According to various Liberal officials, the two systems used by the party, AdminElect and ManagElect, are separate.
AdminElect is used to manage constituency information.
ManagElect is used to run an election campaign after a writ is dropped.
According to the vendor, AIT Corp, the two software packages run off the same database, meaning information that is collected outside the election period in the course of the duties of an MP is used to drive the election effort:
This project is now the ManagElect module of the ElectSYS product suite. This tool was designed to handle tracking of the electorate and voters' intentions during a campaign. Soon after its debut ManagElect was selected as a pilot project on a few campaigns, the results were overwhelming. Since then ManagElect has become the software of choice for election management in Canada.
It was not long before our clientele started to ask for a contact management solution similar to our campaign management tool ManagElect.
This gave way to the creation of another module called AdminElect to join the ElectSYS product suite. This tool was designed to use the same database as the campaign tool. Users have now the ability to share and gather valuable information that can be used during their mandate and when comes election time.
But according to Liberal spokespeople, the databases are different:
But Liberals say they have two distinct databases, one paid for by MPs to manage constituent case files and one paid for by the party for partisan purposes.
Although both systems were developed by the AIT Corp., data is not shared between the two.
OK, so I checked on the installation instructions for ManagElect provided to Liberal MPs running in the 2004 election.The way it works is that the installation package installs a product called a Citrix client. This tool provides the user access to a remote computer. In this case, with the proper userid and password, the Liberal MP uses the Citrix client to access the central Liberal Party installation of ManagElect.
So far so good. A local installation of AdminElect for constituency information, and a remote installation of ManagElect for the election effort.
Separate databases, right? Then what is this step for?
The MP is running ManagElect off of the Liberal Party central computer via the Citrix client. The only connection to his local computer is that the local MP's computer is providing the resources required to run a Citrix client window, into which the Citrix server back on the central computer is displaying the ManagElect windows. No real connection -- so far so good. Then the MP accesses the Options menu item for ManagElect through the Citrix window. The remote execution of ManagElect pops up a dialog box that names ElecSys product. Remember that ElecSys is the name for the combined package of ManagElect and AdminElect.
As a Liberal MP, you then set the option on your ManagElect account that sets the location of the ElecSys "merge.csv" file to be the "\\Client" "C" drive. That refers to the local harddrive on the MP's computer.
Now there is a real connection between the central installation of ManagElect and the local MP's computer. That connection is called "merge".
It's probably nothing. This step could be refering to a lot different things. Perhaps it refers to merging across different MPs, and not a merge of a local database with the centre. That doesn't really make sense, though. The MP is setting ElecSys, the name for the combined AdminElect and ManagElect product suite, so that the central installation of ManagElect can find the merge.csv file on the MP's local drive whenever the MP is logged in.
Some sort of connection between the local MP's harddrive and the central Liberal computer, a connection moderated by ElecSys, executed by ManagElect, set by each MP individually, and defined by a file called merge.csv.
For all we know, it has to do with how the print utility functions and has no relationship to the databases.
Still, I find it very curious.