Canada Votes 2011

Canadian federal election is called for May 2, 2011

2011 election Judicial Recounts

It is interesting to watch the Judicial Recounts on some of the very close ridings.

Preliminary results predicted the re-election of Bernard Généreux (Conservative) in Montmagny--L'Islet--Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup, but the final results are bringing François Lapointe (NDP) into the house.

There are 3 other recounts in process.

Rookie MP Kennedy Stewart - SFU rock musician

Rookie MP for Burnaby - Douglas Kennedy Stewart is said to be a Simon Fraser University public-policy professor, as well as a former rock 'n' roll musician.

I don't yet know Mr. Stewart, but it would be interesting to have someone with a background in both public policy and music involved in future Copyright debates. He may be able to move away from the pure emotional demands towards an evidence-based public policy goal. There is often a disconnect in Copyright between problems that are identified and proposed solutions which often make the problem worse (TPMs, misapplied compulsory licenses, "stronger" rather than better copyright).

Non-incumbent returning MPs: Peggy Nash, Françoise Boivin

While rookie MPs may be the most interesting to speculate about, we have two returning MPs who were not incumbents in the last election.

Peggy Nash (NDP) returns in the 41'st parliament to Parkdale--High Park. In the 40'th parliament the seat was taken by Gerard Kennedy (Liberal). Ms. Nash had taken the seat for the 39'th parliament from controversial Liberal MP Sarmite Bulte who had the seat in the 36'th, 37'th and 38'th parliaments.

Former Liberal Françoise Boivin from the 38'th parliament took Gatineau for the NDP from incumbent Bloc Québécois representative Richard Nadeau. Mr Nadeau held the seat in the 39'th and 40'th parliament.

L’Étranger than fiction - Andrew Cash joins fellow band-mate in House

Quebec is not the only place where there are some new Official Opposition members we should take note of. Newly elected rookie MP for Davenport, Andrew Cash, was a fellow L’Étranger and is now a fellow NDP caucus member with childhood friend Charlie Angus. Mr Cash was also the co-founder of the Canadian Music Creators Coalition back in 2006.

While CMCC may not have been active recently, the fact that some of their members are MPs suggests that their positive message about the future of music and copyright may be better heard in the house.

Rookie MP Tyrone Benskin, ACTRA National Vice-President

Some of the new Quebec MPs will make some interesting influences on technology law such as Copyright. Newly elected rookie MP for Jeanne-Le Ber, Tyrone Benskin, is also (or rather was) the National Vice-President for ACTRA. Given he now has a more-than-full time job in Ottawa and his riding, he'll obviously be stepping down from his roll at ACTRA.

New MPs and outgoing MPs

The list of newly elected MPs have been loaded into a database, and available via the MP pages and the Election 2011 candidates tool. Check out the list of 108 rookie MPs.

For those that do not know, there are 2 districts under judicial recount (Montmagny--L'Islet--Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup with 5 votes different between NDP and Conservative, Etobicoke Centre with 25 votes between Conservative and Liberal) and a third where there is the possibility (Nipissing--Timiskaming with 14 votes between Conservative and Liberal).

Some interesting MPs: Young and online?

While the election is over, we in the tech community should consider this the beginning of the next level. We now need to transition into learning about all the local MPs, some who are first time politicians and some who are quite young. We need to meet with them so that they know the perspective on important federal issues from the independent technology community.

Some new NDP MPs who are already being discussed coincidentally replaced Bloc MPs who attended at least one of the Bill C-32 committee hearings.

New shape of federal parliament and districts I watched closely

Saying this was an interesting election to watch would be an understatement. The Conservatives received the majority they asked for with 167(54.2%) seats, but that wasn’t the biggest story for me last night. The NDP is now the official opposition with 102 seats, the Liberals are down to 34 seats, the Bloc may fade out of existence having barely kept 4 seats, and Green party leader Elizabeth May won her seat. It is clear that change was in the air, and change we received.

Now we will move to the hard part of governing. The Conservatives have some Progressive Conservative types who may be willing to aggressively ensure that Mr. Harper governs close to the center.

The NDP have a large, but very young and new caucus. Their learning curve is going to be massive, and there will be some bumps along the way which they will need to be very careful about.

The Liberals now need to take the time to figure out where they go from here, as will the Bloc who I hope will decide that the days of having a separatist party within the federal parliament are now over.

Have you voted yet?

If you haven't already voted, please vote. If you voted in advanced polls, take the time to convince family, friends, co-workers or anyone else you come into contact with to vote. If you drive, offer to give people rides.

If you aren't on the voters list, no problem: you can register at the poll. In any case, please bring ID with you.

If you have thoughts on the election, please post in the comments.

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