Re: Pork barrel critiques

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Fri Mar 05 2004 - 14:28:10 CST

David,

> I know I am mostly a lurker here, but FWIW I reacted to the $500
> hammer reference the same way David Mertz did.
>
Both Ph.D.s I note.

> This illustrates how vital it is to avoid any remotely political
> content in the "marketing" of your system. For many people,
> especially your customers who are by nature politically attuned,
> political content overwhelms technical content for emotional
> impact and share of attention. A single reference, even
> humerous, to a controversial political subject (other than
> voting technology itself) can color your audience's perception
> of the entire pitch.
>
I hear you.

> In marketing a voting system, we should stick with images of the
> flag and George Washington, and stick traditional electoral
> system virtues like fairness, accuracy, privacy, openness,
> security, reliability, simplicity, cost effectiveness,
> accessibility, etc.
>
Okay, maybe we should dress as priests. Then again, given the scandals
involving priests, maybe they're not good models for these attributes
either. And if we dress like the founding fathers, we have the issues
involving slave ownership, inequality, backroom secrecy, adultery, elitism
etc. Who can we identify with? Enron? Who is famous for running
elections? Katherine Harris? How many election directors (or SoSs) are
nationally known? Bill Gates is the closest mortal to God according to
many, but I don't think he favors open source (and fairness is not in his
vocabulary). It's getting hard to find icons with the requisite purity.

Alan D.
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Received on Wed Mar 31 23:17:02 2004

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