Canada Votes 2011

Canadian federal election is called for May 2, 2011

Districts I will be watching closely on election night

This is turning out to be a more exciting election than it seemed heading into it. While a Conservative majority or minority still seems most likely, who would have guessed that an NDP minority government or NDP official opposition was on the table? Who would have predicted the collapse of the Bloc support in Quebec?

While the mangling of voter intention caused by our antiquated First Past the Post electoral system makes it hard to predict outcomes, I'm pretty confident about some districts. There are a number of specific districts I will be watching closely election night, with most (but not all) based on my interest in technology law.

I won’t be offering advice on what party to vote for

I received some phone calls from the Liberal party the last few days, asking that I spread the word in support of their party. I have voted for their candidate in Ottawa South the past few elections, and already did so in the advanced polls on Friday. I have said before that I vote for the candidate despite the party, not because of it. I’m not a fan of any of the parties who have seats in the house of Commons.

Carleton University Vote Mob... with a Twist!

I'm really liking this Vote Mob thing, and hope it will increase voter turnout. I also hope we all check these videos out before someone sends a take-down (This is Canuckistan, and we don't have a living Fair Use regime).

There are many videos out there, and many can be seen at I chose one from Carleton University, the University I attended back in the late 80's and early 90's.

Elections Canada and enforcable laws

The National Post had an interesting article today on the election and Elections Canada's increasingly futile attempt to try to keep a lid on election results across time zones.

It quotes Dan Zen, professor of interactive multimedia at Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning who said "There must be lots of options but I know one option that isn’t going to work is trying to enforce secrecy over Twitter and Facebook. That’s just not going to work, so expectation needs to change."

Zeropaid review of party platforms on Digital Issues

Drew Wilson has been posting some reviews of party platforms on digital issues: Conservative, Liberal, Bloc, NDP, Green, and Pirate Party.

Copyright in the campaign

The fake iPod Tax issue being brought up by the Conservatives isn't the only way that Copyright is showing up in the campaign. Seems that yet another one of their campaign advertisements infringes copyright.

So, as we go after the so-called "wealth destroyers" the Conservatives liked to claim that C-32 targeted, does that include the Conservative Party itself?

This is not a uniquely Conservative issue, as Michael Geist has asked whether Liberal MP Dan McTeague is a repeat Copyright infringer?

The common thread is that some politicians and parties are pushing for copyright to be treated as if it were a "law and order" issue needing immediate attention to stop scofflaws. These same persons seem to often find themselves on the wrong side of these same laws.

Contrasting Telecommunities Canada’s digital society strategy with digital economy statements in Party Platforms

I have mapped the "core values" of Telecommunities Canada to statements on the digital economy included in Party Platforms. See:

Embarrassingly inaccurate campaign website

The Conservative Party has launched an embarrassingly inaccurate campaign website focused on the private copying regime at The reality is quite different given the Conservatives tabled legislation that would have increased the existing levy (which the campaign calls a "tax"). It is the Liberals proposing getting rid of the levy.

While it is true the Conservatives weren't proposing an expansion of the levy to devices, it is inaccurate to suggest they are greater opponents of the music levy than the Liberals.

I'm not sure why the Conservatives continue to highlight a policy area where their primary political opponents -- the Liberals -- have offered a better alternative. I'm not a partisan supporter of either of these parties as anyone reading this blog would know, but it bothers me when such misinformation is abused in a political campaign.

See also: Is the private copying levy a tax?

Re: The Digital Canada of Tomorrow.

Re: "The Digital Canada of Tomorrow." Liberal Party's platform, April 3, 2001, pages 18-19.

[Originally written for posting to a Telecommunities Canada (TC) discussion list]

I’ve seen some reminders in the media these days about emotional elections not being the time for rational discussion of “policy.” So I do concede that advancing a detailed analysis of danger zones in the Liberals’ plan for Canada’s digital future is, for the moment, hopeless. But, maybe for later on, when we all go back to the hard work of governing?

The Liberals’ “Digital Canada of Tomorrow” is more like the Digital Canada of Yesterday, a backward glance in its framing of issues that’s startlingly [conservative?]!

Visiting the offices of two Ottawa South Candidates: McGuinty and Salibi

I live in the electoral district of Ottawa South. While people have asked me during the election which party to vote for that would best protect their rights in relation to technology law, I don't offer them the answer they want. I say to get involved in the local district, and find out which person or person(s) will best represent them. Having sat down with many MPs over the years, I truly believe it comes down to the individuals and not the parties.

Today I dropped in on the campaign offices of and Conservative Elie Salibi (@VoteElieSalibi) and Liberal David McGuinty (@DavidMcGuinty).

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