The city of Waterloo has got to let go of the idea of itself as the world’s most intelligent community. The concept appears to have gone to the heads of city councillors, and they’re making bad decisions as a result. Six years ago, a New York-based organization named Waterloo as the world’s most intelligent community, in part because of its high concentration of research institutions, such as its two universities, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Centre for International Governance Innovation. … Of course, it’s hard to give back the tiara. Earlier this week, Waterloo city councillors were urged to investigate online voting in local elections. “As the most intelligent community in the world, it’s almost a given that we should be embracing the concept of electronic voting,” said Tim Jackson, a local entrepreneur, community leader and a vice-president at the University of Waterloo.
All but two Waterloo councillors agreed, and now the city will seek proposals from companies with voting technology, and will encourage Kitchener and Cambridge to do the same. The only two who disagreed with this approach were Jeff Henry and Scott Witmer. Not enough people listened to Henry when he intelligently pointed out that just because technology is available, doesn’t mean you should use it. Some other places have considered or experimented with online voting, he said. And their experience has shown deep concerns.