Chile: Low turnout in Chile election could hand victory to Pinera | Reuters

The frontrunner for Chile’s presidency, billionaire businessman Sebastian Pinera, faces an array of left-wing parties in this year’s elections but he can expect help from one quarter – low turnout. Recent opinion polls give Pinera, a conservative former president, a commanding lead over his seven mostly left-of-center rivals for the Nov. 19 first round but predict he is unlikely to take the more than 50 percent needed to avoid a run-off. While a unified left might muster the votes to defeat Pinera in the second round, weak turnout fed by disenchantment with politics and interparty bickering would pave the way for a Pinera win.

Canada: Political scientists recommend against electoral reform referendum, online voting | iPolitics

The Special Committee on Electoral Reform resumed its deliberations Monday after a two-week break, hearing from three political science professors who all opposed the option of a national referendum on electoral reform. Though Ken Carty (professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia), Brian Tanguay (professor at Wilfred Laurier University), and Nelson Wiseman (professor at the University of Toronto) expressed different views on which electoral system is the best for Canada, they were in complete agreement on the politically charged question of whether a referendum on electoral reform should be held, expressing a consensus against a national plebiscite. … All three also agreed that security concerns about online voting remain too great to try implementing it at the federal level any time soon. “The preponderance of experts are opposed to it, because…you can hack the system,” Wiseman told the committee, citing the recent hack of the Democratic National Committee as an example of a threat and e-voting “snafus” during the 2012 NDP leadership race, but adding that he could support its limited use for those with mobility issues.