of the potential consequences will be required.

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Key Issue 4 Changing Views of Civic Responsibility Throughout the review of scenarios, in interviews with thought leaders, and in the research compilation phase of this project, electoral integrity was highlighted as a critical requirement for the continued perception of free and fair elections for all. Challenges to the unfolding of the democratic process may arise as people’s needs intersect with political opportunism and populist sentiment in a more global context. The value of western democratic ideals in a changing world is more tenuous than expected. How will this impact Electoral Administration? For Elections Canada as an organization: Elections Canada’s role as a defender and promoter of civic responsibility and western democratic ideals may need to be reconsidered. There could be an opportunity to partner more extensively and strategically with various levels of education, beyond primary and secondary school. EC could provide more comprehensive clarity with respect to the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and boost understanding of the mechanisms of civics in Canada for broader populations, in classrooms and online. Should an arms length non-partisan elections management body be deemed no longer appropriate or necessary in Canada (as has happened in other jurisdictions around the world), how will a changed organization be poised to deliver elections? Confidence in the impartiality of the system requires continued vigilant monitoring and enforcement of regulatory protocols.

For Elections Canada staff: High levels of commitment to the values and purpose of the organization are widely distributed within EC’s workforce. Procedural changes will require careful consultation and considered introduction to ensure that deeply invested employees have full understanding of the rationale behind proposed shifts. That same expression of organizational values can also serve as an appealing draw for potential recruits.

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For Electors and Candidates: Satisfaction with levels of inclusion should be explored to ensure that restrictions due to age, ability and citizenship status do not dampen perceptions of a fair system. Physical, cognitive and social barriers to participation should be evaluated. Engaging voters in participatory process design could be an approach to evolving the experience of elections, making the process more simple and desirable. Voter participation rates may be affected if confidence in the integrity of the system is challenged in any way. Even the perception of a tainted election could have significant impact on voting behavior. Candidates should also be made aware of the critical importance of an independent and honourable electoral process.

For the Electoral Process generally: Reduced participation rates for elections at some levels of government pose a challenge to the legitimacy of elected officials. At the same time, the cost of delivering those elections can be challenging for smaller provincial and territorial jurisdictions and for municipalities. Although controversial, electoral service overlap is a possible direction to improve efficiency, to synchronize electoral standards across the country and potentially to encourage greater involvement in the process for more Canadians. As global turbulence accelerates, alternative models of governance may show themselves to be effective in tackling massive global challenges such as climate change or severe economic downturns. Western democratic systems may come under pressure to reinforce their value to those who see declining efficacy in parliamentarians. More authoritarian regimes may not require an independent electoral management agency and the role of Elections Canada could change. Canada needs to remain persistent in maintaining checks and balances in order to uphold democratic ideals.

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Conclusion We live in rapidly changing times with particular stresses emerging in the realm of democratic electoral processes and management globally, as well as here at home. Being aware of, and prepared for, the opportunities and threats those stresses present is critical if Elections Canada is to maintain its position as a respected leader, guaranteeing electoral integrity into the future. The Foresight research process undertaken in collaboration with both internal stakeholders and external experts provides futureready information in order to complete a robust and anticipatory strategic plan to frame the next five years of agency operations. Using literature and media review, thought leader interviews and stakeholder workshops as contributions, challenging outputs were created to provide a platform for strategic exploration. The Horizon Scan provides a wide spectrum of weak signals of change, consolidated into significant shifts that may impact the lives of Canadians and the unfolding of the electoral process over the next 20 years. These directional changes offer potential areas for further research and suggest domains where attention should be paid on an ongoing basis.

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The Scenario Set projects alternative, possible narratives of how electoral administration may unfold from the perspective of a voter in various different circumstances. These provocative explorations deliberately move beyond “business as usual� visions of the future to sensitize the organization to potential consequences of change. The Strategic Implications explore the potential impacts these shifts and scenarios may have on the internal and external, individual and collective stakeholders who are concerned with maintaining open and impartial elections in Canada. The four key issues raised provide guidance for strategic responses.

The overall methodology used in this undertaking was designed to promote resilience across the organization, to build capacity for exploratory thinking and to mitigate risk in the face of continuous change. This information should be useful beyond immediate strategic planning and may prepare the organization to thrive into the next decade.

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VOTE 2040

Acknowledgements Many thanks go out to Thought Leaders, Participants and Elections Canada staff who gave generously of their time and insights throughout this research project. Elections Canada Experts: Michel Roussel Stéphane Perrault International Experts: David Becker Richard Briffault Amanda Clarke David Coletto Larry Diamond Wolfgang Drechsler Aleksander Essex Charlie Feran Allison Harrell Mark Malloch-Brown John Mattingly Michael Pal Charles Stewart III Lisa Young Workshop #1 Participants: Roxanne Beaulne André Blais Dawn Borutskie Stephen Buck Franck Chevassus Brian Colton Ruth Dassonneville Brian Double Elisabeth Dubois Aleksander Essex Toby Fyfe François Gélineau Martin Génier Philippe Lacoste Jacques Mailloux Evelyne Morrissette Jason Reinert Semra Sevi

Workshop #2 Participants: Robert Ashton Bruno Bossé Rebecca Bothwell Aengus Bridgman Pierre Desjardins Salil Dhingra Martin Génier Olivier Girouard Gerald Grant Anne Lawson Mary Lilly Jacques Mailloux Fenwick McKelvey Stéphane Perrault Karine Richer Michel Roussel Mélanie Rousseau Hughes St-Pierre Camille Tremblay-Antoine Florence Vallée-Dubois Alan Webb Elections Canada Staff: Jodi Essery Jessica Schultz Andrea Soegondo Gabriel Spector Jean-Philippe Veilleux Elise Vézina-Easey Margy Vilé

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For full bibliography, contact: KerrSmith info@kerrsmithdesign.com Project Team Helen Kerr, Project Lead Zan Chandler, Senior Researcher Ali Shamaee, Researcher Document Design: Chay Lee, Designer Nigel Smith, Design Director

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In the summer of 2018, Elections Canada undertook a Foresight exercise to inform both its innovation agenda and the Chief Electoral Officer’s long-term vision. This work was designed to support both the development of a new five-year Strategic Plan that will set the road ahead to ensure the most effective use of resources, and also guide strategic and operational objectives that will apply to multiple electoral cycles.

THE FUTURE OF ELECTORAL ADMINISTRATION IN CANADA KerrSmith Design 2 River St, Toronto, ON M5A 3N9 416 703 Elections Canada: Summative Report - The Future of 5377 Electoral Administration in Canada


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