Canada Votes 2006

The Canadian federal election is called for January 23, 2006.

Steve Page writes on the Bulte/copyright issue...

Steven Page, lead vocals and guitar for the Barenaked Ladies, added some thoughts about the election on his BLOG, praising the artists perspective expressed by science fiction writer Cory Doctorow and author/musician Matthew Good.

This current litigious atmosphere is simply a product of the record business trying to prop up a dying, obsolete business model. The labels aren’t the enemy; they’re often run by people who love music and are passionate about the promotion of Canadian culture, but their responsibility is not to the Canadian people, but to their parent companies’ shareholders. It’s the government’s job to protect us (both creators and end-users) from those who are out to exploit us.

Thanks to Michael Geist for keeping this issue hilighted!

Confirming the Copyright Gap

As Canada's whistle blower on copyright politics, Michael Geist further exposed Bulte and how her editorials are practically authored by CRIA, CAAST and other old-economy intermediary special interest groups and their bogus "statistics".

I could continue but I trust the point is clear. Citing a series of CRIA studies and editorials doesn't prove Bulte's case. It actually makes the point that critics have been raising for the past three weeks.

Connecting with candidates so you can reconnect with your new MP

Last election I had a chance to connect with Mr. McGuinty very early, in fact as soon as I heard that he was seeking the nomination for the riding. This worked out well as a conversation we had before the election was then able to slide right into a conversation after the election.

While I would prefer to just continue that conversation, politics is always uncertain. There is a very close race in Ottawa South between incumbent Mr. McGuinty and the conservative challenger, Mr. Alan Cutler.

On Saturday afternoon I dropped off an envelope with Mr. Cutler's office.

Fair Vote Canada: Special Pre-Election Newsletter



Before a single vote is tallied, we can comfortably predict that the voting system will create another train wreck for Canadian democracy on January 23.

Some parties will gain too many seats, others too few, and some none at all. If recent trends hold, more than six million of us will cast wasted votes. Partisan fiefdoms will continue in most regions, where one party dominates, all but wiping out representation for supporters of other parties.


For the past eight weeks, Fair Vote Canada members and supporters have been engaged in an unprecedented grassroots campaign to put the issue of fair voting and proportional representation in front of politicians, the media, and their local community. We have been absolutely delighted with the energy, enthusiasm, and results!

What will the future hold? Post your thoughts on the election!

Reading the article about various "Arts groups" reinterpreting Bev Oda's words different ways makes me think about how there can equally be spin on our issues with each of the parties.

I will post my own thoughts on the parties that had seats in the last parliament, with the hope that people will add their own comments over the next day and offer their own thoughts.

While the Green party has consistently had the most interesting platform, the Canadian candidates don't have a Canadian record to look at. I see no evidence that any other party without seats in the last parliament has a chance this time, so as interesting as their ideas may be they won't be part of the "chosen 308".

Arts crowd having pre-Harper panic

This Toronto Star article by Martin Knelman includes:

With the Conservatives heading for a victory on Monday, the mood has turned so dark that the comments of Bev Oda, Harper's heritage critic, on the subject of increased Canada Council funding, are now regarded as scary — even though just a week earlier, they were considered cause for rejoicing.
In fact, Oda has been saying pretty much the same thing all along, but her remarks have been subjected to wildly different spins.

Allan Cutler (Ottawa South,Conservative Party of Canada)

Thank you very much for your email on this important issue and I apologize for the delay in responding to you. As I am sure you can appreciate I am receiving over 100 phone calls and emails each day and I am doing my best to respond to everyone before election day.

On copyright in general, we believe that copyright legislation must create opportunities for Canadian creators to enjoy the fruits of their labour to the greatest possible extent; ensure that the rights of Canadian creators are adequately protected by law; that these rights are balanced with the opportunity for the public to use copyrighted works for teaching, researching and lifelong learning; to continue to allow an individual to make copies of sound recordings of musical works for that person's personal and individual use; and that enforcement is applied fairly and in accordance with international standards.

I'm not sure if this addresses your specific concern or not but hopefully it will be helpful. Thanks again for emailing.

They try, but blogs won't rock the vote

This Toronto Star article by Antonia Zerbisias includes:

In the end, the one person who most felt the blogo-sting is Parkdale-High Park Liberal Sarmite (Sam) Bulte whose altogether too-close connections to movie, music, publishing and television industry lobbyists gained notoriety on the web, thanks mostly to the work of legal expert Michael Geist, who also pens a column for the Star.
Her mistake will have been that, like many people and organizations today only just learning to cope with the blogosphere, she didn't use it in her own defence.

Ottawa XPress: My House of Commons includes the arts

This article by Stuart Trew includes:

But when XPress called Oda to confirm her statement, she offered a watered-down version, more in line with the party platform and the vague statement of support the Conservatives sent the Canadian Conference Free Will Astrology of the Arts in response to its own survey.

I sent the following as a comment:

Issue not a trivial answer

I am very involved in this area of policy as a self-employed author of software and non-software literary works. I'm also host for the website. I recently posted an article describing the complexities.

Canadian People's Parliament opens Saturday Jan 21 on Parliament Hill

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release

21 January, 2006


(Ottawa) The Canadian People’s Parliament opened today on the snowbound lawn of Parliament Hill. It advocates Democratic Reform via a referendum on Proportional Representation (PR), and seeks a fair election for the 40th Canadian Parliament. Critics of the current electoral system complain that the lack of real voter choice leads to government by large party machines that have little inclination to respond to voters - and even less desire to change the system that put them in power. The People’s Parliament aims to change this – by presenting an example of how PR would make representation fairer.

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